By Sandy Feretto
Deer Park Marketplace is a pleasant and picturesque shopping center located at 783 Rio Del Mar Boulevard in Aptos. The Center encompasses over 13 acres with a two-story, open-air shopping environment, which features 34 businesses.
In addition to Deluxe Foods of Aptos, two banks and the CVS Pharmacy, there are restaurants, a wine and spirits store, retail shops, and a number of business and personal services that are locally owned, including a tutor and a dance academy. It’s a place with a wide diversity of enterprises.
Kevin Scott, Property Manager / Owner Representative, recently described Deer Park Marketplace as a community shopping center also frequented by tourists and visitors to the area.
“It’s a place to shop and gather,” Kevin said. “There are restaurants and outdoor seating areas where families can bring their lunches and sit looking out over the vineyard, next to Deer Park. I see people coming here often just for a stroll.”
At the south end of the property the Deer Park overlook includes an open barn structure with tables and seating. Nearby is a fountain with benches and a peaceful lawn-covered knoll partially surrounded by trees with a view of the neighboring vineyard and beyond.
Deer Park is an inviting environment for individuals, friends, and family to visit. The location also serves as a convenient location for events sponsored by local businesses and non-profits.
“This is a prime location for non-profits to share their passions,” Kevin said. “The Dahlia Society uses Deer Park for their events, while Deer Park Wine and Spirits holds wine tastings on our grounds for various wineries.”
Deer Park also hosts Easter festivities with an egg hunt and visits with the Easter Bunny, and a Halloween event that provides children with a safe place to trick-or-treat.
There are also small local boutique arts and crafts events held in the barn area.
Kevin noted that attractive landscaping is important to the property owner and it shows even in the parking lot and throughout the complex. Tall redwoods and cypress trees and well-maintained planted areas create an aesthetically pleasing environment.
In recent years there has been improvements to pedestrian access, including landscaped walking paths under the redwoods from the sidewalk to the center. The upstairs area at Deer Park Marketplace is easily accessed by stairs or an escalator that take you up to the second floor.
Kevin said that further capital improvements are planned, including a beautification project at the north entrance where there is a gazebo under the redwood trees and a seating area that is also used as a waiting area for student rides. It provides a pleasant pedestrian entrance to the residential neighbors to the north of the shopping center.
Kevin said the marketplace is currently at full occupancy. “There are always people who want to be part of Deer Park,” he added.
Deer Park Marketplace was built in the 1970s and named after the site on which it was built, a hunting ground known as Deer Park when it was owned by sugar and railroad tycoon Claus Spreckels in the 19th century.
Deer Park Marketplace, 783 Rio Del Mar Boulevard in Aptos – take the Rio Del Mar Boulevard exit on Highway One.