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Housing and retail spaces proposed for downtown Santa Maria

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 30, 2020
Downtown Santa Maria could see new housing and retail space in the future

Community members may soon get more housing and business options in downtown Santa Maria.

The downtown revitalization committee gathered Thursday to review a possible project that could bring 120 apartment units and 28,000 square feet of retail space.

The several buildings could take root in the parking lots of the Town Center West shopping mall.

No formal application has been submitted yet.

"This is one concept proposed by one applicant. There may be other proposals that may be brought to the city's attention in the future, but this is the first concept that we are taking to the downtown committee," said Chuen Ng, Santa Maria community development director.

There are several other projects on the table for the downtown area, most of them being privately owned.

This is the first concept that could go up on a city owned parcel.

City leaders say they are looking at different ways to maximize the use of underutilized space.

"There are opportunities in the downtown core that we think make sense to develop," said Glenn Morris, president and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Some who work in Town Center West say they would likely see a bump in business.

"I think if they were to put the apartments nearby... we would get more business- a lot," said Jon Juarez, an employee at La Vera Pizzeria.

According to Chuen Ng, the city is invested in finding new ways to develop parts of downtown.

"This is one project we will evaluate to see if it meets those goals and objectives," said Ng.

The project is still in the discussion phase, no word on how much the apartments could go for.

The project site being considered consists of two parking lots, both of which are two acres each.