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Posted on: January 6, 2020

Request for Proposals for Porter Building - Deadline Extended

porter building

We are seeking proposals to purchase or lease the historic Porter Building, in the downtown commercial core area.

The City of Watsonville is seeking proposals from qualified parties for the opportunity to purchase or lease the historic Porter Building, owned by the City and located in the heart of Watsonville’s downtown commercial core area. The property located at 280 Main Street is adjacent to both the historic Fox Theater, as well as the City’s Civic Plaza, housing the City’s administrative operations, the library and the Court’s Superior Court system.

This is an exciting time for Downtown Watsonville. New local entrepreneurs are opening businesses, established businesses are expanding and outside businesses are looking our way. The City is taking full advantage of all these positive changes by making changes to improve our charming downtown. Downtown revitalization is one of the City Council’s Strategic Plan priorities, with recent approval of a Downtown Complete Streets Plan that includes over $30 million in downtown improvements aimed at creating a more walkable, bicycle friendly and inviting downtown environment. The Plan will include expanded sidewalks, improved crosswalks and opportunities for outdoor dining at this and adjacent locations. 

Work is also underway on a Downtown Specific Plan, which will establish a long-term vision for the area, including encouraging more mixed-use developments, housing and public infrastructure improvements, as well as adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Finally, the City recently approved a new Master Plan for the City Plaza located in the heart of downtown and just two blocks from the Porter Building Property.

Development objectives for the site include a mixed-use commercial project, i.e. retail or restaurant on the first floor and office or residential use on the second floor of the ~15,000 sq. ft. building. As one of the oldest buildings in Watsonville, the structure is a historic building and any modifications to the building will be subject to historic preservation review.

The City is seeking proposals from qualified firms, supported by a professional architectural/engineering team, with extensive experience designing, building and managing mixed-use facilities. Respondents interested in submitting a Proposal must attend a walk-thru with representatives of the City of Watsonville on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 pm. 

Responses to this RFP must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 and must be delivered or mailed to:

Attn: Tamara Vides

City of Watsonville

275 Main Street, Suite 400

Watsonville, California 95076

Postmarks will not be accepted. Questions regarding this Request for Proposal should be addressed to Tamara Vides, Deputy City Manager at (831) 768-3034 or at

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