The town center development plan has been in discussion for years. It calls for denser housing shops, restaurants, and a town commons. Why has the town center vision taken so many years to realize? What parts of the town center plan would you push in your upcoming term, and how?
As a community, this has been a 20-year dream for the community. The reasons they’ve hit walls each time — there have been various factors that caused false starts: The 2008 crash, developers went under, and Safeway got purchased by an outside investor. One of the early issues was the land assemblage, which has been fixed. But the bottom line is that this is a super complex project.
You have environmental issues, land assemblage, and a community that’s on board with the vision. Then you have the market economy, which we’re kind of going into and seems like a tougher economy at this moment. So right now we’re in the — we’re planning for this to happen.
Right now, we’re working with a consultant called Good Cities, and they’re helping us update our specific plan to reflect the market realities. We also hired a consultant last year, a top retail expert, Bob Gibbs. We want to incorporate his recommendations into our specific plan, and then go to a developer and say this is exactly what we need, versus having a developer come in and maybe deliver something to us that the community doesn’t want.
In that exact spot, we have Target opening on Sept. 25. Right next door we have the Hangar Building, the Penny Ice Creamery, MADabolic Fitness, Faultline Brewery and the new performing arts center. That central downtown that we’re lacking in Scotts Valley gets dropped right into the center of that and connects it all, so doing it correctly is super important. But all the pieces for success are right in that bubble right now, which I think is great.