Updated: Oct 20
I now look back with a slight sense of irony on an article I wrote last year bemoaning how Santa Cruz is less and less resembling a small town, citing the construction at the intersection of Laurel and Pacific as the visual reference point where it all hit me.
Flash forward to this week at that same intersection where on Monday I attended the Santa Cruz Community Development’s sponsored Commercial Brokers’ Breakfast when we were treated to a walking tour of the new 7-story Anton Pacific building and the adjoining Pacific Station South high rises, and I have to say I was impressed to see what a view you get from seven stories up. I took a few pictures of the walkthrough including that view that you can see in the gallery below.
The Anton Pacific building is a mixed-use development with a total of 207 luxury apartments built on a pedestal with 3 large restaurant pads with soaring 19’ ceilings lit by walls of glass on all sides. They include a 4,233 SF pad at the corner of Laurel and Front, and a 3,583 SF pad at the corner of Laurel and Pacific, adjoined by a third pad of 3,275 SF opening onto a large patio that opens out the Pacific Garden mall as you head north along the sidewalk.
Because the development was entitled as an Opportunity Zone project, for tax purposes it has to be held for at least 10 years before the apartments or commercial spaces can be purchased so the plan in the meantime is for everything to be leased out. Starting prices for the apartments will likely be well upwards of $4,000 per month, with 414 parking spaces on-site which can be leased for an additional fee.
Our visit to the top floor was followed by a tour of Pacific Station South, which was developed concurrently to provide 70 units of much needed low-income rental housing plus approximately 8,000 SF of commercial space that will be occupied by Santa Cruz County Community Health Center and Dientes, providing medical and dental services for the disadvantaged members of our community. Rents for the apartments will be based on 30-60% of the area median income, which translates to around $900 for a studio to $2,300 for a 3 Bedroom unit, and reservations are being taken with priority status given to current residents of Santa Cruz.
This project was made possible in part by Community Development raising $70 million in state and federal funding, and will be followed by Pacific Station North on the site of the Transit Center which will add another 128 low-income housing units with similarly-sized commercial suites in the podium floors which will likely also be dedicated for community-centered uses.
While I still have mixed feelings about losing the small-town charm we know and love, it was at the same time reassuring to see the level of care being taken to make Santa Cruz the type of place where people will want to live—and be able to afford—for years to come.