BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State Street Salsipuedes: DayDreams

Like so many reporters, businesses on State Street are "getting out while they can". EdHat reported today that Day Dreams will be closing its doors at 1021 State Street after 24 years of business due to tripled rent. What concerns me is that the number of businesses leaving for higher rents seems to be increasing at an abnormal rate -- do these landlords know something we don't?

58 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is very little retail space available in the Santa Barbara area for the population and tourism that that they can command high rents. They will get the higher rent by people thinking they will be able to start a business and be able to pay for it. Most local business will not be able to make the rent and will close. The only businesses left to pay the rents charged will be large chain startups which can cover the rent.
We have watched many of the businesses that make Santa Barbara unique close over the last few years leaving only chain stores to take their place. Soon Santa Barbara will become one large chain Mall with little personality.
Santa Barbara is a small town there is only so much land available for use and as the town does not build up to add space that leaves little choice unless we want to start underground areas.

1/24/2007 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

State Street is for tourists and it is best to get these little guys out of the way. It is that simple.

1/24/2007 10:32 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Where are the supposed City Council members? Aren't they supposed to be voicing some concern?

1/24/2007 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the first big increase in State Street rents happen with the earthquake retrofit back in the '90s?

1/24/2007 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:32 Part of what makes the coastal communities special besides their location is the wonderful unique shopping. Why would you want to turn State St. into another generic strip mall? You can go to anytown USA and find those!

1/24/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and why is it again we want to attract tourists?

1/24/2007 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole Santa Barbara economy is tourist/education based. You have to serve that market. Students and Shoppers. The little stores need to fade into history and make room for the big stores. Don't forget the City gets a cut, so everyone wins!

1/24/2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...to sustain our tourist-dependent economy. You must be retired. Anyone who works for a living is aware of the value of the tourist in this town.

1/24/2007 5:25 PM  
Anonymous gone but not forgotten said...

The Earthling began struggling due to the demands of a then-greedy landlord, who today looks like a miser. Are we better off with the chain bookstores now on State? Maybe for their remainders, but in no way do they replace the specialness of that unique bookshop that was here for more than 20 years that felt like the heart of the community. Even the tourists miss it. Eventually, the tourists will realize they may as well stay home, rather than pay the ridiculous prices for lodging and food, and herding themselves into the same "shopping experiences" they have at home--especially when all of downtown becomes canyonized and the mountain views are obliterated. This is the downside of our much-heralded tourist economy, finally come home to roost.

1/24/2007 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad. Jeanie has always had fun stuff in that store. We'll miss her..

1/24/2007 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tourist pay my wages, that's why!

1/24/2007 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tourism is the most polluting industry in our local business eco-system. The Dems who support it while chirping about their environmental credentials are either disingenuous or ignorant.

1/24/2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de santa barbara said...

The current genre of development is the source of the rent increases....It starts with parking and the source of this round of rent increases is THE GRANDA PARKING GARAGE!

I wonder how long the self serving owners of the BOOK DEN, SULLIVAN GOSS BOOKSELLERS and businessman MARSHALL ROSE, et al, promoters of the GRANADA PARKING GARAGE will be around.

Will they reap the benefits of their narrowly focused parking project or will they be casualties of it?

I have viewed a few cycles of downtown "REDEVELOPMENT." The Redevelopment Agency, certain previous city council members, promoted the GRANADA PARKING GARAGE on behalf of dreamy eyed artisan interests and I believe are perhaps naive about the impacts.

Several steps to stop the terrible cycle of automobile based land-use planning decisions follow;

1.) Fire the narrowly focused DOWNTOWN PARKING COMMITTEE!

2.) Stop treating the neighborhood districts such as the MESA, SAN ROGUE, SAMARKAND and RIVERA "neighborhoods" as victims of their own seclusion. The "NEIGHBORHOODS" are ruining DOWNTOWN, EASTSIDE AN WESTSIDE "neighborhoods" with too much traffic as well as unfair and unbalanced densities.

3.) Lobby for a MORATORIUM, CITYWIDE ON PARKING STRUCTURES, ABOVE AND BELOW GROUND.

4.) BUILD TRANSIT SERVED HOUSING in place of existing and proposed parking, citywide.

