Downtown Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Boosting beach-downtown corridor, West Cliff concerns & foodie updates

We meet again, Lookout readers. It’s Wednesday, June 7, and while I hadn’t by any stretch forgotten that it rains around here, I did enjoy the showers we got Tuesday. More clouds is the forecast for Santa Cruz County, with temperatures mainly in the 60s.

There’s quite a mix of new Lookout content, but if you’d rather not take my word for it, head this way.
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The Santa Cruz of the future is the theme of the day, with Wallace Baine and Max Chun on the case. Wallace has written plenty on all the development afoot, and his latest is on the city’s plans to connect downtown to the beach and make the stretch south of Laurel Street a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly zone.

What’s ahead for West Cliff Drive was the subject of a virtual meeting Tuesday (and will be the focus of an in-person event Wednesday at London Nelson Community Center), and Max listened in as residents expressed concerns about traffic safety, accessibility and even what new technology and innovations in transportation could mean for the coastal roadway battered by winter storms.

I’ve also got the latest in Santa Cruz County food and drink news, courtesy of Jessica M. Pasko, so let’s tuck in on that and the rest of Wednesday’s headlines.

After decades of talking about it, Santa Cruz is finally poised to connect downtown to the beach

Swenson's proposed Calypso Apartments will bring hundreds of new Santa Cruzans to lower Center Street
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

Making the transition from downtown to the beach seamless has been a goal of city leaders for years, and now Santa Cruz is poised to convert the area south of Laurel Street into a busy, pedestrian-friendly part of town, similar to a few blocks north. A new housing complex on Center Street is to be called Calypso, a six-story building with more than 200 units of market-rate and affordable housing. Wallace Baine digs in.

CHANGING SANTA CRUZ: Find all of Lookout’s coverage of downtown development in one place

Traffic calming, new infill walls and flying cars on West Cliff: Residents air concerns at wide-ranging meeting

The stretch of West Cliff Drive where a portion of sidewalk collapsed in November
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz residents tuned in Tuesday to a West Cliff Conversations virtual meeting, where they said they’d like to see traffic calming and West Cliff Drive access restoration prioritized. The city is holding a second, in-person public meeting about the future of West Cliff on Wednesday. Max Chun reports.

PREVIOUSLY: Santa Cruz City Council backs proposed 50-year plan for West Cliff Drive


Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

Midtown Fridays @1111 Soquel Ave.
Embroidery Workshop @Wallflower Santa Cruz
Zayante Fire Fundraiser @Felton Music Hall
Stephen Marley @The Catalyst Club
Bodhi Mojo @Woodhouse Blending & Brewing
Frequency Festival @Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Santa Cruz Elks Oktoberfest @Santa Cruz Elks Lodge
Foodie Fruity Wreath Making Extravaganza @Scotts Valley farmers market
Vegan Italian Cooking & Wine Pairing Class @Flipjack Ranch
Teen Kitchen Project Everett Farm Dinner @Everett Family Farm
Echos Of Empire @Civic Auditorium

For the love of dogs @Chaminade Resort & Spa
41st Santa Cruz Triathlon @Depot Park
Music at the park @Skypark
Jean Dawson @The Catalyst

Some food for thought as we ease into hump day. You never know what Lookout might have up our collective sleeve (and remember, there will be a quiz at week’s end), so keep tabs with the latest in Santa Cruz County news and views by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also offer breaking news alerts via text and email, to say nothing of all our other newsletters (up Thursday: Wallace Baine with Weekender), and you can sign up for all that right here.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Best of luck navigating the June gloom, and I’ll be back to brighten your Thursday morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz