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Six-story housing project now the latest proposal for redevelopment of downtown Santa Maria

Perlman Park Development
(The Vernon Group)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A planned six-story housing project at the corner of Broadway and Main Street is the latest proposal for the ongoing redevelopment of downtown Santa Maria.

Santa Barbara-based The Vernon Group is planning to build the all-low income housing project on the site where Perlman Park is now located.

The small park sits mostly unused in the heart of the downtown, directly across the street from the Santa Maria Town Center mall.

"The Perlman Park project is going to be 150 apartments that are going to be affordable," said Brett Vernon, The Vernon Group President. "There's going to be six stories with with 50 or 75 parking spaces underneath. The additional parking is going to be down across the street in the city lot, and that's going to be shared with the affordable piece."

Vernon appeared before Santa Maria City Council last week to provide a review of the project, as well as the handful of other projects The Vernon Group is working on in the downtown area.

The Vernon Group is working with the City of Santa Maria on the Perlman Park site

"This would be the ultimately, as part of our efforts to transfer land to the Vernon group," said Chuen Wu, Santa Maria Assistant City Manager. "We'll enter into a development agreement and the development agreement will establish a terms for design expectations for the projects and also other conditions that they will have to meet, ultimately, to achieve this great, vision that meets the overall vision for the downtown."

Wu said the long-running goal for the Santa Maria leaders has been to create a vibrant downtown area that is pedestrian friendly downtown with more amenities, more plazas, open spaces, commercial uses in order to create a place of destination.

"That's what we're working with Vernon Group on," said Wu. "There's a lot of housing. We believe housing is an important component to a revitalized downtown, so it's both the commercial uses on the ground floor, the residential uses above the ground floor. Many of these buildings are in a mixed-use format, and all the spaces in between the buildings for open spaces, plazas, patios, gazebos, landscaping. That's that's the ultimate vision, but there's a lot of work and drawings to review, and we really want to make sure we get this right, but right now we have these concept plans and they look fantastic. We're excited." 

The Vernon Group has several other housing and mixed-use projects in the works, including redeveloping the former Mervyn's/Fallas building into a mixed-used project called Heritage Walk Lofts, building apartments at site of the Alvin Newton firefighter memorial at Broadway and Main Street, and redeveloping the site where Boot Barn is located into another mixed-use project.

"It's all looking really good," said Vernon. "We have the Heritage Walk Lofts are in. The construction permits are under review right now. The Alvin Newton Apartments, they are about ready to submit in in about a month. Across the street, we have an application in where the current Boot Barn building is, and we're hoping to get feedback on that application in the next 30 days. All these projects are looking to break ground either later this year or hopefully middle of next year."

Be sure to tune into News Channel 3-12 tonight for more information on the Perlman Park project, and an update on the other future developments for downtown Santa Maria.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


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