Community expresses excitement, concerns about Town Center Project
by Jon Chown
Jun 12, 2014 | 2216 views | 3 3 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print

SCOTTS VALLEY — Residents filled the Scotts Valley Community Center Wednesday evening to find out more about the proposed Scotts Valley Town Center and everyone seemed excited about it — but still a little hesitant.

“I can’t wait for them to build it,” said Jim Wasserman, a 16-year resident. “I just don’t want it to be a sell out to corporate interests. I want it to have charm. This is a great stopping point on the way to the coast. Scotts Valley needs a hub.”

As envisioned by developer Property Development Centers LLC, Scotts Valley Town Center is to be “a vibrant, mixed-use destination, intended to create an easy walk experience through downtown by combining commercial retail and office space, supported by residential dwelling units within the project.”

Maps and drawings of the proposed 15-acre town center showed tree-lined streets, wide walkways and greenery everywhere. A half dozen PDC employees were wandering through the crowd and talking to residents, others were stationed at displays that were set up to answer specific questions about the project.

Deb Karbo, vice president of development at PDC, said much of the “heavy lifting” for the project was already done, but there was no timetable yet. An environmental impact report and specific plan have been in place for years as the project has struggled to get going under past developers. Now, she said, PDC is working with the community to develop the plan it wants and more events were planned so they could hear from as many people in the community as possible.

“This is grad week, and a lot of people are busy right now, so we’ll have another meeting soon,” she said.

According to its website, PDC was formed in 2008 to develop retail shopping centers with Safeway as the anchor — and specializes in overcoming barriers to build them. One of its projects is the controversial 59,000-square-foot super Safeway being constructed in Aptos. A similar-sized Safeway would anchor the Town Center project.

Around 10 parcels of land make up the proposed development and PDC is in negotiations with the city of Scotts Valley for the final bits, according to information provided at the meeting. PDC purchased 8.15 acres of the former Skypark Airport from the city of Santa Cruz to make up the majority of the project’s land.

On their way out the door, Scotts Valley residents Rob and Shannon Campbell said a lot of their questions were answered, but many remained. However, for the most part, they were excited about the project.

“I’m glad to see the project moving forward,” said Rob Campbell.

“I like that they’re asking people what they want. They’re even taking retail suggestions,” said Shannon Campbell.

But the husband and wife were a little concerned about the proposed super Safeway store, which would require the grocer to leave its current site.

“Which makes me wonder what would happen to the existing Safeway? So that’s a problem, what to do with that space? Will it be used appropriately?” said Ron.

“Or for a big box store?” said Shannon.

Comments
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vinniefromthevalley
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June 14, 2014
I have lived here for over 25 years and try to support local business. I am all for the Town Center if rents are reasonable to keep small business here intact and traffic can somehow be managed to flow better. With the recent passage of a sales tax increase and the Measure A bond payment for the next 30 years, SV is on its way to becoming the most expensive area to live in this county so let's not make it worse. The developers get one chance at this and need to keep focused on community needs.
Flynn Post
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June 13, 2014
I believe they will use the old Safeway for a big box store! There is no doubt that it will be a TJ max type of store or a Home Depot/OSH. It would be nice if we got a Trader Joes or a Whole foods type of store but that is the one thing that will never go there as Safeway controls that building for another 25 years! Safeway will never sub lease the space to a competitor!

The biggest problem with the town center i see if the destruction of locally owned small business who can't afford to pay the high rents safety will be charging for the new spaces available. It will be mostly if not all big business corporations who will be moving into the town center! Nobody else can afford to pay the high rents they will be asking!

I am a local business owner in Scotts Valley so I know first hand! I can't afford to pay the rents they will be asking. Not even close to it. My question is who will be able too? Corporations are the only ones who can afford it! I don't want to live in Campbell or San Jose and that is what Scotts Valley is going to turn into. I hope everyone who is in favor of this Town Center realizes that big business corporations are going to come to town and put the local business out of business! I'm not so sure it is going to be what everyone thinks it's going to be.

Looks like it is going to happen and i only hope for the best for this community but i am truly skeptical that it is going to be what everyone wants! I sure hope it is tho! And i hope it doesn't put most of local small business out of business!
Steve S
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June 13, 2014
I do not like the idea of the development. I think the open space can be the crown jewel of Scotts Valley. There are so many people that utilize Sky Park. The loss of the dog park and the proposed pump track are going to be very unfortunate. I think that a well developed park in the open land while keeping the dog park, pump track, maybe developing a community pool, and other community resources would be a better use of the area.

Scotts Valley is not a place for this devlopment, maybe on Scotts Valley drive, but not where it is proposed. It is going to be right next to strip malls. The community is not going to flow well. I don't know how to describe it, but it will be awkward. You may have a nice development but on the one side is going to be the backside of storage lots, Kmart, and dollar tree. I don't think we need it.

Improve the existing retail spaces in Scotts Valley.


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