June 6, 2023
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Affordable housing projects move ahead in Santa Barbara


Alex Kacik

Alex Kacik

The region cannot build enough housing fast enough to keep up with increasing demand, economists have said at forecasts over the past two weeks. The Tri-Counties are so short on available units that it could rein in the economic expansion. But the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is trying to make a dent in the dearth of affordable housing.

It plans to build a four-story, 90-unit development at 251 S. Hope Ave. The housing authority is working with RRM Design Group Principal Detty Peikert to build 89 studio apartments for low-income seniors, along with a manager’s quarters and 34 parking spots, similar to Santa Barbara’s Garden Court. The total building area is 56,735 square feet on a 1.76 acre lot and the average unit size is 332 square feet.

But environmentalists are concerned that the development will negatively impact the adjacent Arroyo Burro Creek. The planners raised the building from three to four stories to help mitigate their concerns. The Architectural Board of Review is currently reviewing the project.

It’s being built under the Average Unit Density program, which allows 63 units per acre instead of the usual 35. The program has been a catalyst for new development in Santa Barbara, which currently has 244 units going through the pipeline, according to Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investment Group.

Another 29-unit AUD project at 604 E. Cota St. moved past the architectural board and is headed for the building department next.

Carpinteria also plans to add its own senior housing facility at 5464 Carpinteria Ave.

Irvine-based real estate investment company Steadfast Carpinteria Senior purchased a close to 52,000-square-foot office building for $10.7 million. It was previously occupied by Microsoft, according to Lee & Associates, which represented the buyer.

Conejo school buys buildings

The Conejo Valley Unified School District recently purchased two industrial buildings in Newbury Park for $6.3 million.

The buildings at 750 Mitchell Road and 667 Rancho Conejo Blvd. total close to 50,000 square feet. The district plans to connect both buildings to house its maintenance and operations departments, as well as its administrative offices, a print lab and storage.

Conejo Valley divested an “underutilized” 10-acre site where it previously had its maintenance and operations departments. The district will fold its continuation high school into its headquarters on Janss Road.

Lee & Associates principals Mike Tingus and Grant Fulkerson coordinated the sale with Joel Kirschenstein of Sage Realty Group.

“The value of that property had greatly appreciated over the time the district owned it, and officials believed it was the right time to divest that property and move to a more efficient facility,” Tingus said in a news release.

After holding steady for two consecutive quar¬ters, Ventura County industrial market vacancy rates declined to 5.6 percent in the third quarter, the lowest levels since 2009, according to the most recent Lee & Associates report. They dropped from 6.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014. The Ventura market still lags well behind Santa Barbara County.

Tuesday morning closing

The Tuesday Morning store in downtown Santa Barbara will close in mid-January, an employee said.

The storefront, where a closing sign currently hangs on its door, is tucked away around the corner of State and Canon Perdido streets at 1 W. Canon Perdido. It’s a basement-esque layout, where customers have to walk downstairs to find wholesale home furnishings, houseware, luggage, fashion accessories and its other products.

An employee said the unique floorplan hurt business.

Some of its 12 employees can transfer to the nearest location at 4744 Telephone Road in Ventura but most would have to commute from Santa Barbara.

Oxnard apartments sell

A 12-unit apartment complex in an unincorporated part of Oxnard sold for $1.8 million.

The 6,336-square-foot property has six duplexes, all with one bedroom and one bath. It sold for an “unheard of” $284 per square foot, said Craig Lieberman of Apartment Investment Specialists.

Local real estate investor 3544 Almond Dr. LLC, named after the development’s address, sold the property to Almond Street Investors. The buyers are farmers in Moorpark who want to house their migrant workers under the federal H-2A program, Lieberman said.

The previous owners bought the property last year for $1.1 million, fixed it up and raised the rents from $850 to $1,150, Lieberman said.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.