June 20, 2024
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Happy Harry’s in Goleta on selling block, deal pending


The freshest news in Goleta is that Happy Harry’s Produce Market is looking for new owners as three longtime partners split ways.

Located at 7020 Calle Real, near the Glen Annie and Storke Road exit off Highway 101, the green grocer and all-natural foods store is on the market for just under $2.4 million. The price includes the business and the real estate — a two-story, 3,000-square-foot building on roughly half an acre.

Happy Harry’s has been operating in the location for the last nine years, after relocating twice due to new development.

“The owners are parting ways and moving in different directions after all these years,” Lee & Associates broker Pam Scott told the Business Times. “It’s been available for lease for some time but then we recently got an offer and that’s in negotiations right now, but we’re still marketing it further.”

The business started as a tiny roadside fruit stand on upper State Street in Santa Barbara in 1982, in a then vacant lot next door to the Bank of America at Hope Avenue, right across the street from what is now Whole Foods and Taco Bell.

Happy Harry’s was in business there until August of 1986, when the landlords decided to make way for the development of the First American Title Co. building.

The company then joined up with Truman “Sandy” Sanders, who had a roadside stand at the corner of Patterson and Hollister. “Happy Harry’s and Sandy’s” were in business together there until the fall of 1997. Again the property owners told the grocers they would be getting building permits in the spring and developing the land.

After about a year, the partners found their own parcel and purchased the property, but struggled to find the capital to construct the current building for almost a decade.

Scott said that the current prospective buyer is a convenience store owner that is looking to expand. The property is adjacent to a Mobile Mart gas station.

“The highest and best use is still probably a fresh market,” Scott said, adding that there’s some market opportunity for a possible kind of food business, such as a sandwich shop.

“The aerial view shows quite a captive population with the neighborhood that sits just north of the highway,” she said. “The highway is somewhat a barrier to the other services on the south side.”

Ty Warner gets go ahead

Beany Baby billionaire Ty Warner recently signed over ownership of the historic Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station, which was part of his Sandpiper Golf Club, to the City of Goleta and it appears the good karma gift is paying off.

The reclusive real estate mogul recently had his planned $30 million overhaul of the Montecito Country Club given the green light from Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission.

The approval is the last step after landing Planning Commission and Architectural Board of Review approvals. Now the palatial club will shut down for roughly 16 months during the renovation.

Anacapa development back

The Historic Landmarks Commission also got its first look at a renewed mixed-use development proposed for 634 Anacapa St. — the former home of the Craviotto Bros. Ironworks, which operated  in the location for more than 80 years.

The Craviotto family formed the original plan to convert the business into new living and commercial space in the early 2000s after the death of Charlie Craviotto, who owned the ironworks with his brother Dan. That plan envisions a four-story, mixed-use project with 11,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 10 residential condominiums above it.

Like so many developments, however, the project was canned when the market crashed in 2008. But thanks to a booming return of the real estate market, the project is back in a slimmed-down version, aiming to better align with market demands.

The new project consists of just over 6,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space and about 25,000 square feet of residential space spread through two additional stories.

The residential portion is making use of the city’s Average Unit Density Incentive program, cramming in a total of 30 units. The breakdown works out to 10 studios, five one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units. Thirty-two parking spaces in the Ortega Street parking garage will accommodate the development.

The development still needs an environmental assessment and a conceptual review from the Planning Commission.

• Contact Elijah Brumback at ebrumback@pacbiztimes.com.