November 20, 2023
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Real Estate: Santa Barbara Public Market sold to local buyer


Santa Barbara Public Market, a food hall near State Street, was recently sold. (Brooke Holland photo)

Happy New Year! Let’s jump into the latest commercial real estate industry updates on the Central Coast.

With goals of bringing new energy and some new investments, two local families have purchased the Santa Barbara Public Market and an adjacent space in downtown Santa Barbara.

The market at 38 W. Victoria St., a collection of food-counter-style restaurants, sold for $7.65 million and the vacant commercial condo at 28 W. Victoria St. sold for $2.25 million. A liquor license was transferred with the sale, so the grand total of the investment was more than $10 million.

The market and vacant property adjacent to the food hall came under new ownership in late December. Francois DeJohn, partner and founder of Hayes Commercial Group, represented the buyer, the Winn and Twining families.

The Santa Barbara Public Market property was not on the market, DeJohn said, but his partners Rob Adams and Michael Martz of Hayes had 28 W. Victoria St., a 4,000-square-foot space between the market and Sotheby’s Realty, available for sale.

Brooke Holland
Commercial Real Estate

DeJohn said he was working with the Winn and Twining families to find a new property for them to purchase.

“One thing led to another and we came across this opportunity,” DeJohn said. “We’re all going to be lucky that they own it because it’s going to get even better.”

The family partnership consists of Ralph Alastair Winn and his wife, Ann Winn, as well as Travis Twining and his wife, Amanda Twining, and their 16-year-old daughter. They have hosted several charity events at the Winn-Twining estate in Montecito, including gatherings for local nonprofits One805 and Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.

Alastair Winn and Travis Twining are partners on most of their real estate transactions, which stretch from Santa Paula to Atascadero.

“A lot of people love to have a beer and go to their favorite restaurants in the public market, but we saw some vacancy that was currently in the market and some opportunity for some fresh new ideas,” Travis Twining, managing partner of the family trust, told the Business Times.

The new owners plan to fill the vacant spots with what the community wants, so it can be “more of a community meeting place rather than your standard market,” Twining said.

The market is a two-story property with food and beverage tenants across 15,000 square feet on the ground level, and includes a 5,000-square-foot basement. It opened in 2014.

The 28 W. Victoria St. property is an empty shell for now, but the new ownership has concept ideas that feature a “fun atmosphere.”

“We’re exploring the idea of making that maybe a private club with an event center,” Twining said.

The market neighbors luxury condo units in a residential complex and local landmarks like The Arlington Theatre and the Granada Theatre. The Victoria Street site was a public market in the 1920s, before becoming a Safeway and then a Vons. Developer Marge Cafarelli, the founder and managing partner of real estate investment and development company Urban Developments, purchased the property in 2008, and the next year, Vons pulled the plug on the store.


In Thousand Oaks, the site of the first school in Newbury Park is slated to be developed into a mixed-use project featuring 218 apartment units and a hotel.

In November, the proposed project at the Timber School received the go-ahead from the Thousand Oaks City Council.

The project will include a two-to-three-story apartment complex and 120-room, three-story hotel on Newbury Road, and will have 26 affordable housing units for low-income residents.

The developer, Daylight Thousand Oaks, is proposing a multi-family residential project and a 35-foot-high hotel development consisting of 13 buildings on the site.

The 10-acre vacant property includes the school facility, auditorium and remnants of a maintenance yard. Plans call for rehabilitation and “adaptive reuse” of the two existing on-site historic buildings.

• Brooke Holland covers commercial real estate for the Pacific Coast Business Times. She can be reached at