The long-awaited redevelopment of the Miramar resort in Montecito will likely come to fruition in summer 2018, Caruso Affiliated announced on Sept. 23.
Hong Kong-based luxury resort operator Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will run the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito resort at 1555 S. Jameson Lane. The tentative plan is to start site grading in November, begin construction in February 2017 and celebrate the grand opening about two years from now, the company said.
It will be designed as a Montecito manor home, with 161 luxury guestrooms including one-story cottages and bungalows, and two-story lanai and oceanfront buildings. Los Angeles-based Tutor Perini Corp. is leading the construction.
“Our goal is to be the best neighbor possible and to ensure as few inconveniences as possible to the community during construction, and we will continue to keep the community updated,” Caruso Affiliated said in a news release, adding that it will hold a groundbreaking ceremony this fall.
Since 1876, the Miramar had been a historic institution that had drawn visitors from across the country. The resort closed in 2000 for planned renovations that never materialized and sat as a derelict eyesore that drew the ire of neighbors and politicians. Caruso is the third owner trying to revive the property. Hotel magnate Ty Warner grew increasingly frustrated by the development process and pulled out of the project. Prior to Warner, Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager ended his development plans after running into financial difficulties.
Since Rick Caruso and Caruso Affiliated took the helm, lack of construction financing and negotiations with the county had held up the demolition and redevelopment. Rosewood has no financial stake in the $185 million project, which Caruso is financing through a construction loan and the company’s own equity.
Spread over almost 16 acres of prime oceanfront real estate, the Miramar is expected to have 170 rooms, down from a proposed 186.
The bigger project would’ve brought in $1.7 million in property tax, $1.5 million in sales tax and $450,000 in bed taxes a year. The county currently collects $568,000 a year in property taxes on the site. The Montecito Board of Architectural Review approved the downsized Miramar in late January and it cleared another hurdle in February when the Montecito Water District allowed Caruso Affiliated to increase the size of the project’s water meters.
• Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected]