Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project Moves Forward


 | May 16, 2024

Santa Cruz City Council ratified an Amended and Restated Option to Lease agreement by unanimous vote, underlining the commitment to long-term site ownership and project control. This ensures compliance with existing funding awards and provides necessary documentation for further funding applications.

The City’s acquisition of 113 Lincoln Street (current home of Toadal Fitness) on April 22nd, 2024, solidifies total site control, a pivotal milestone in the project’s progress. This acquisition ensures that all parcels included in the approved entitlements are under the City’s ownership, facilitating seamless development and adherence to funding requirements. Toadal Fitness will relocate to a temporary home in Santa Cruz, while retaining right-of-first-refusal to new commercial space that will be included in the project.

City Council also received a project update that includes new renderings, an updated project timeline and budget information. The project is a public private partnership between the City, For the Future Housing and Eden Housing and has  received substantial grant funding to date, totaling over $31.5M including contributions from the State Housing & Community Development’s Local Housing Trust Fund, Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Central Coast Community Energy Grant, Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) award, and $2 Million earmark through Congressman Panetta.

In addition to the project funding, the AHSC award will provide $11M in funding for additional community infrastructure and projects adjacent to the project site. These projects will include enhancements to bike connections, pedestrian improvements and provide Metro funding for 3 new electric buses along with upgrades to bus stops.

“By providing 100% affordable rental apartments, the Downtown Library Affordable Housing Project not only addresses the City’s housing needs but also fosters a more inclusive and equitable community,” said City Manager, Matt Huffaker. “We are excited about the substantial progress made on this project and can’t wait to break ground!”

“This is an incredibly important project for the City and community and we are excited to be on track to break ground in early 2025. This project will bring 124 critically needed affordable units to our community in the heart of downtown, adjacent to accessible transit and downtown amenities”, added Bonnie Lipscomb, Director of Economic Development and Housing for the City.

Highlights of Recent Progress:

Following Council Approved Entitlements March 2023

  • Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities Award of $33.5M
  • Acquisition of 113 Lincoln Street (Toadal Fitness)
  • CA Tax Credit Allocation Committee Application Submitted April 23rd, 2024
  • Design teams are in Construction Documentation Phase (Final Design Phase)
  • Building Permit Application Submitted April 30th , 2024 (Phase 1)


Design Progress and Building Permit Next Steps:

  • Plan Check & Review expected to be Completed by October 2024
  • Construction Documents will be finalized during Building Permit Phase
  • Library Interiors/ TI Phase 2 Building Permit application September 2024  (*following Phase 1)
  • Commercial Interiors/ Tenant Improvements TBD
  • Construction Phase 1 Start (To Begin 1st Quarter of 2025).

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