The Entrada de Santa Barbara hotel and retail project has been in the planning stages for over 20 years, but now heavy equipment has arrived to begin some of the serious work.
Construction crews have been tearing down the last set of older buildings that once housed Hot Spots Coffee, a T-shirt shop and bike rentals on the corner of State St. at Mason St.
This site is one of three corners involved in the project.
Construction is planned for the next year and a half with completion set for summer of 2016. All three phases have to be done at the same time according to city requirements for the project.
The Entrada development and the nearby facelift in the “Funk Zone” recently are combined, the largest retail, restaurant, and hotel changes the city has seen since the early 1990’s when the Paseo Nuevo Mall was built downtown.
The developer is known as 35 State Street Partners and the group involves Los Angeles businessman and developer Michael Rosenfeld who has been to Santa Barbara to usher the project through after several setbacks over the last 20 years involving other owners.
Once completed it will have 123 rooms, over 20, 000 square feet of retail space, paseos, and 243 parking spaces.
The historic Californian Hotel was partially preserved for this project. It dates back to the early 1920’s and the facade remains in place and the rest of the building, torn down years ago, will be rebuilt in an area west of State St.
Nearby two creek projects and bridge replacements are also taking place, and MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, a children’s museum is going to be built near the train station a block to the north.
(more details and video will be added to this story later today.)