Why We Need
831 Water Street
It's easy: We're an innovative leader in housing. And 831 Water Street will be a pioneer in the future of housing in California.
The mixed-use development, spread in two buildings on nearly an acre of land, is both affordable housing and spans up to market-rate housing. It will offer 71 affordable housing units in one building (due to federal affordable housing guidelines) and market-rate housing in the other. There are studios, and one-, two- and three-bedroom units in each building. It will also offer five live/work units on the ground floor of the mixed- and market-rate building.
Our main function, however, is to reach the “missing middle” of housing: apartments that can house teachers, shopkeepers, students, college grads, police and firefighters. These people are the heart of Santa Cruz’s identity, as well as its economy.
Many of them must travel long distances, from the valley, Watsonville, Salinas and even further just to get to work here in Santa Cruz. That’s not fair to them or is it good for the area around us. It clogs highways and surface streets, and adds to a massive turnover in talent, just now when we need it as we emerge from the pandemic.
We have met with opposition groups and changed the design of the building to mitigate their concerns. We will be a good neighbor, as our excellent location near public transportation — as well as our high Walkability and Bikeability scores — will minimize traffic disruption.
We also are offering lots of green space for urban gardening and fresh air, including a rooftop area devoted to gardens, trees and relaxing. Our commitment to sustainability is also evident by our unique rainwater recycling project and other eco-friendly plans. We understand Santa Cruz’s commitment to a healthy environment.
Moreover, our affordable housing component targets the most vulnerable populations including developmentally disabled, formerly homeless youth and veterans.
There is a lot to be proud of at 831 Water Street, and we can’t wait until it is built and we can share it all with the community. The main issue many community members face now is understanding our streamline approach to getting the project built. Using Senate Bill 35 law may seem like it bypasses all city oversight, but we have made sure that isn’t happening. We have held two official community meetings and met with other community members more than a dozen times to help create a project that is consistent with Santa Cruz’s General Plan, and we have changed the design to reflect community concerns. Read more about SB 35 here.
All in all, we want to “keep locals local,” and help Santa Cruz be a leader in the next generation of housing in California.