A Big Year for Our Downtown

December 28, 2023

In case you missed it, there’s a lot happening downtown, mostly centered around much-needed housing development. This year, the housing team was awarded the State Prohousing Designation and the City ranked fifth in the state in terms of providing support for housing development. In 2024, community members will move into two 100% affordable housing projects (a total of 135 units!) with another starting construction downtown, Pacific Station North, which will include a new Metro station.

Pac Station South Journal

Speaking of affordable housing projects, the Downtown Library Affordable Housing project hit a major milestones this year with our infrastructure team leading the charge. In March, design permits were approved, followed by a $33.5 million award from the AHSC to the project. And to close out 2023, 100% design development plans were completed this month which will lead to construction ready design documents.

In 2024, City Arts will support the completion of public art in the first Paseo connecting Cedar and Center Streets. The arts team is still celebrating two CARD recipients on their multi-media and performance arts pieces in Andrew Purchin’s “What’s Home” and Senderos’ “Historias de Cultura: Oxacana en Santa Cruz.” Another big win for our arts team was the completion of the Art’s & Economic Prosperity study, conducted by Americans for the Arts which found that the Arts & Culture sector brought in $38 million to the City of Santa Cruz economy.

Last but certainly not least, the business services team successfully launched the Santa Cruzer, the all new 100% electric shuttle that replaced the beloved Trolley to connect our downtown to the beach. Next year, the team will continue to support businesses transitioning their temporary outdoor dining to permanent for both Parklets and private property dining. Finally, the team launched Business Office Hours which invites business owners to connect with the team in person and learn about any resources or upcoming events.

With all of this momentum from 2023, we're looking forward to an even bigger 2024.

12 New Businesses to Visit in 2024

Celebrating Surfing in Santa Cruz