February 23, 2024
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Santa Barbara Museum of Art plans $50M renovation project


The proposed overhaul of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is going through the final stages of approval.

The $50 million renovation, which will be privately funded, includes $42 million in construction costs and $8 million in ongoing maintenance, SBMA Director Larry Feinberg said at a planning commission meeting. The remodel will include roofing and building improvements, seismic reinforcement, heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, better storage and safety accommodations and enhanced accessibility.

Most of the construction cost stems from stabilizing the 30-foot walls of the museum’s McCormick Gallery and state-of-the-art climate control for the museum’s collection.

The proposal will add nearly 8,000 square feet of new space to the existing four-story, 64,511-square-foot building. That will include a public rooftop pavilion, garden and terrace designed for special events and a new art receiving facility that will allow more efficient transportation of pieces.

Gallery space will increase by 25 percent, including a new exhibition area for the Asian art collection, a new 19th century American art exhibit, a new photography and video art exhibit and a new contemporary art exhibit.

The building at 1130 State St. was the city’s former post office, erected in 1912. The SBMA has been operating at the historic landmark since 1941. Santa Barbara-based businesses Kupiec Architects and Suzanne Elledge Planning and Permitting Services are working on the project.

The project is being reviewed by a team of city staff. Obtaining building permits is the next step, SBMA Public Relations Manager Katrina Carl said. The museum hopes to begin the first phase of construction later this year and it will stay open throughout the six-to-10-year project.

Oxnard complex approved

The Oxnard Planning Commission gave the go-ahead on Sept. 3 to a 101-unit apartment complex and a 70-unit senior living facility slated for 2250 and 2300 E. Pleasant Valley Road.

The three-story apartment complex will feature units ranging from 561 to 975 square feet. There will be 23 one-bedroom units, 70 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. Fifteen will be designated for low-income households for individuals and families who earn up to 80 percent of the area median income, which is $60,784, according to the latest U.S. Census. The remaining 85 units will be rented at market rate.

The general plan only allows 75 units on the 6.23-acre site but Moorpark-based developer Vince Daly of Dansk Investment Group garnered 26 more units under the city’s affordable housing code.

The two-story senior living and memory care facility will include 51,589 square feet of residential units. The project includes 53 senior living units with kitchenettes, 17 memory care rooms without kitchenettes, common living and dining space, management and medical offices, and a communal kitchen.

Although most of the units will have kitchenettes, residents will be served meals three times a day in a restaurant-style dining room. A small doctor’s office will be located on the site for residents’ convenience, though the project will not be considered a medical facility.

Now that the planning commission has signed off, the city council plans to review the project on Oct. 6 for final approval.

Ventura apartments sold

A 26-unit apartment complex in Ventura recently sold for close to $4.2 million.

Local private investors purchased the apartment complex at 10939 Del Norte St. that features 13 one-bedroom apartments and 13 two-bedrooms. Brian Barrios, an apartment broker with Cooperation Capital Group, represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

“Apartment vacancy has been low for apartments in Ventura,” Barrios told the Business Times. “There are not very many 25-plus-unit apartment complexes in the county.”

The buyer rolled the proceeds from the sale of another out-of-state property into a new investment to complete the 1031 exchange. The practice of deferring capital gains taxes by buying and selling similar buildings within a 45-day timeframe is becoming an increasingly common tactic for investors.

The apartment complex is located in a residential and farming community in East Ventura off of Telegraph Road. It is fully occupied.

The buyer was attracted by the rental rates, which are on the lower side, Barrios said, adding that the seller had owned the property for about 15 years and was ready to move on.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.