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After 22 Years the Last Open Lot on Pacific Avenue May be Filled

The city council gave a unanimous go-ahead for a five-story rental building at the old Bookshop Santa Cruz and Pergolesi Cafe site, next to Lulu Carpenter's Cafe.

The Santa Cruz City Council approved a 70-unit, five-story apartment building on the open field next to Lulu Carpenter's that used to be a cobblestone courtyard that housed Bookshop Santa Cruz, the original Santa Cruz Roasting Company and Kelly's French Bakery.

The site has been vacant since the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and an earlier proposal to build a seven-story building there in 2006 fell through when the developers backed out for lack of funding.

The current plan by developer Bill Brooks Properties is to build 70 apartments that will eventually be converted to condominiums when the real estate market comes back. As part of a compromise with the city, the developer will have 10 affordable units when the conversion goes through.

It will have 4,500 feet of retail on the ground floor, as well as spaces for 66 cars and 76 bicycles.

"I feel really good about this," said Vice mayor Don Lane. "It's taken a long time to get a quality project there.

Lane said the units are on the smaller side, so should be affordable to working people around Santa Cruz, and he hopes, will attract people who work downtown and won't need to drive there.

The building will have a community room and the studios, one and two bedroom apartments will have outside decks.

There was some debate when Katherine Beiers objected because the developer wasn't  providing enough open space, in keeping with the city's Downtown Recovery Plan. However, she joined the majority when they questioned whether obstacles would force another developer out and leave the ground empty.

Carol Skolnick October 21, 2011 at 09:41 PM
"Lane said the units are on the smaller side, so should be affordable to working people around Santa Cruz." And once they are converted to condominiums, bye-bye to those working people? Hello to wealthy investors who buy up the condos and rent them to UCSC students at the usual inflated rates? Downtown recovery is good. Housing that serves the people who are struggling to live, work and stay in this city would be even better.
Molly Cruz December 10, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Yuck. An open courtyard like before would be nicer, it was a lovely venue back when.

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