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In an effort to revitalize the south end of Pacific Avenue and create a landmark downtown location, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District wished to explore ways to improve the existing Pacific Station. The Group 4 Architecture and Watry Design team were hired to provide master planning services that included feasibility studies for a wide range of options to determine the most efficient and cost effective design. 

Image for Santa Cruz Metro Pacific Master Plan and Feasibility Studies

To collaborate with the community and stakeholders, a number of charettes, stakeholder meetings, community events and online forums were conducted to collect feedback, which was then incorporated into the myriad design options. Several programs were designed ranging from simple to complex in order to maximize the project's effectiveness. Components of the proposed development included expanding the existing bus terminal, incorporating a health clinic, residential housing and ground floor and providing much needed parking. A pedestrian paseo that would connect the project with an adjacent potential development site was also integrated into several designs. 

The integration of uses, particularly multi-level parking and residential space above bus staging and maneuvering, created various challenges.  In order to maintain the large clearances required for buses, exceptional structural systems were designed and structural grids were married to the parking above. Combinations of speed ramps, helical ramps and park-on ramps were used to achieve vehicular access, while maintaining the necessary large clearance at the ground level for the bus depot. Various versions of “stacked” and “wrapped” uses were also studied in order to compare cost and programmatic success. 

Project Details

  • Owner: City of Santa Cruz
  • Design Architect: Group 4 Architecture
  • Project Status: Completed 2015