January 29, 2023
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Project to build hotel, housing in Carpinteria up for review


The Carpinteria City Council and Planning Commission will review a proposal next week for a 154-room hotel, 45 single-family houses and 40 multifamily apartments.

The 23.4-acre project is slated for the Bluffs 1 property between the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and city hall, which is currently home to a driving range and blueberry crops.

Jack Theimer of the Santa Barbara-based LandMarkers Development Group will debut the proposal, which includes a hotel that features a restaurant, an event room, a gym, three pools and 237 spaces of below-ground parking, said Brian Cearnal of Santa Barbara-based Cearnal Andrulaitis Architects, which is designing the project.

“It kind of replicates Miramar and that vibe. Not super high-end luxury five-star hotel, more beachy and loose,” he told the Business Times.

The plan calls for 35 three-bedroom single-family cottages and 10 two-bedrooms as well as 22 two-bedroom multifamily units and 18 studios, averaging about 1,600 square feet, Cearnal said.

There will be 10 units for hotel employees and 12 percent will be designated for affordable housing.

“They could be for older people who are moving down and free up a bigger house or, hopefully, they will attract some first-time homebuyers as well,” he said.

The proposed project also includes a Himalayas-style putting green a la St. Andrews, 23 acres of open space, an organic farm and a railroad undercrossing accessing a 4-acre oceanfront nature preserve. Plans feature a gray water recycling system, where water from the hotel and houses will be reused for the putting area and farm land, Cearnal said.

The joint conceptual review will take place on Sept. 21.

But community watchdog group Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs argues that that the proposed open space is not enough.

“Despite the developer’s attempt to soften the hotel’s adverse impact with the promise of including a small organic farm, you can see from the site plan that this project is as dense as any of the past development proposed back in the ’80s and ’90s,” Citizens President Ted Rhodes wrote on the group’s website. “If approved, this project would severely impact the quality of our Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.”

San Francisco-based real estate investment company Hall Capital Partners is in the process of purchasing the property from O.Rhyan Capital Management, Cearnal said.

Theimer has been eyeing the bluffs for some time. He pitched a resort for the nearby Bluffs 3 property in 2012 that sputtered due to a lack of financing.

It’s going to be a long, involved process but the developers don’t anticipate any significant impacts when it comes to views, traffic, Cearnal said.

“It’s a matter of reconciling that with all of the policies and the community desires and finding a project that works,” he said. “We have given a lot of thought to that and tried not to overreach.

Although people would love to see it left the way it is, it is a piece of land that has development potential.”

Affordable housing on tap

Santa Barbara-based affordable housing developer Peoples’ Self-Help Housing will cut the ribbon on its 43-unit complex at 4096 Via Real in Carpinteria on Oct. 15.

The Casa de las Flores complex was built on the former site of the Carpinteria Camper Park. PSHH bought the dilapidated camper park from an absentee landlord 12 years ago. It relocated about 80 households that lived in squalor conditions into other PSHH properties and housing.

PSHH held a lottery for the units and the number of applicants exceeded the available apartments.

The low-income development will include a community room, youth learning center, a community kitchen, offices, a playground, a basketball court, walking paths and laundry facilities.

Simi Valley offices sold

Two Simi Valley office buildings recently sold for $57 million.

Los-Angeles based real estate investment company Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT purchased the buildings at 1800 Tapo Canyon Road and 450 American St. from Rising Realty Partners, the LA-based real estate developers, according to property records.

The 273,241-square-foot building on Tapo Canyon sold for $28.6 million in cash in August, property records show.

The 206,917-square-foot building on American Street sold for $28.4 million in August in an all-cash deal. Rising purchased the building from Bank of America for $24 million in 2013.

The North Carolina-based bank inherited the building along with other real estate when it bought out defunct mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Services in 2008. It changed hands for $38.5 million then.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.