Metro Gardens Apartments redesign to become pilot program for positive activation of downtown neighborhoods

Atrio - current site

Atrio – current site

SAN JOSE, Calif.April 27, 2021PRLog — Real estate developer Urban Community LLC announced they have closed on the current Metro Gardens Apartments property, located at 420 South 3rd Street in downtown San Jose, and reimagine the property into a newly-designed complex built around community. Located in the South University neighborhood just outside of the popular SoFA district, the project—dubbed Atrio—brings a unique proposition to the area as ownership options will be offered to residents, community members, local businesses, and investment partners.  Welcoming and non-exclusive, this temporary, post-pandemic housing is meant to act as a vehicle to help essential workers get back on their feet by enabling them to live where they work.

“We see this project as a prototype of what the future can look like,” said WRNS Studio Associate and Designer John Schlueter. “San Jose is evolving, and the big question is how we transform the city. By working within the existing urban fabric of downtown, we can establish strong partnerships and build a network for a new downtown model for living that will improve our neighborhoods through technology and innovation, community, and sustainability. It’s basically essential living for essential workers.”

In collaboration with WRNS Studio, the Urban Community project will most likely include a redesigned outdoor space incorporating a communal kitchen and event space that can be used to engage with local restaurateurs, host cocktail nights, or showcase cooking lessons from local chefs. Not to be left, out, art will also be an important component to the design with potential to display exhibits by local artists.

“This is about transformation, not a transaction. We want to build authentic and resilient strategies that bring people together and create positive change in our neighborhoods.” said Urban Community’s Gary Dillabough. “By listening and investing in people, we hope to build a successful model that can be used by other developers to uplift communities across the United States.”

This news comes on the heels of Google’s announcement earlier this week of a $200 million investment in the downtown San Jose area. While long-term plans for the Atrio property have not been disclosed as Urban Community remains focused on what can be done now, if you are interested in learning more about the project or would like to explore becoming a resident, email Karina Martinez at

About Urban Community LLC

Committed to enhancing the urban user experience in downtown San Jose, as a real estate developer, Urban Community collaborates with community members, designers, technologists, city officials, and builders alike to re-envision downtown San Jose. Based in San Jose, through their projects, Urban Community strives to create exceptional environments that catalyze community at every layer. Learn more at