In 1922, the City purchased the area between the park strip and Santa Cruz Avenue. In 1923, the Olmstead Brothers, landscape architects, designed a 1.16-acre park on the new site and the Ocean Boulevard strip. This was a passive park design, with a central lawn surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowerbeds. A sand court area with partial trellis shading the area was included, as well as a restroom. The trellis was not built and the sand court area was later replaced with a flowerbed. The park was open by 1926.
In 1962, the area west of Magnolia Avenue and south of Ocean Boulevard, then know as "The Jungle", became the City's first redevelopment project area. The City official abandoned Santa Cruz Park and vacated all the streets between Magnolia and Golden Avenues, including Santa Cruz Avenue. The park was removed except for several mature trees left on the site. Redevelopment occurred slowly with plans for a World's Fair (awarded to Seattle) and high-rise residential towers giving way to a series of office developments in Oceangate (west of Magnolia Avenue in about 1968), and the Union Bank office building east of Golden Avenue in about 1975. Both office buildings were placed to respect the setback of the original Bluff Park No. 1 park strip.
In 1977, with another office building proposed that would have removed the several remaining mature trees from the Olmstead park, citizens began organizing to "save" Santa Cruz Park. A compromise was reached where the building was setback far enough from Ocean Boulevard to save the most significant trees, and the area deeded to the City. The citizens raised funds for a park sign to identify the area as a public park after the completion of the office building in 1983.
In 1980, the California Coastal Commission certified the Long Beach Local Coastal Program, with the requirement for the recreation of the original Bluff Park No. 1 with all new development south of Ocean Boulevard. All new development south of Ocean Boulevard, from Alamitos Avenue to Golden Shore, was required to dedicate, improve and maintain at least an 80 feet wide park strip adjacent to Ocean Boulevard.
In 2004, in the first phase of the redevelopment of the pike property resulted in the dedication and improvement of 0.51 acres to Santa Cruz Park. This was followed by the dedication and improvement of an additional 0.41 acres to Santa Cruz Park with second phase of the pike property redevelopment.