A Los Angeles-based developer purchased the 1.8-acre parcel of land at 535 E. Montecito St. — the largest unimproved site in downtown Santa Barbara — on Sept. 19.
The property, listed for sale at $5.5 million, was purchased by Los Portales 48 Lots LLC from the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.
The Housing Authority bought the property in 2003 with the intention of developing it for affordable housing, according to Hayes Commercial Group, the firm that brokered the deal. The property, although unimproved now, previously had industrial buildings and was at one point occupied by Sloan Technology.
The new owner has not said what it intends to do with the site but has obtained permits for a significant residential development that will include affordable housing units, according to Hayes.
The property is the third-largest unimproved parcel sold in Santa Barbara in the last 10 years, and the largest since the Housing Authority purchased it in 2003, Hayes said.