1/24/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss al the special shops that have made Santa Barbara and State Street a fun and interesting shopping experience. Now it seems Santa Barbara has the same stores that I can find in any Mall in any medium size town/city. If I want to find something different I now have to make the trip down to LA, the Bay Area or wait for a vacation to find clothing so that I do not look like everyone else in Santa Barbara. I now resort to shopping from catalogs and the internet for gifts. There are still good restaurants in the area so eating out can be an enjoyable experience but shopping in Santa Barbara is no-longer for me. Also some of my favorite restaurants are gone.

1/24/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a little far away from the topic but maybe its time to consider building large high-rises north of the city that would have ocean, mountain and city views and surrounded by some great landscaping.
What would be wrong with 50-70 or higher floor towers? They would be far enough from downtown and there is not a lot north of the city except some look a like subdivisions that have no individual character and run down housing for UCSB. They could even be made affordable for the local workers with varying size units and floor plans. There are some really fantastic buildings around the world and add a great deal of beauty to the landscapes they are located in. They no longer have to be built like a square box. They can be made very luxurious and provide a healthful living environment for people. I'm getting old and taking care of a large home and yard is getting difficult and I would welcome a high-rise that had a concierge service yet provided me with a view the ocean has I have now. I am too young for a retirement or rest home and would welcome the idea of an alternative to what we have in the area.

1/24/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the city council? Did someone actually ask that?

Here's what the city believes are the major employers of Santa Barbara:

1. County of Santa Barbara
2. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
3. Santa Barbara City College
4. Santa Barbara Elementary and
High School District
5. Santa Barbara School
District Administration
6. City of Santa Barbara
7. Sansum Santa Barbara Medical
Foundation Clinic
8. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
9. US Postal Service
10. County Schools Office
11. Albertson’s Stores
12. Vons
13. Inamed
14. Four Season’s Biltmore
15. Long’s Drugs

Source here: http://tinyurl.com/2okr7x

Who says tourism is the number one industry? Why is the 4 Seasons so low on the list?

And WHY is it on the list? They've only 207 rooms and 12 cottages.

Fess's Mess has has more than 40% rooms, more meeting space etc. etc.

If this is the info the city is working from, it is understandable that they don't care about downtown.

1/24/2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say bye-bye to the unique character of SB. Where's Blum and company? Good question, yet some of you still b***h about Travis calling them out.

Marty?
Das?
Helene????

Any of you care to comment, or do you just read this blog for entertainment?

1/25/2007 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So State St. becomes one long generic strip mall. Those tourist dollars SB relies on will just go to Monterey, Carmel, Ventura, SLO, Cambria and other places to find "local color" in their shopping experience. There are still reasons to come to SB, but if the foot traffic decreased significantly on State St., you would soon see lots of "For Rent" signs. How will those in the service industry support themselves when State St. is a ghost town? The landlords may rake in some money in the short run, but may find they are saddled with white elephants in the long run when there are no renters to pay their mortgages. Even chain stores will pull out if they can't make it. YOu can only write off a loss for so long.

1/25/2007 4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the city council circa 1980's was responsible for a hell of a lot of this current situation. The redeveloment district used the tax from the building owners to build out the Paseo Nuevo mall and then gave incentives for retail tennents to move from State St. to the Mall. I don't believe any of these survived and at the same time robbed the landlords who had funded their compitition of many long term tenents. AS far as the Earthhing Bookstore they were indiretly responsible for their own demise. They led the fight against Bullocks which moved the City council into developing farther down the Street.

1/25/2007 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about State St? It's filled with fattie tourists and winos/tweakers. The rich shop in Montecito and the locals shop elsewhere. Let it beome the tourist zone it longs to be. It's too late.

1/25/2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:30 anon said:
What would be wrong with 50-70 or higher floor towers? They would be far enough from downtown and there is not a lot north of the city except some look a like subdivisions that have no individual character

Wrong. There is something there. That's my neighborhood you are talking about. I have invested my livelihood -- not you (apparently) -- not the developers who live in Montecito, Orange County, Maryland, or elsewhere. There is a character to what you call the area north (west actually). It does happen to be one of the most affordable regions on the South Coast. Our community has drafted a preliminary plan that includes room for growth, parks, alternative transportation, but that vision certainly does not include the type of buildings that you are talking about. Would be nice if people would stop pushing the idea of raiding areas that don't want to be over-developed. Have a nice day.

1/25/2007 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of tall dense buildng. But it should be closer to downtown, NOT north of the city. It's progressive, sustainable, and enviro-friendly.

1/25/2007 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess UCSB doesn't exist.

