If you missed tonight’s open house with Property Development Centers (PDC) and architects of the proposed town center, here is a quick run-down on what I took from the meeting.
I’ve Seen This Place Before!
Assuming this project will in fact happen, as many have been waiting for a long time, it will be a pretty amazing place for the commUNITY to gather and shop, dine and even just lounge around. If you have been to Santana Row (SR), you may see some of the design ideas that they were displaying tonight looking like SR from its mixed use of retail and residential, to the areas where people can walk around and gather in an outdoor setting which is reminiscent of SR’s farmer’s market and music that many times just fills the air as people dine and people watch, while others shop.
I am not saying this will be just like SR, I am just saying that based on what I saw and from the conversations I had with reps from PDC, that is the impression I got, that it very much reminded me of SR.
From the three different plan ideas, my favorite is the “Downtown” plan. You can click on any thumbnail to see a larger picture.
One of the things I really love about SR is the outdoor activities and just the way the place looks and feels, it just works and it is a great place to take the family on a nice Saturday or Sunday for a walk, some shopping and a nice lunch on the walkways that many of the restaurants have. If you have been there, you know what I mean. The plans the PDC displayed this evening are similar to that, from what I could gather. If you look at the site plan, you will see that the town center would back-up next to the library and would have a great open area that would be perfect for outdoor venues and activities.
Click on any thumbnail to see full size version of photo
In terms of shopping; although I love SR, I think that some of the stores there are a little too high end for my taste and budget and I expressed this to some of the folks who were there representing PDC. Although they would not rule out high end stores like some of those at SR, more than likely there would be some nice retail stores there that would be desirable to our demographics. At least that is what I got out of it. I do see some nice places coming in, and maybe a couple of high end places, but hopefully nothing too over-the-top where I have to get a second mortgage just to buy some jeans.
Don’t want Safeway in there? I hear you. But I have to think that when you think of Safeway, you think of the dark and old one that is here in town and you are thinking it is going to be a bigger version of what is already here.
WRONG. The Safeway that would be built would be a pretty spectacular Safeway, one like you have probably never seen before. Here are some pictures of what it could look like. So although I would love to see a Whole Foods instead, a rep from PDC made a great point in that if they really wanted to be here, they would already be here and I have to agree. Plus Safeway is putting up some big dollars and making a big commitment to this project that is needed to get this project off the ground.
So why not have a Whole Foods move in where Safeway is now when they build their superstore? Probably not going to happen. My bet is on a TJ Max. I would love an REI, but, one can only dream. Logic says a place like TJ Max would be what will eventually land there once Safeway moves out.
Back to Safeway: I’m ok with a brand-new, state-of-the-art Safeway with lots of variety and even a nice place to relax and have a coffee. The good thing is that Safeway will not be the main attraction. It would be visible, but not like going to SR and driving through Safeway to get there. If you see the plans, you will see it off to the left and probably not the first thing you see when you enter the town center from Mt Hermon Road.
Part of the project calls for residential housing mixed in with retail, again similar to SR. Our area could use a little more housing and the units, which I am assuming would be condo-townhouses would be a very desirable feature and if the demand continues to be what it is today, could fetch a pretty penny when they are completed, as well as a waiting list from potential home buyers.
Think about it… New residential condo-townhouses by a new town center in a town like Scotts Valley, close to any and all amenities you could ever want. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Fact or Fiction?
All in all, if this project happens in our lifetime, I think it is going to be spectacular. All kidding aside, I think that the project has more traction than it has ever had and I would not be surprised to see things start to come together in the next 2-3 years. A lot of the stumbling blocks that were present have been overcome like getting all of the parcels together, etc., and in about 5 years we could be one of the most desirable destinations in Northern California (more than it already is) with this beautiful town center and a brand-new state-of-the-art middle school which should be completed around the same time if the stars align themselves.
Hey, here’s wishing on a star!
Scotts Valley Resident since 1996