Reed delivered a half-hour talk to community members of Oak Tree Villa senior living home on Tuesday morning during Oak Tree’s breakfast with the mayor event. More than 50 people attended including Deputy City Manager Corrie Kates, city councilman Randy Johnson and Scotts Valley Lt. Steve Walpole.
Reed touted the growth of Scotts Valley’s business community, including the additions of Bay Photo and Fox Shox and the continued growth of Zero Motorcycles.
“We are unabashedly pro business,” Reed said.
Reed said the priority for members of the city council is to continue pushing forward with the 150,000 square foot mixed-use Town Center Project.
Safeway’s development arm, Property Development Center, has agreements with the option to purchase all eight parcels that make up the former Skypark airport site, according to city officials.
Some attendees were skeptical of the new development and asked questions of Reed and Johnson.
The Town Center has been in the planning stages for more than 20 years, with several developers backing out after spending several years working on ideas and plans.
“The biggest impediment was not having enough financial backing,” said Johnson.
The difference this time, Johnson said, is that Safeway, which was recently purchased by investment company Cerberus for more than $9 billion, is flush with cash and will pay for land purchases and developments up front.
When asked by a resident, Johnson said the likelihood, in his view, of Safeway building the Town Center is in the “90s in terms of percent.”
He later backed off that prediction, because no plans have yet been submitted by Safeway, and the city has to give its approval before the developer can build. The city expects that some initial plans will be submitted within 30 to 60 days.
Reed said that another stoplight, across from Chase Bank on Mount Hermon Road, would likely be installed when the Town Center is built, and that the center would be pedestrian friendly. It would likely include features like a village green, a fountain, a town clock, and become a great place for outdoor concerts and events in the city.
The annual 4th of July fireworks show at Skypark is still being discussed by the city — the proximity to the Town Center could cause a safety issue because the land where the fireworks are currently shot from is currently unoccupied.