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Vote: Hotel on McGregor Grounds?

There's a chance that the vacant Capitola area could host a hotel in the coming years.

The vacant area at McGregor Drive near Park Avenue, known locally as the McGregor Property, has been hotly debated for years. Recently it was under consideration for the . 

Then at the second Capitola City Council meeting of March, it was decided that the city will .

Mayor Mike Termini said that four years ago city made a similar attempt, but came up empty.

"The last time we did this, everyone said 'No' because it's an environmentally-protected area and it had no water or sewer," Termini told Capitola-Soquel Patch on Thursday.

The land now has water, but still lacks sewer access, meaning it would require plenty of infrastructure work to make a new hotel a reality. Yet Termini remains optimistic about the prospect of landing a business on the property given an improved economic climate from 2008. And he thinks the property is a surefire location with the chance to help the local economy.

"We've always felt that it's a prime spot for a hotel with visiblity and the entrance to New Brighton," Termini said. "There's been pressure to make it a recreational area, but before we do that, we want to make sure that no one wants to bring in a hotel."

He said he hopes for something on the "slightly upscale" end of the hotel spectrum, rather than a chain motel known for questionable linen hygiene.

A skate park and dog park have also been considered for the city-owned McGregor Property, but for now Capitola is focused on potential revenue sources.  

"If we could work out a land lease, we could have somebody break ground in a year," Termini said.

What do you think? Would you like a hotel there? How about a recreational park? Skate park? Dog park? Vote in the poll below and tell us in the comments!

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Scott April 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Capitola should do what they should have done long ago, build a recreational park that they actually own. Always building for tax dollars has left the city without a park to call their own.
Michael Termini April 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Scott, we do have city owned parks , Monterey park for example. this may or may not be the best spot due to it's remote location. time will tell. based on a recent resident poll the open space issue was not the primary concern of those polled.
Peking April 06, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Whatever happened to the proposal to build a hotel on the site of the demolished Capitola Theater at the Espalnade? It's now a lovely parking lot, but hasn't the dearly beloved Barry Swenson plans for a hotel there? How many hotels can tiny Capitola sustain? The McGregor property currently is an eyesore at a main entrance to Capitola. Physically it can't hold a hotel. Isn't it being used as a storage area for large construction vehicles? I remember when someone on the Council thought it would be a great place for a combination hotel/skatepark; then everyone forgot about it. The City Council is simply going in circles.
Michael Termini April 06, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Many good questions, yes, Barry Swenson Builder is planning a hotel on the old theater site but is waiting to apply until the general plan is complete so his project can conform. McGregor may or may not hold a new hotel but without asking the possible hotel firms we will not know. I would disagree about it being a main gateway to the city. But, a recreational use is still a possibility. We did think a hotel skate park would be a good idea but...the people in the hotel building business disagreed with us. How many hotels can Capitola sustain? How many people stay in Santa Cruz and would rather be staying in Capitola?
Peking April 06, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Well, it is a main entrance to Capitola for anyone who wants to take a somewhat scenic route off of Highway 1 at the Park Avenue exit. There's even a wooden sign on the right going toward Monterey Avenue that states "Welcome to Capitola-by-the-Sea." As one drives along Park Avenue there's the beautiful Bay on the left. It's a much preferred entrance than that off of Bay/Porter from Highway 1.
Chuck April 06, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Any one remember the fight over the proposed development they called "Wingspread" for a hotel/conference center on roughly the same area that Capitola is now proposing? My, how opinions change.
Jennifer Squires April 07, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Just leave it be. McGregor Drive doesn't need any more traffic.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 07, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Would it really add much traffic to McGregor with it being so close to the Hwy 1 on ramp?
Scott April 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Thanks for the response Mayor. You're right, the remote spot may not be the best location for a recreational park. Perhaps a sports complex? A place for recreation and a little revenue...
Peking April 07, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I do remember the Wingsread project which included not only a hotel and conference center, but some sort of performing arts venue. In 1988 it went to a public vote and failed. The proposal was to locate it on the huge open fields just east of the McGregor property owned by Capitola.
Michael Termini April 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Must agree with Jacob on this. but, this is a far cry from wingspread. we have already designated most of the property as untouchable natural habitat. this is what has prevented it from beeing attractive to hotel develpers in the past. this is, in my opinion, a last pass at it beeing a hotel site. after this, if no interest is present in developing it, then we proceed with open space / recreation area plans.

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