Growing Up

The city of Seaside is asking for $1 million in the sale of the lot at Broadway and Terrace to the Orosco Group, a local developer.

At the corner of Broadway Avenue and Terrace Street, in the middle of Seaside, there’s a vast and nearly empty lot. It stretches the length of the block to San Lucas Street. The city owns this property.

If all goes according to plan, a development known as Ascent could rise on the site, adding 105 units to the city’s housing stock and as many as 12 multi-story buildings. The project would accelerate the city’s dream of growing upward and becoming more transit – and pedestrian-friendly. City officials also say it would help make Seaside affordable to more people.

“It would be the first major development since Seaside Highlands,” says Kurt Overmeyer, Seaside’s economic development director. He points out that that project, completed about 15 years ago, is an upmarket neighborhood of single-family dwellings.

The plan for Ascent calls for 14 low-income units. And a majority of all units would be studios and one-bedrooms, increasing the number of apartments available for young people without families.

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To save on construction costs, Ascent would use a “novel construction technique” with much of the building prefabricated and shipped in pieces to the site. “This means the developer has more room to offer lower rents,” Overmeyer says.

The city is negotiating with the developer, Monterey-based Orosco Group, and a deal on land and development rights could be done within a month or two. Both sides would contribute water allotments that they have banked to make the project feasible.

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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