Permits are active and work is proceeding on the Evergreen Village commercial center in north Morgan Hill, even though the Covid-19 pandemic has stalled portions of the project since construction started two years ago.
Plans for the 20-acre development at the corner of Butterfield Boulevard and Cochrane Road include a new 7-Eleven gas station and convenience store, restaurants, retail shops, a senior residential facility, hotel, offices and other commercial uses.
Currently, the 7-Eleven store is the only structure on the site. The building and gas pump infrastructure are built, but the business has not yet opened. Two people working Oct. 5 inside the convenience store—which hasn’t stocked any shelves or coolers yet—said they did not know when it would open.
The developer has also built new roads through the 20-acre site. In the median of a new traffic circle within the development area is a kinetic wind sculpture titled “Checkerspot Butterflies,” a public art component promised by developer Evergreen Devco.
Morgan Hill Development Services Director Jennifer Carman added the developer has submitted permit applications—which are still active—for a new Starbucks and Taco Bell along the Cochrane Road side of the project.
There has been “a bit of a stall” on the proposed hotel on the site, Carman added, but she hasn’t heard when that construction might commence.
In March 2020, McLean, Va.-based Artis Senior Living purchased a four-acre portion of the Evergreen Village site. Carman said that project has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the owner is still planning on moving in at an undetermined date.
Representatives from Evergreen Devco did not return phone calls requesting updates. Artis Senior Living could not be contacted before press time.
There are currently no permit applications for the southwest portion of the Evergreen Village site, Carman added.
Speaking at the Sept. 20 Gilroy City Council meeting, Rogg Collins of Evergreen told city officials that when the developer closed on the project in 2019, only half the development had confirmed tenants. But those tenants started pulling out when Covid-19 hit.
The Gilroy council on Sept. 20 approved the Laurel Square project proposed by Evergreen, located on a seven-acre property at the corner of Tenth and Chestnut streets. Plans for that project include six business pads with a gas station and convenience store, a Chick-fil-A and a Starbucks.
A car wash operated by BlueWave and a five-story, 120-room Hyatt hotel are the other tenants at the Laurel Square site. Collins said the company is currently negotiating with an “upscale hamburger establishment” for the third and final restaurant pad.
“With the project here in Gilroy, we have five of the six pads spoken for, and we are pretty far with the last pad,” Collins told the Gilroy council on Sept. 20. “It’s not going to be another Morgan Hill. We’ve got all the users lined up.”
Businesses currently on the Gilroy site include O’Henry’s Donuts, Gilroy Market, Coast Auto Insurance and others, as well as Trans Valley Transport behind the center.