January 17, 2023
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Buellton hotel project secures funding to begin construction


A Buellton hotel project recently secured $14 million to start construction.

The Los Angeles-based real estate investment company Lowe Enterprises Investors gave a $13.99 million construction loan to Ocean Park Hotels, a hotel construction company in Monterey, to fund building a Hampton Inn and Suites at 600 McMurray Road.

The three-story, 99-unit property that will feature a contemporary ranch design is planned to be completed in the summer of 2016.

“The recent recession has left many lenders reluctant to make construction loans, yet the strength of the hospitality market makes these loans attractive to investment clients who understand the product type,” LEI Co-CEO Bleecker Seaman said in a statement. “The lodging market in Buellton and the surrounding area has experienced strong growth over the past decade, in part due to the increasing popularity of the local wine region as well as the nearby Danish-themed community of Solvang. The Chumash Casino Resort also attracts visitors to the area and is in the process of a major expansion.”

Cara Leonard, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Investors, led the transaction for LEI. Steve Bram of George Smith Partners represented the borrower.

The Buellton project is one of many hotels planned or in construction throughout the Tri-Counties. The La Entrada project is a 114-room luxury hotel, nine vacation units and 21,557 square feet of retail space. LA developer Michael Rosenfeld bought the rundown Hotel California for $7.95 million in 2011. A construction loan for the $185 million Miramar project in Montecito was also secured and the Parker family is planning a second waterfront hotel next to the Doubletree Resort on Cabrillo Boulevard.

The 150-room Hilton Garden Inn is under construction in Goleta.

The 439,000-square-foot Entrada de Paso Robles on Highway 46 East, which includes a 280-room resort and 80 bungalows, is moving forward. The 127-room Oxford Suites at 4th and Pine streets and the Marriott Residence Inn, which will offer 128 rooms on South Vine Street, are also being developed in Paso.

Irvine-based Brighton Management is trying to develop the long-vacant and dilapidated Casa Sirena Hotel in Oxnard.

Chumash ink deal with Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a gaming compact between the state and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians on Aug. 26.

The compact outlines the sharing of gaming revenue with local jurisdictions for infrastructure improvements and fire, law enforcement, public transit, education, tourism and other services. It provides incentives for investments in renewable energy or water conservation projects, non-gaming-related economic development and healthcare facilities.

“The new compact allows us to continue on our path of economic self-sufficiency,” tribal chairman Vincent Armenta said in a statement. “Our economic development initiatives have brought vital services to our tribe, from health care and education to cultural and environmental programs.”

But the tribe said it needs to negotiate an enforceable inter-governmental agreement before gaming-related projects are started.

Real estate market rebounds

The Santa Barbara commercial real estate market rebounded after a slow 2015 first quarter, according to Radius Commercial Real Estate and Investments second quarter report.

There were 23 sales in the second quarter, up from the 16-sale average, driven by good interest rates and a low supply.

The REI retail complex, listed at $21.95 million at 318 State St., sold within 3 to 4 percent of its asking price to an out-of-town buyer in April. Radius did not disclose final terms.

The Sandman Inn located at 3714 State St. also sold in April for $22.5 million and is slated for a condo development. Finally, the former CKE building (Carl’s Junior headquarters) located at 6303 Carpinteria Ave. sold in June for $25 million after 24 months on the market.

Proposed apartment complex

The Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review will hold a meeting at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 regarding a proposed apartment building at 715 Bond Ave.

The proposal includes razing an existing one-story single-family residence and carport located on a 5,000-square-foot parcel to make way for a new 6,032-square-foot, four-story, seven-unit apartment building.

The building would include a seven-car carport and the units would average 826 square feet.

It would be developed under the Average Unit Size Density Incentive Program, which allows up to 63 units per acre.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.