Last updated: 4 p.m. September 3, 2021

Project name: Pacific Front Laurel

  • Location: The entire downtown block between Pacific Avenue, Front and Laurel streets.
  • Status: Approved by Santa Cruz City in December 2018. Construction began in 2021.
  • Developer: Devcon Construction and LHH Partners (a trio of Owen Lawlor, Reuben Helick and architect Jan Hochhauser)

A six-story housing complex is planned for the city block at Pacific Avenue and Front and Laurel streets in Santa Cruz. (Rendering: HBA Architecture and Planning)

Project description

  • Total units: This project calls for 205 market-rate housing units with ground-floor shops. The project has six stories plus two levels of underground parking.
  • Affordable units: All the units are market rate. Instead of building affordable units, the developers dedicated nearby land to the city. City leaders plan to use that land for Pacific Station, a planned affordable housing project. City and state law allow developers to dedicate land in lieu of building affordable housing.
  • Height: The project would be 47 feet, about as high as the white condos that are across Bay Street. For comparison, the Dream Inn is at 83 feet. 
  • Proponents and Opponents: Two residents sued the city in 2019 about the developer’s land deal with the city. City leaders settled that lawsuit in 2019. City leaders agreed to increase the inclusionary rate for rentals and ownership units from 10% to 15% across the city. Inclusionary rates are the percentage of housing units in new projects that developers are required to offer at affordable rents or prices to people with lower incomes.

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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.