The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union is in receivership to sell its branch at 324 Front St., Santa Cruz to an upscale hotel developer. (Kara Meyberg Guzman – Santa Cruz Local)

SANTA CRUZ >> Construction of an upscale hotel at 324 Front St. in downtown Santa Cruz depends on the sale of a building from the credit union to the hotel developer – a move some members of the co-op credit try to stop.

The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union board is expected to discuss the sale of the building in a special online meeting, its CEO said. The date and time of the meeting have not yet been made public. The meeting was prompted by a petition circulated by customers of credit unions which has collected over 600 signatures. The petitioners opposed the hotel and favored an affordable housing project on the site.

In January, credit union executives went into receivership over the sale of the Front Street building to SCFS Venture. The New York-based company is affiliated with hotel real estate investor Eagle Point Hotel Partners and Santa Cruz developer Owen Lawlor of Lawlor Land Use. Escrow contracts can generally only be terminated with the consent of both buyer and seller, according to california law.

  • Lawlor said on Thursday that due to the binding contract, the board of directors of the credit union could not withdraw from the sale.
  • Santa Cruz Community Credit Union CEO Beth Carr said on Friday the sale is expected to close by September 30. The board of directors and management of the credit union decided to sell because “the building is quickly becoming obsolete in the context of changes in the financial services industry, customer / member preferences and the impending loss of all assets. current parking spaces due to planned and ongoing redevelopment projects in downtown Santa Cruz, ”Carr wrote in an email to Santa Cruz Local.
  • Carr added that the sale would fund the credit union’s plan to create smaller branches and new ATMs, expand loans to mobile home residents and immigrants, and other initiatives. At the next special meeting, credit union clients are invited to comment on this plan and “the funding that will come from the sale of the building,” Carr wrote.

The hotel project is also based on the sale of two plots belonging to the city to the developer. The proposed project includes 228 guest rooms, meeting rooms, a ballroom, restaurant and bar, retail space and a cafe on Front Street as well as a gymnasium, spa and rooftop swimming pool.

Kara Meyberg Guzman is CEO and co-founder of Santa Cruz Local. Prior to Santa Cruz Local, she was editor-in-chief of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. She graduated in biology from Stanford University and lives in Santa Cruz.