1. County of Santa Barbara
2. Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
3. Santa Barbara City College
4. Santa Barbara Elementary and
High School District
5. Santa Barbara School
District Administration
6. City of Santa Barbara
7. Sansum Santa Barbara Medical
Foundation Clinic
8. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
9. US Postal Service
10. County Schools Office
11. Albertson’s Stores
12. Vons
13. Inamed
14. Four Season’s Biltmore
15. Long’s Drugs

1/25/2007 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the homeless and tourists who still goes to State Street?

1/25/2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget shopping downtown. I would rather drive to Morrow Bay or Cambria...

1/25/2007 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you think your existence depends on tourists, eh. Well thats just what it's become for many folks, an existence. Many work 'round the clock to pay the inflated rents/mortgages to stay in what was once considered paradise but is quickly becoming anywhere USA. What are the benefits of living here now- traffic? high costs? crowded/dirty parks? disappearing open space? How many of those tourist dollars stay here to support other than near minimum wage jobs?

Sorry, but I say forget tourism and focus on our residents and maintain a quality environment. Santa Barbara will only remain precious if we quit pandering to tourism. The result of doing so would be a mass exidus (hopefully)of the corporate anwhere USA outlets and a readjustment of commercial property values downward. Then the local and unique retailers might return and be able to make a living and our town would once again be the envy of other Ca coastal communities. I guess the downside of this plan is that regaining uniqueness, beauty and sense of community would be at the expense of shrinking the employment base of mostly govt and low wage jobs. There are plenty of other CA communities vying to grow, draw tourists, and widen their freeways that would happily absorb those jobs(think Bakersfield, S. Maria, etc).

1/25/2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more tourism the better!

1/25/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too like the idea of a large highrise buildings in the area that could have great views and provide a variety of floor plans that could be affordable.
It would be a good use of the land rather than the sprawling subdivisions on small lots.
Seems to me the answer to the limited available land and still leave the environmental sensitive areas intact for all to enjoy.
Maybe near the golf course so that they could have easy beach access and close to the freeway.
I have seen some wonderful projects in my travels around the world and have thought it could work in our area to provide housing and still keep the area open due to the limited amount of usable land. Even near UCSB would be fine.
The buildings are now made to be eco friendly using solar power and recycled water in the buildings.
If we want to keep Santa Barbara the same expect housing costs soar to the point where the working people can not afford to live here. It's is already happening as we now have to give housing subsidies just so we have city workers, police, fire, emergency personal and nurses so that they can live in the area and provide the services we all need. This comes from tax dollars.
How many of our city workers and others in the community travel from North county because it is the only place where housing is still somewhat affordable on the salary and wages that they make.
It is an ideas who time has come and make Santa Barbara responsible and provide a housing alternative to the people who can not afford a small 2 million dollar home.

1/25/2007 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 30 yr+ resident of SB, and Up until about 4 years ago, I loved to frequent downtown. Now, I go out of my way to avoid it. It has transformed into a crass, overpriced cookie-cutter retail strip void of any character. The police seem to ignore it so consequently the agressive "homeless" are in charge....young single women might as well forget a pleasant stroll, day or night.

1/25/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey the idea of a high-rise is great.
It could provide housing at a price I might be able to afford. I have have lived in the area for several years but still can not afford to buy in the area and the over priced small apartment i live in is run down and an eye sore.
I make a fair wage just not enough to buy in the area I work. Give people that live and work in the area affordable housing. Maybe build it near the beach that would be super!!!!!!

1/25/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth reading Das Williams' column in this week's Indy. Here's the link , if you can't find it in the hard copy with all the film fest coverage:

http://www.independent.com/opinion/2007/01/the_hole_in_the_armor.html

1/25/2007 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 9:07AM, will the plan be affordable to someone who lives on a teacher's salary?

1/25/2007 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:31 PM are you saying you want to put your neighbors our of work? That's what you're advocating.

Tourism feeds my family.

1/25/2007 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tall buildings will work. Save our environment and house the local workforce. There is no why around it!

1/25/2007 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das Double Speak. Sure looks like CYA to me, nothing more.

1/25/2007 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting tired of driving to Goleta. I would like to see a Costco or Walmart downtown near the Granada Garage. That would be a real service to the community.

1/25/2007 8:11 PM  
Anonymous anon 9:07am said...

6:57pm said:
"will the plan be affordable to someone who lives on a teacher's salary?"

Yes, that is possible. The plan does not exclude affordable housing. It even allows higher densities on small parcels. It does not, however, allow for massive complexes of high density on large parcels, and certainly nothing like the magna-huge towers that were suggested by someone else here. I can't imagine that person was even serious.

