Work is slowly beginning on the site of what will be the new Miramar hotel in Montecito.
Extensive public reviews, design changes, and remodeling plans have gone on for 16 years.
Dirt is now being moved at the site as a staging and leveling phase according to Santa Barbara County planners. Permits and water issues have been resolved.
Owner Rick Caruso says he hopes to have the new Miramar open in Summer of 2018. Caruso bought the property in 2007.
Prior owners including Ty Warner and Ian Schrager had also hoped to develop the site but their plans did not get off the ground.
The beachfront hotel on 16 acres will have 170 rooms and cottages, two swimming pools , a restaurant and meeting space for 400.
It will be operated by Rosewood Hotels.
(more details and video will be added here later today)