Out-of-towners may notice significant changes when the visit Santa Barbara’s most popular commercial district during the annual Summer Solstice Parade on June 21.
For one thing, most of the wooden benches on lower State Street were removed to discourage transients from lounging on them all day. That cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars, but was seen as a strategic move to help State Street businesses deal with the homeless problem.
One of the newest sites – and oldest “additions” – to State Street is the late Fess Parker’s hostel across from the Fish Enterprise Co., next to Highway 101. The hostel is scheduled to open soon after sitting vacant and sealed up for about five years. The city made a deal with Parker, which involved building the$10 million “low-cost lodging” facility to offset the boutique hotel his family is trying to complete on Cabrillo Boulevard near the DoubleTree.
Also across the street from the hostel will soon be the relocated Rusty’s Pizza on Cabrillo. Rusty’s is supposed to occupy a cinder-block wall building that once was Bee Bop Burgers.
On the other side of the Indigo Hotel, a children’s museum is planned for the future, if fundraising plans materialize.
On the 400 block of State Street, the former Territory Ahead’s outlet store remains vacant with Lee & Associates trying to lease it. Up the street, Territory Ahead’s former corporate office is being gutted and renovated. Two software companies occupied that space for about a year, but interior remodeling is under way.
On the 500 block, Ana’s Taco Bar, 505 State St., just opened where a hot dog eatery once was. Last year, Barbarians Pizza opened at 511 State St., replacing Yahoo’s Tacos, which closed abruptly last year.
Another pizzeria appears to be planned inside the former Territory Ahead retail store, 515 State St. An art studio occupied that space since last year.
Across the street is the future home of Samy’s Camera, 530 State St., which has to relocate from its Chapala Street site because Sonos, the South Coast-based wireless sound system company, has been buying up commercial real estate all around its corporate office on De la Guerra Street, which is the former home of Antioch University.
Los Angeles-based Samy’s is moving into an 11,400-square-foot space formerly occupied by Fueled Sports Performance, a huge athletic complex started by local entrepreneur Adam Shipley, who had to close it because of city code compliance problems.
On the 600 block of State Street, the city installed a wire fence around a brick sculpture that was used by many transients to hang out and panhandle. The black fence is not very attractive, but appears to discourage most transients.
At State and Ortega streets, the space once used by the Trailhead bike ship remains vacant after that store consolidated with its neighbor, Velopro Bikes.
Moving up to the 900 block, Gold Elements opened up recently in what used to be the Green & Yellow Basket, a local fixture for more than six decades at 911 State St. It appears Gold Elements sells cosmetics.
On the 1000 block, three storefronts appear to be under renovation between1015 to 1019 State St. Meanwhile, a finally completed renovation project at 1117 State St., the former site of a huge rug store, is up for lease by the SIMA commercial real estate firm. No tenant has been named yet.
On the 1200 block, the Brophy Brothers restaurant owners are preparing to open a new eatery where Maggie’s at State and Anapamu streets. Next door, a Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop opened where Quizno’s once operated.
Stayed tuned: The only thing constant about State Street is that it keeps changing.
South Coast-based MarBorg Industries has been honored by Green Seal, a nonprofit organization that certifies green products and services.
Green Seal officials recognized MarBorg for its use of sustainable cleaning products. The award was presented at a ceremony June 16 at the company’s office at 728 E. Yanonali St. with a number of local civic leaders on hand.
MarBorg is the exclusive trash hauler for Santa Barbara, Goleta and Buellton and South Santa Barbara County.
“MarBorg Industries is the only recycling and waste hauler that we know of using only Green Seal certified institutional cleaning products in its facilities,” said Gary Petersen, the nonprofit group’s board chairman. “Their headquarters was recently LEED Platinum Certified, and all three of their office buildings have been certified through the County of Santa Barbara Green Business Certification process.”