1/25/2007 8:50 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

All of you who are requesting high-rise buildings, what are you doing in SB?! You can go almost anywhere else in the country & find tall buildings along with more "affordable" dense housing. Those of us who love SB appreciate the wisdom of Pearl Chase & others who helped ensure that 4 stories would be the maximum height, thereby helping to preserve the beautiful views. If you don't appreciate that fact, then please move to San Diego where you will find exactly what it sounds like you are looking for.

1/25/2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plan for one or two high rise buildings would be interesting for the area. I would be in favor of it. I enjoy a great view. When I look out my front windows i see my neighbors front yards and their cars the garage door open. When i look out my side windows i see my neighbors house ten feet away and a view of their bathroom frosted glass window or windows with the drapes pulled. My back yard is nice but the skyline view is their tile covered roof with lost toys on top. The other side of my house is always shaded due to the close proximity of their two story home.... so a highrise wouldn't hurt my view. I would welcome a condo with a view. Lets see some plans and start building a couple of towers with views. Oh and please make them affordable to the working class in our area.

1/25/2007 11:32 PM  
Anonymous bolson said...

City Council Authority?
What exactly can they really do? Dictate leases? Should we have rent control for commercial space or should the landlords be able to set the rate? Maybe we should have Prop-13 for renters, rent can only go up by at most 2% per year. - but that would be a State thing most likely. On the down side, that would pretty much require every landlord to enact an annual 2% increase every year, where sometimes I now get lucky and go 2-3 years without a hike in my rent.

1/26/2007 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why blame councilmembers?

Blame the industrial, business and construction and even non-profit associations. You know the ones that have everyone biting at each others heels.

They all hate regulations and were effective at eliminating the Environmental Review Committee in the city.

The effect is this speedy project review process where the above mentioned associations still complain that they can't get through the process fast or make enough profit.

Still we really need to look at how we all support this. I know of many sloooow growthers who detest every project except their own "special addition, illegal dwelling or converted garage apartment. Oh, then lobby for lobby for a parking spot everywhere they and our illegal tenant would want to drive.

BTW CALTRANS is the biggest developer in the region because all those slooow-growthers can only drive from their seclusion rather than share a bus.

1/26/2007 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey what is EdHat? Where do they get the cash to be a major sponsor of the film festival? I thought it was a local blog, but the must have quite a staff.
A good picture of Barney this morning as well: http://santabarbarasblog.com/

1/26/2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The highrise comments crack me up. Ever been to Honolulu? Those gleaming towers turn into third world affordable slums, with laundry hanging off every balcony, crap in the hallways, and people doubleparking in the garage because no one gets rid of their cars. Those who say eco-friendly, I say what? Ever been in the basement of a skyscraper - hundreds of pumps and motors, air handlers, safety systems, etc. One idiot burning popcorn and the whole building has to evacuate. Windows that open are minimized because of safety and fire concerns, so HVAC systems end up running air conditioners on the sunny side and heating on the shady side. Oh yeah, condo board meetings with 400 of your neighbors are always fun too.

1/26/2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:31 pm says further- No, I wouldn't want to put my neighbors out of work. Those of us that chose to move here because of the city's beauty and charm need to be provided jobs, careers and livelihoods. Our city leaders shouldn't focus on maintaining the beauty of SB, they should be focusing on the needs of the newcomers. Why leave these matters to competition and the free market?

Now that I think about it, everybody here, from those with deep local roots and ancestry to the recent arrival or transitory student should all have equal access to beautiful housing (ocean front, if possible), high paying jobs, and a Wal-mart w/in walking distance. It's our right and gov't should provide it for us.

Yes, a 70 story subsidized (eco-friendly?) high-rise next to Stearns Wharf complete with parking structures, tennis, golf and shuffle board will be a great improvement for our skyline and the deserving among us. It would help support additional restaurants and maybe even a Costco on Cabrillo.

Maybe the city could give Levy a "hand up" out of BK to get that time share built. Imagine all the beds to be made and resulting jobs for the deserving among us. And, the long view- our ever expanding tourism machine can continue to grow our population of deserving citizens and maybe even expand city gov't. We could ultimately obliterate the blight and wasteful land use areas in Montecito and HRanch and improve them with subsidized housing for the deserving among us.

How do I really feel? Glad you asked. In a nutshell, I'd prefer that those of us priced out of SB head back to the city we came from rather than allowing SB to become the city we loathed and left.

