Community gets first view of 351-unit mixed-use Ocean Street project

A rendering of the 351-unit project proposed for 908 Ocean St. in Santa Cruz.
(Via Trammell Crow Company)

The proposed five-story development at 908 Ocean St., near the intersection with Water Street, would involve the demolition of a number of single-family homes in addition to several businesses. The public can weigh in via Zoom or in person Thursday evening.

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A major Santa Cruz residential project proposal is set for its public debut this week.

After completing an application Oct. 10, the developers behind the 908 Ocean Street mixed-use residential project will bring their proposal to the public during a community meeting scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., when residents can weigh in on the project either through Zoom or in person at the Resource Center for Nonviolence at 612 Ocean St.

Massive by Santa Cruz standards, the five-story, 351-unit project with ground-floor commercial space targets the 3.8-acre lot bounded by Hubbard and Water streets to the north and south, respectively, with Ocean Street to the west and May Avenue to the east. If approved, the existing Santa Cruz Fireplace and Hot Tub will be demolished, as well as John’s Electric Motor Service and a handful of single-family homes. Marianne’s Ice Cream, at the corner of Ocean and Hubbard streets, will remain, at least for now.

Proposed by High Street Residential — the residential subsidiary of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company — the development includes a mix of studios to four-bedrooms, though 162 of the units will be one-bedroom. A two-floor parking garage at 144,000 square feet and 7,850 square feet of ground-floor commercial is also included in the proposal. An earlier proposal for the property included 390 units.

The developer also wants to include 52 units of affordable housing, though the bedroom mix of the affordable units is yet unclear. Representatives from Trammell Crow Company did not respond to Lookout’s questions by publication time.

Clara Stanger, senior planner with the City of Santa Cruz, said the community meeting Thursday will be the only chance for the public to get an in-person look at the proposal before it eventually heads to the planning commission for final approval.

The community meetings are a city requirement and offer an opportunity for residents to weigh in on the project; however, if the project meets code, there is no city rule that says the developer must incorporate any community feedback before the project heads to the planning commission.

The 908 Ocean Street development is among the last projects grandfathered in from the pre-objective standards era. The city council in November approved Santa Cruz’s first set of objective design standards, tightening the rules on how new structures in the city are built. If this project were subject to the new development standards, and if it conformed with building rules, it could have skipped the planning commission, instead needing only an OK from the city’s zoning administrator.


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