Before suburban subdivisions, malls, and office parks became the norm, it wasn't so unusual to live and work in the same place — or even in the same structure, in upstairs/downstairs arrangements similar to what we envision for the Delaware Addition space.
The new Delaware Addition harkens back to some of the mixed-use models that worked well in the past, upgrading them for the 21st century. It creates a truly distinctive district within Santa Cruz — one whose architecture, green orientation, and entrepreneurial energy converge to create something utterly new yet familiar.
All of these work/life combinations — including 100% work space or 100% living space, and every ratio in between — can be accommodated in the Delaware Addition's flexible units, which can range from 600 to 40,000 square feet. Best of all, as your start-up business and/or family grows, your Delaware Addition unit can grow with you.
The 20-acre property is divided into 45 lots, each of which can be subdivided into combinations of industrial condominiums (with all ground floor space devoted to a commercial use) and residential work/live condos (with work or storefront space on the ground level, and living space above). Flexibility is built in to the tilt-up concrete and steel design. The look will be simple and straightforward, yet clean and strong, with building materials reflecting their natural state. Each building will take advantage of natural lighting and ventilation through orientation, solar shading and trellises.
About 10% of the property will be allocated to the type of retail that lets residents and business owners avoid starting their cars. Around the corner on Swift Street are the West Side's newest groceries, bakeries, restaurants, wine bars and brewpubs, and downtown Santa Cruz is a short drive, bike or bus ride away.
Business owners, employees, residents, and visitors have all the options: they can walk, bike, drive, or use the bus lines. And, if Santa Cruz develops a rail trail in the future, the tracks are right there too.
Within the Delaware Addition are several common areas, drawing people out of homes and businesses for community events like block parties, street fairs and company barbeques. A central plaza shaded by vine-covered arbors offers a perfect informal gathering spot reminiscent of European town squares.
A transit plaza with a sheltered waiting area, central mailboxes with comfortable benches, a nature path along Arroyo Seco Creek, and edible landscapes planted with vines and fruit trees all provide inviting venues for impromptu conversations and interaction with neighbors and colleagues.
The Delaware Addition has been certified as a LEED Neighborhood Pilot Project by the U.S. Green Building Council. Of the 226 participants selected by the USGBC, we are among the first 25 in the United States to earn that award. The Delaware Addition has helped set the new international standard for sustainable communities. These include conserving water and energy, mixing commercial and resident uses in higher-density configurations, proximity to existing communities and infrastructure, bike and pedestrian ways, charging stations for electric cars and providing the types of amenities that make traditional car trips shorter or even unnecessary.
Now that LEED Neighborhood certification has been achieved for the project as a whole, businesses that purchase lots and develop green buildings will have a head start toward their own LEED building certification.