1/26/2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearl Chase is dead, this is a new century, and we need housing. Let the building begin.

1/26/2007 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearl Chase is dead, this is a new century, and we need housing. Let the building begin.

Yikes.

1/26/2007 11:18 AM  
Anonymous lummis said...

9:03: oooh, is that cold! Fact is, everything that people like about SB is thanks to Pearl Chase and several other visionaries who wanted this place to look different, feel different, be different. And yes, affordable housing was even an issue in her day. Do you like the green space around the Mission (once slated for housing), the wide, expanse of Chase Palm Park (once slated for housing), Alice Keck Park (once slated for housing, the dog park at the Douglas Preserve (once slated for housing)--thank Pearl Chase and her friends. Or should all those green spaces be bulldozed and turn Santa Barbara into just another overdeveloped coastal town--and the idea (as well as the reality) of the place simply cease to exist?

1/26/2007 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a mile high city?
A self contain build that has retail space, business space, housing, apartments, a school, day care center, a hospital, medical center, assisted living, a hotel and top it off with restaurant at the top.
A self contained city built near the highway and railroad tracks with easy access into Santa Barbara and other communities.
It can be done and on very limited space 40- 80 acres.

1/26/2007 12:42 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Thank you, anon 9:00 am, for expressing exactly how I feel:
"I'd prefer that those of us priced out of SB head back to the city we came from rather than allowing SB to become the city we loathed and left."
Amen to that. Otherwise we're looking at the reality of "They paved paradise & put up a parking lot..."

1/26/2007 1:06 PM  
Anonymous pearl chase admirer said...

Hey 9:03am,
Unless you are joking, please move out of town as soon as possible. Yes, you heard me right. No, I am not saying that you don't have a right to live here. Just go follow your dream and find that dense housing. I know it already exists in other places, Go now. Be free. Bye bye. Off you go.

1/26/2007 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us "priced out" were born here. Guess we should leave too.

1/26/2007 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating: two side-by-side, 3 minutes apart, opposite comments:
" those of us priced out of SB head back to the city we came from rather than allowing SB to become the city we loathed and left. 1/26/2007 9:00 AM


Anonymous said...

Pearl Chase is dead, this is a new century, and we need housing. Let the building begin. 1/26/2007 9:03 AM "

I've never understood the mentality that moves to a place and then works to make it similar to where they left.

I second the thoughts that those who long for high-rise (that would be market rate since the City does not have the money to subsidize all who want to live here) should move to where there is high rise. Or buy some of the market rate condos that are already here.

Not everyone who wants to can live in Manhattan or San Francisco or, dare I say it, Santa Barbara......

1/26/2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous part of the working class said...

heh

In the few short years I have lived here this town has gone way down hill. I think greed and the self serving nature of alot of this towns people have destroyed any hope for a come back.

oh well get over it...this towns not that special anyway. I think I am leaving.

1/27/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would the people who wax fondly of their love of their native urban nightmares and the transit therein please move back there? do they have any idea how such diatribes really hurt the cause of housing/transit locally? Santa Barbara is NOT Chicago, New York, or Europe---geographically, meteorologically, culturally---nor should we be. Why did those people move here in the first place?

1/27/2007 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:31's final say- Having been born here means you have an even greater interest in preserving the quality of your home. ..."there's no place like home...there's no place like home".

Tourism, the magnet that fuels our growth and artificial property values is promoted by our city "leaders" to line the pockets of the few at the expense of destroying the character of SB. So, yes, as one who is most affected, either do something about it or leave to a more affordable locale. To think the rest of us should subsidize your housing with tourism tax dollars is ludicrous. Why should we pollute our own well for your benefit? That's a vicious cycle.

By the way, I think this SBFF is more SB character pollution promoting the “American Riviera” which really means “Hollywood North”. Yep, let’s all get behind promoting SB becoming a center to attract Hollywood values. Jeez, wake up! "greed and self serving" hits the nail on the head.

1/27/2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The working natives need to leave. Let the immigrants take their place, they don't whine as much.

1/27/2007 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real filth of this town are the people who live here and look down on the working like me just tring to make ends meet. I have a family, but to follow your advise I should just pack up and leave. I wonder if they'll have me in Barstow?

1/27/2007 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the City Council would adopt a "no growth" policy it would help a lot to keep the whinners out and seek more affordable locals. Who needs them anyway! Born here or not.

1/27/2007 4:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home