Last updated: 5 p.m.  September 3, 2021

Project name: 831 Water

  • Location: At the intersection of Water Street and Branciforte Ave, the parking lot where DJ’s Mini Mart now stands. The proposal at 831 Water St. would replace a strip mall with two buildings.
  • Status: Santa Cruz planning department received the latest revised application from the developer July 27, 2021. The project has not been considered by the Santa Cruz City Council.
  • Developer: Walnut Creek-based developer Novin Development

An artist’s rendering of a proposed apartment complex shows two buildings at 831 Water St. in Santa Cruz. (Novin Development)

Project description

  • Total units: This proposal calls for a “workforce housing” building and a second “affordable housing” building. Each building would be four stories. The project in total would include 149 rental units: 72 market-rate units and 77 deed-restricted affordable units.
  • “Workforce Housing:” The “workforce housing” building would include 74 units, including studio and one-bedroom apartments as well as two- and three-bedroom apartments.
    • Prices based on 80% to 120% of area median income
  • “Live-Work” housing: Five units would be“live-work units” where local artisans or other business people would rent a floor-level retail unit with an apartment above.
  • Affordable housing: The “affordable housing” building would include 71 units.
    • Prices based on 30% to 80% of area median income
  • Proponents and Opponents: Some residents expressed concern about the project’s proposed density, height, lack of parking, increased traffic and shade on Belvedere Terrace homes behind the site, in a January 2021 online meeting hosted by the developer Santa Cruz City Council meeting. City leaders have received many letters from Eastside residents who oppose this project.
    • “A building of this size is not compatible with our neighborhood and with the character of the existing buildings,” said Monica Meyer, a resident of Magnolia Street a few blocks from the site.
    • Some residents who supported the project said housing is needed in Santa Cruz.
    • Residents made more than 400 comments, the majority of which were negative, at the August 2021 online meeting. Similar concerns were raised.
  • Details:  The proposal includes a garage with 141 spaces. It also includes a rooftop community garden and putting green not open to the public.

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How to make your voice heard: submit comments and questions on the City of Santa Cruz project application page.

Read about other notable housing and construction projects in Santa Cruz County.