In December, PDC gained exclusive rights to negotiate with Scotts Valley to build the Town Center mixed-use development on 12 nearly-empty acres between Mount Hermon Road, Skypark and Kings Village Road.
“We initially had low expectations, because Scotts Valley had a Safeway,” Mayor Randy Johnson said to about 50 people at the meeting. “But it’s not your mother’s Safeway anymore, because the Safeway brand has transformed in some ways.”
Johnson said the city has two goals when building the Town Center, which has been in the works since 2000.
First, he noted Scotts Valley is dependent on sales tax revenue that the Town Center will certainly bring — second, he said the center must create a “sense of place” that Scotts Valley residents can enjoy and call their own.
Councilman Dene Bustichi said the Town Center specific plan includes developer guidelines that dictate a specific look and feel along, and so far Safeway has not resisted.
In addition, Safeway pays cash to build such centers.
Two previous developers, Stanbery in 2010 and the Pratt Co. in 2011, allowed development agreements with the city to expire because of economic concerns.
Some people in attendance voiced concerns about the traditional strip-mall style of Safeway shopping centers of the past.
Deborah Karbo, PDC’s vice president of Development and Thomas Fitzpatrick, a PDC development presented a PowerPoint overview of the many Safeway shopping center projects PDC has completed in the past several years, including the recent upgrade of the Safeway shopping center on Mission Street in Santa Cruz and a triangular Safeway in Oakland that fits an irregular street corner.
Fitzpatrick said PDC promotes “simple, elegant design” as part of its philosophy when designing shopping centers.
No specific plans or renderings have yet been designed for Scotts Valley, but Safeway plans to construct a 50,000-square-foot anchor store and build about 150,000 additional square feet of retail and housing, said Fitzpatrick. The current Scotts Valley Safeway is about 34,000 square feet.
“We can get a lot of tenants that normally wouldn’t come into your community,” said Fitzpatrick.
Karbo echoed him, saying that the retail space will be leased dictated by the market to local and national retailers.
“A grocery store is a daily need, we have a lot of retailers who want to follow,” she said.
Karbo also said PDC would find a new tenant for Safeway’s current location — which is still under lease — in Scotts Village shopping center with a store still to be determined.
“I don’t see it being backfilled by a tenant that’s bad for the center,” she said.
PDC took feedback from the audience, which included suggestions to build senior housing, a fountain or town square and using environmentally friendly standards. Parking was also a major question, as was the impact on existing Scotts Valley businesses.
Karbo said the company is doing its due-diligence and will soon begin market research to determine what type of stores might be interested in locating in the area.
The company will host other public outreach meetings that have yet to be scheduled.
For information: www.PDCenters.com