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Scotts Valley Town Center’s first business, the Hangar at Sky Park, breaks ground

Posted by Yijy8kNUMO on September 13, 2017

SCOTTS VALLEY >> The former Suburban Propane building on Mount Hermon Road was demolished Tuesday to make way for the much-anticipated Scotts Valley Town Center’s first business: The Hangar at Sky Park brew pub and restaurant.

The hangar development team is comprised of Corbett Wright of CW Land Consultants Inc. and Rob Stuart of Timberworks Inc., both long time local developers and contractors with roots in Scotts Valley. According to Wright, the plans are in the process of being submitted, with construction expected to start in the spring and an expected launch date by Christmas 2018.

The Hangar at Sky Park will be located on a 1.5-acre lot at 260 Mount Hermon Road, where the Suburban Propane building has sat empty for the past several years.

The restaurant takes its name from the former Sky Park Airport, which operated on a neighboring property that is now a park, from 1947 to 1983. The airport was frequented by celebrities and business people, such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who crashed his Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft there in 1981. The restaurant will be built next to where the now-defunct runway still stands.

“Architecturally, we are emulating the site; to have a big huge open space plan with a mezzanine level that allows the arts community to hold events there,” said Wright.

Wright, who also built the Scotts Valley Corners on La Madrona Drive and is responsible for restoring the West Cliff Inn in Santa Cruz, said he wants the Hangar pub and restaurant to be part of the vision for the Town Center — a flux community space that combines public events, housing and commercial businesses.

Though competing with more highly populated areas, the planned town center, as imagined, will serve not only the 11,500 residents of Scotts Valley but also the trade area encompassing the San Lorenzo Valley and more. With traffic on Mount Hermon Road making it the second busiest thoroughfare in the area, there is a lot of potential for business from through-traffic, said Wright.

Wright believes the project will be synergistic.

“You can walk to shops and the theater and then take transit. This is way smarter growth than a bunch of single-family urban sprawls,” he said. “But it does take everyone working together to get something done.”

But things have been slow going.

“It’s incredibly difficult to build here because of construction costs. It takes a long time,” said Wright.

The town center is planned for approximately 15 acres between Mount Hermon Road, Kings Village Road and Skypark Drive. That land has three owners: the City of Santa Cruz, which owns approximately 6.5 acres between Mount Hermon Road and the Skypark Dog Park, the city of Scotts Valley, which owns 7.5 acres around the dog park, the Scotts Valley Branch Library and along Mount Hermon, and a private company that owns 1.5 acres at the corner of Kings Village and Mount Hermon roads.

Last July, developer Foothill Partners Inc. withdrew from the project, leaving the City of Santa Cruz and the city of Scotts Valley to find another developer. Nothing can move forward until the approximately 14 acres of land owned by Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley are sold to a developer. This spring, a Santa Cruz-commissioned appraisal of the vacant land put the properties’ combined value at about $8.3 million.

According to Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce head Danny Reber, “more negotiations are needed to get the ball rolling.”

Another element of the town center, the performing arts center adjacent to the Scotts Valley Branch Library, which spans 9,000 feet, is also still in its initial stages, with building permits in hand.

Scotts Valley Mayor Randy Johnson, who has seen the town center project go through many years of ebbs and flows, is hopeful that the hangar project will provide a catalyst for other interested parties.

“This is a unique place. It’s a blank slate,” said Johnson.

One of the major challenges to attracting business is the dominance of the online market, which has pulled people’s interest away from commercial shopping. But Johnson says his constituency has repeatedly demanded more restaurants in the area.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 12, 2017 6:18pm

Author: Mairav Zonszein

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