MILPITAS, Calif. - All eyes are on the much anticipated 10-mile long extension of BART to the South Bay. At the same time, there is also a housing construction flurry underway around the Milpitas BART station, which is expected to open next summer.
Just over 7,100 units of housing are permitted for the acres around E. Capitol Ave. and S. Milpitas Blvd. It is an example of what urban visionaries have been promoting - a transit village concept in which a major transit station fosters the development of townhomes, apartments, and condominiums, along with commercial space for employers to create jobs. It's expected that residents around the Milpitas BART station will commute not more than three miles to their work, easing congestion on nearby streets and freeways.
ABC7 News joined a hard hat tour of the Milpitas BART station site on Wednesday, where members of the urban planning group SPUR got to see all the development underway from the roof of the six-level parking garage. Construction will begin soon on a pedestrian bridge that will link the second level of the structure to a 1700-unit complex of housing on the north side.
Brandi Childress, the spokesperson for the BART extension project, says Milpitas is a good example for the transit village concept that can be replicated around existing BART stations through redevelopment.
Edesa Bitbadal, economic development director for the City of Milpitas, says the members of its City Council began to work on the transit village concept back in 2005-2006. She said a new school will be built to support the children of families that will be moving into the newly built area.