It started with Seagate’s exodus from Scotts Valley. Several divisions remain on Scotts Valley Drive, but the streets and restaurants have quieted at lunchtime.
Then, Bethany University announced its closure. While the university’s closure will not be felt in the same way as losing the headquarters of a worldwide technology leader, the presence of Bethany’s students and staff will certainly be a hit to the social and cultural aspects of the city — not to mention landlords who relied on students to occupy housing in the north end of town.
In the meantime, Scotts Valley’s beautiful new library opened with a bang. We are certain that the investment by the city to build the library will only help its efforts to begin work on the Town Center as the economy slowly improves.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Bay Photo, a Santa Cruz institution, has jumped on the opportunity to expand its operations. The professional photo-printing company is in escrow to buy Seagate’s former headquarters. The city has paved the way by waiving some fees related to modifying the buildings to suit the company’s business, and funding seems to be falling into place.
Bay Photo leaders have publicly stated that the company has outgrown its headquarters and is looking to expand. Purchasing the Seagate campus and moving to Scotts Valley almost certainly means Bay Photo plans to make the city a long-term home. The presence of Bay Photo and its many Santa Cruz County employees in Scotts Valley will be a boon to the city and the surrounding community, much as Seagate’s longtime presence was.
Zero Motorcycle’s continued expansion — and willingness to stay in Scotts Valley — and Easton-Bell’s recent move to the city cannot be understated in this discussion.
There is even hope for Bethany’s campus. Earlier this month, Assemblies of God leaders told alumni that San Francisco-based Olivet University is interested in the space.
In a best-case scenario, a sale would take place and Scotts Valley would have another university move in within the next year.
And speaking of education, the hiring of Penny Weaver as Scotts Valley Unified School District’s superintendent has been met with quiet enthusiasm by education stakeholders. City leaders, school leaders and even community members are watching to see how Weaver’s hiring helps the district as it continues to address long-term facility needs in the volatile economy.
Change is in the wind, and Scotts Valley seems to be handling it with a steadiness that comes from leaders acting to ensure the city remains viable.