What a difference a decade makes.
After 10 years of community wrangling and delays obtaining financing, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso turned a ceremonial shovelful of dirt on Oct. 10 to launch construction of the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito.
Under a blue sky broken by a few puffy white clouds, Caruso, Rosewood CEO Radha Arora and newly named General Manager Luigi Romaniello posed for photos as the countdown to an expected summer 2018 opening began.
The hotel is estimated to cost between $175 million and $200 million and when it opens it will have 124 guest rooms, 37 suites, a ballroom that can seat 400 and a members-only beach club. Tudor-Perini has been hired as general contractor for the project, whose designers include architects Marc Appleton of Montecito and Andy Cohen of Gensler.
“I never thought I would build projects a decade at a time,” said Caruso, whose vision for the open air promenade at Westlake launched a career building outdoor venues including The Grove in Los Angeles.
Caruso, who took over the project when toy magnate and Santa Barbara Biltmore owner Ty Warner bowed out, labored for more than half a decade to get permits and then called another three-year hiatus while the financial crisis made financing difficult.
The project ran into opposition from local residents, including actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Even as ground was broken, a few local protesters held signs critical of First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal for supporting the project.
Caruso said he wanted the project to be the “finest on the California coast,” and vowed close relations between Rosewood and the greater Santa Barbara community.
• Contact Henry Dubroff at [email protected]