December 4, 2022
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Oriental rug store may be razed for 4-story mixed-use project


The owners of Aga John Oriental Rugs want to demolish the company’s Santa Barbara retail store to make way for a new four-story mixed-use development.

Located at 15 S. Hope St., just across from the La Cumbre Mall, the property was purchase by Aga John in 2005 from Wye Road Properties for $4.1 million.

The development proposal, which will have its first public Architectural Board of Review meeting Aug. 3, outlines razing the existing 8,368-square-foot commercial building and the construction of  7,080 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, with 48 residential units totaling 38,958 square feet on the second, third and fourth floors.

The proposal also includes 28 ground level  commercial parking spaces and two underground levels to serve the residential portion of the development. The project’s owners are hoping to get the plans approved under the city’s Average Unit Size Density Incentive Program, which allows up to 63 units per acre.

Aga John has design centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Laguna, with another retail store in West Hollywood.

A call to the company wasn’t returned, but it seems rugs just aren’t tying a room together like they used to.

Jeff Bridges downsizes

The Dude’s Montecito mansion is on the market.

Jeff Bridges and wife Susan put their 19.5 acre spread, anchored by a Barry Berkus-designed 9,500-square-foot, five-bedroom main house, on the market for $29.5 million in July.

After spending more than two decades at the estate, the couple has reportedly purchased smaller digs nearby now that they are empty nesters.

The property at 985 Hot Springs Road includes some far out landscaping, featuring a vineyard and a patch of aloe trees, which Bridges apparently adores. A theater and recording studio building, two guesthouses, a “rustic playhouse” accessible via footbridge over a stream and a greenhouse for orchids also rank among the property’s ideal places for an acid flashback. The property also has walking trails and a pool where nihilists can hang out without a care.

Suzanne Perkins, a broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, knows all the ins and outs of the property.

Breaking ground in Goleta

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing will break ground Aug. 19 on the $18 million renovation project at the Villa La Esperanza Apartments.

The project will restore 83 units and add a new community room to the property situated in Old Town Goleta. The project budget allocates $12 million for rehabilitation work and $6 million for new construction, design and engineering costs, and other fees.

New energy and water saving features will also be installed, including synthetic turf, water conserving landscaping, “smart” water controls, a new drip irrigation system, and replacement of external lighting with energy-saving LED fixtures.

Villa la Esperanza was constructed in 1971 under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 236 Program and was owned and operated by the Goleta Valley Housing Committee  — a single-asset nonprofit — prior to PSHH assuming management and ownership.

Partners in the project are RMM Design Group Architects, Robert Fowler Landscape Architect, and Stantec Civil Engineers, as well as tax credit equity investor Merritt Community Capital Corp. and construction and permanent lender CITI Community Capital.

Tony’s closes in Carpinteria

Home to one of Carpinteria’s beloved family restaurants, 699 Linden Ave. has been purchased by Santa Barbara-based investor and securities broker Tyler Rameson for just more than $1.5 million.

Tony’s restaurant, which closed for business after the family decided to sell, was represented by Dan Moll of Hayes Commercial Group.

The deal represents the highest price per square foot on record for a retail building in Carpinteria, according to Hayes.

The property is a few blocks from the beach on the popular Linden Avenue retail corridor. Established by the late Anthony “Tony” Borrello and his wife Antoinette “Toni” in 1962, Tony’s was a family owned and operated Italian restaurant and a local favorite for decades.

“This sale marks the end of an era for the Carpinteria community as it says a fond farewell to a respected, multi-generational business,” Moll said in a press release.

The restaurant is under new ownership and the building is currently for lease, listed by Francois DeJohn and Steve Hayes of Hayes Commercial Group, who also represented the buyer.