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New Santa Maria city video shows downtown redevelopment

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 09, 2023

A new Santa Maria city video explains downtown revitalization projects with drone and street-level footage, and architectural drawings of proposed new buildings.

The 80-second video can be viewed on the city’s Youtube Channel.

Three developers are working with the city on downtown projects to bring in new housing, businesses, entertainment, and restaurants, sparking more life to the area. City officials say these revitalization projects will be transformative, centered around multi-story, mixed-use business and apartment buildings to help create a more walkable and livable downtown.

The Gateway mixed use development on the northwest corner of Main and Broadway (Highways 166 and 135) is currently in construction. Developer Ben Nikfarjam is building a three-story, mixed-use building with 18 apartment units and ground-floor retail.

This building is expected to be completed first, before the end of 2023, as part of this next evolution of downtown and city officials say it will provide the community a renewed sense of the exciting developments to come.

On Tuesday, March 7 the city council gave 5-0 approval to the development permit for a new downtown structure. The former Mervyn’s then Fallas department store is to become 104 loft apartments built by The Vernon Group. The development team will continue working with the city for a building permit, and may begin construction this fall.

Developer Mark Fugate proposes the six-story, 104-unit Cook Street Apartments with a restaurant at the northeast corner of Cook Street and South McClelland Streets, near the mall and City Hall.

City officials say the new design for downtown is not just retail shopping but is planned with the human experience in mind: connecting with others in our plazas and open spaces, and dining with family and friends, enjoying an outdoor festival or farmers’ market.