Six-story building approved by the Santa Cruz Planning Commission – Santa Cruz Sentinel


SANTA CRUZ – A 233-unit housing estate has received unanimous approval from the Santa Cruz Planning Commission.

The project, led by San Jose-based developer SWENSON, will be located at 130 Center Street, across from Depot Park. Currently the land is occupied by a Hertz car rental agency and the Chris Bordner Auto Body store. These two businesses will have to be demolished to create space for the building.

The project will include 233 studios of different sizes. Seventy-eight of those units will be considered micro at 295 square feet. Standard-size units, which measure 328 square feet, are the least plentiful with 65 units in total. The remaining 90 units are considered expanded and measure 400 square feet.

The idea behind the project, named Calypso, was to provide housing for young adults, single professionals and young couples, noted Jessie Bristow, SWENSON project manager. The project is also an opportunity to provide housing for students at UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College, he added.

Calypso is committed to providing 35 affordable units for ultra-low income housing at 50% of the area’s median income. Santa Cruz’s current regional housing needs allocation requires it to provide an additional 123 very low-income housing units by the end of 2023.

“We hope this project will help start hitting RHNA numbers,” Bristow said. “We are supplying (35 units) only for this project.

Other projects, such as the Pacific Station redevelopment and mixed-use library projects, will help achieve these goals by adding 24 and 107 ultra-low-income units, respectively.

The 31 affordable housing units represent 20% of the 155 basic housing units in the project, which qualifies it for a density bonus. The density premium allows the developer to add 50% of the base units to the project, rounded to 78 additional units.

A local Santa Cruz ordinance requires that units of different sizes be distributed evenly among affordable units and at market price based on the number of base units. This will provide 18 micro-units, six standard units and 11 extended units for very low-income residents.

The acquisition of the density bonus also qualifies the project for further waivers. The area in which the project is placed has a building height limit of 36 feet. However, the completion of the density premium standards allows the building to reach a height of 75 feet.

Additionally, the density bonus allows for a smaller parking requirement for the project. Typically, a project of this size would be required to provide 253 parking spaces. The proximity of the projects to public transport allows it to provide less.

“The Density Premium Ordinance allows parking reductions in subdivisions with at least 11% very low income units or 20% low income units within half a mile of a stop transit major and have unlimited access to that stop, ”Santa Cruz senior planner Ryan Bane said.

Calypso has eight bus stations within one kilometer of the building. It is also less than half a mile from the downtown metro station. Therefore, the project is only to provide 137 spaces, of which it will provide 72 excess spaces for a total of 209 parking spaces in a two-storey parking garage that spans the basement and the ground floor. .

The project will also include a spa, a games room, a fitness center, an open terrace and a top-floor terrace. Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2022 and is expected to be completed within two years.

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