Cruz Hotel expects to face Santa Cruz City Council early next year – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz – The Cruz Hotel, proposed to be located on the corner of Front and Laurel Streets, has taken another step toward project approval.

The owners, Owen Lawlor and Stephen Chan, and project architects at BCV Architecture and Interiors met with the community in an open forum Tuesday night to discuss the project and answer questions, a vital part of the building project approval process.

The proposed hotel consists of six floors and 323 rooms. It will also include a bar, restaurant and spa within the premises.

“I look carefully at the market and see huge demand for hotel space, especially downtown,” Lawlor said.

Amenities such as a spa will be available to the public on a membership basis. Chan said membership fees have yet to be determined, but are considered similar to similar memberships in the area.

The restaurant and bar are scheduled to be open to the public during business hours.

The hotel will also have a Paseo which is a public space. The paseo aims to create a route for direct access for people from downtown to the San Lorenzo Riverwalk.

“It’s about connecting people and pedestrians and people of all ages and abilities so that they can get to the river, get to the Riverwalk, and get to the other side of the hotel where there’s a lot of outdoor activity,” Joni Janekci, landscape architect on the project, said. “We see it as an opportunity to make some of those connections that we’ve been hoping for for so long.”

The owners also expect the hotel to be a budget engine for downtown Santa Cruz. They argued that the hotel, along with the public facilities, would bring more people into the city center, which in turn would increase demand for restaurants and retail businesses.

It will also provide the city with more funding through temporary occupancy taxes required for all short-term rentals, such as vacation rentals and hotels. Lawlor estimates that the hotel will save more than $2 million in temporary occupancy taxes for the city each year.

“Hotels are a catalyst for economic activity, particularly for downtown merchants in the area,” Chan said. “It’s an economic driver for this part of the city.”

For all the amenities and hotel rooms that the hotel offers, it doesn’t save much in the way of parking. The hotel has only 15 places for motor cars and more than 100 parking spaces for bicycles.

Lawlor said the hotel plans to build on existing parking in downtown Santa Cruz with valet parking. Despite this plan, the hotel still provides an insufficient number of parking spaces on site.

City parking standards state that hotels must provide one parking space per unit plus additional space for the owner or manager. Therefore, Cruz will need to provide at least 324 parking spaces for the downtown segment.

However, Lawlor and Chan chose to pay an “alternative fee” rather than provide the required parking, according to the ordinance.

Lawlor argued that the need for on-site parking is not high because of the way people travel, now.

“The nice thing about the hotel is that it allows flexibility like this. As demand changes, we don’t need to allocate a lot of resources to parking,” Lawlor said. Share the ride. Our goal is to minimize access to single occupancy vehicles and discourage this as much as possible.”

Cruz still has some hurdles to get final approval. Several committees, such as the downtown and planning committees, must approve the project before it is handed over to the city council for final decision. Lawlor expects the board to see the project in early 2022.

From there, the hotel is expected to take about two years to build.

“We expect early next year to have the project approved by the city council,” Lawlor said. “Early next year we should go through this process.”

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