A 14,000-sq.ft. property that made local headlines when it was occupied by more than a hundred demonstrators in 2011, has been leased by the Santa Cruz County Bank for the relocation of the financial institution’s head office. The signing of the agreement for a 20-year occupancy period was announced on Dec. 14.
Known by its street address, 75 River will merge the downtown branch and administrative office into a single office space. To accommodate all 44 employees working for both operations, the structure’s interiors and exteriors are slated for renovation.
A major overhaul is expected as the building sat empty for nearly a decade, after serving financial institutions since its opening in 1966 as a branch of Salinas Valley Savings and Loan. Aside from design updates, tenant improvements have been slated for construction and include an additional eight to 10 spaces for the existing on-site parking lot.
“The new location will provide many new conveniences for our existing clients and those who join us in the future… We take pride in serving out clients, and this move to a cornerstone building in downtown Santa Cruz symbolizes the value we place in the community we serve,” said the bank’s president and chief executive David Heald.
The 75 river property was last occupied by Coast Commercial Bank which was later acquired by Wells Fargo. About three years later, on November 30, 2011, the foreclosure of 2,000 homes within the area pushed owners to barricade themselves inside the vacant building for four days. They caused $30,000 worth of damages as they attempted to convert the space into a community center for the homeless.