Pilot Program:

Downtown Pops!

Applications are Now Closed for Downtown Pops! Prospective Tenants:

Program Status:

Currently, the application window is closed. However, sign up on our internet form below if you would like to participate in future rounds. We will contact you if the application reopens. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please fill out the form at the bottom.

Program Description:

Downtown Pops! is the City's pilot program designed to lower the barriers to entry for businesses looking to open a brick and mortar space. In addition, the program intends to reduce the risk for property owners to take on new tenants during challenging times. Through the program, the City enters a master lease with downtown commercial property owners with vacant spaces on Pacific Avenue, provides a guaranteed minimum rent, and then sub-leases these spaces to various pop-up tenants for a six-month term scheduled to begin in July 2021.

Who Should Apply?

We are seeking aspiring new businesses with sound business concepts, established successful businesses with temporary expansion needs or looking to prototype new products or concepts, and other creative pop-ups designed to activate and invite downtown engagement. Preference will be given to local business owners, women, and people of color.

Request for Proposal (RFP):

The City of Santa Cruz has released a request for proposals (RFP) for prospective tenants for the Downtown Pops! Program. You can find the RFP document below. Please read the document thoroughly before beginning your application. If you need assistance preparing a business plan or financial projections, please contact the Small Business Development Center at www.santacruzsbdc.org.

Downtown Pops! Application Information

Downtown Pops! Prospective Tenant RFP

Please read the full document before beginning your application.

Financial Projections Spreadsheet

Please use this spreadsheet to complete your financial projections and include in your application

Downtown Pops! Prospective Tenant RFP Application Form

Please complete this online application to submit your response to the RFP. You will be required to register for a SlideRoom account if you do not already have one.

RFP Addendum #1

Deadline to apply extended to June 4, 2021 at 4PM

Future Interest List

Currently, the application window is closed. Sign up if you would to participate in future rounds, and we will contact you if the application reopens.

Additional Information:

How does the lease structure work?

Selected business tenants in the program would pay to the City a percentage rent of their sales, anticipated between 3-5%. The City, in turn, would supplement the percentage rent with a minimum of $1/sq. ft. rent, to ensure that the landlord receives up to a maximum rent of $2/sq. ft. Any additional rent collected would be reserved by the City on the tenant’s behalf to support each tenant’s future expansion into a permanent business concept. All initial lease terms will be for six months. It is estimated that the program can support between 8-12 pop-ups during the initial lease-up period, depending on the size and availability of spaces and the availability of tenants.

How do property owners get involved?

We are seeking Downtown Santa Cruz property owners with vacant ground-floor spaces, primarily on Pacific Avenue, interested in participating in the program. Property owners can complete this interest form or contact Rebecca Unitt at [email protected] to learn more and sign up.