January 23, 2023
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Goleta housing developments will reduce regional shortage


Alex Kacik

Alex Kacik

Goleta is poised to help fill the region’s housing void with a series of new projects.

There are more than 1,600 units in the pipeline ranging from single-family homes to affordable rentals.

The Village at Los Carneros is currently under construction and will feature a mix of condos and single-family spaces totaling 465 units. The Heritage Ridge project, proposed by the Towbes Group, would add 360 residential and senior apartments just north of Calle Koral and west of Los Carneros. The city approved the 176-unit Cortona Apartments at 6830 Cortona Drive, Ventura-based developer City Ventures’ Old Town Village on South Kellogg Avenue will provide 175 townhomes and the assisted living center Mariposa at Ellwood Shores will house 90 seniors at 7760 Hollister Ave. Hollister Village will add close to 300 apartments at 7000 Hollister Ave. when completed.

“Rental vacancy rates are around 1 percent and the rental housing stock is very scarce,” said Mark Schniepp, director of the California Economic Forecast. “New rental housing is coming very slowly but it will help with recruitment as it becomes available.”

As for hotel development in the Good Land, R.D. Olson Development recently broke ground on the 80,000-square-foot 118-room Residence Inn by Marriott at 6350 Hollister Ave. Construction is also underway at the Hilton Garden Inn, which will feature 138 rooms at 6878 Hollister Ave. The hotels aim to serve the area’s burgeoning tech industry.

When Goleta celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 as an incorporated city, it began to reap 100 percent of its TOT revenue. Under its revenue neutrality agreement with Santa Barbara County, it still has to send half of its property tax revenue and 30 percent of its sales tax to the county in perpetuity.

Goleta has provided the county $100 million since its incorporation, officials said.

Getting a handle on it

Handlebar Coffee Roasters plans to open a second location at 2720 De La Vina St.

The city of Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review moved the project forward at a June 20 meeting. The former Sleep Shoppes building features 3,900 square feet of retail space. Lee & Associates brokered the lease.

Former professional cyclists Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson opened Handlebar Coffee Roasters at 128 E. Canon Perdido St. in 2011. They expanded their indoor seating last year by taking over the retail space next door.

Planners also moved forward with two car dealership proposals. Chrysler plans to build a 23,000-square-foot dealership at 6210 Hollister Ave. Infinity and another franchise also plan to build adjacent to that space in the vacant lot. The projects total 43,000 square feet.

SLO gateway project pulled

Developers have shelved plans for a major mixed-use project slated for the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo.

Nick Tompkins of SLO-based NKT Commercial was teaming up with Santa Barbara-based StonePark Capital to build a hotel, affordable residential units, office space, retailers, a new public transit center, parking garage and a public commercial plaza at Monterey and Santa Rosa streets.

While the 75-foot building height was criticized during the project’s concept review, planners touted its 60 affordable and workforce housing units, public transportation and pedestrian infrastructure improvements and energy efficiency.

Tompkins withdrew the project because the risk outweighed the benefits given the project’s timeline, he said.

“It would’ve been a great public-private partnership. There were a lot of benefits to it,” Tompkins said. “We’re still interested in continuing but still figuring out what our options are. It was a time issue.”

The former Shell gas station was previously approved for two 5,000-square-foot commercial buildings separated by a parking lot. Tompkins is mulling over a more substantial use but could move forward with the original plans, he said.

No housing bubble brewing

A housing bubble isn’t on the horizon, according to Bill Watkins of California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting.

While residential prices, sales and new construction are up, lenders are more aggressive and there’s a strong uptick in home ownership — the indicators that were present in 2008 haven’t manifested, Watkins said.

Home prices nationwide still remain below pre-recession levels — they are 10 percent below the peak of the housing bubble. Homeownership remains well within traditional norms, he said.

Sales are well below the levels seen in the 2000s and new housing construction isn’t even up to typical recession levels, Watkins said.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.