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Watsonville, CA

2024 Hard-Won Victories, Award of Excellence, Northern California APA Section


Raimi + Associates worked with the City of Watsonville and a multi-disciplinary team of subconsultants to create a vision for Downtown Watsonville. The City of Watsonville is in the Pajaro Valley of Santa Cruz County and is approximately six square miles in size. Watsonville is a productive agricultural area with a rich history that presents a unique opportunity to leverage its existing charm to create a vibrant downtown experience. 


The proposed Downtown Core is stitched together by Main Street which also acts as a major regional corridor (152) that is partially owned by Caltrans. This area includes the City’s main Plaza in addition to City Hall, the city owned parking structure and the police station. The area also contains various opportunity sites that are ripe for redevelopment. These assets are key building blocks for the creation of Downtown which will be a charming, walkable, historic, vibrant, safe, and activity-oriented center in the Pajaro Valley. The plan creates a vision and identity for the area, design strategies for the public realm, mobility strategies, and implementation strategies and actions for decision makers to undertake to make Downtown Watsonville a reality.

Client: City of Watsonville

Timeframe: 2019 - Current


  • Design framework with character area designations

  • Historic Core as the heart of Downtown Watsonville

  • Identify vacant and underutilized sites

  • Integrate street network improvements to reduce travel lanes on Main Street

  • Utilize online engagement techniques

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