30-Unit Apartment Complex Slated for the Haley Corridor

••• The May 1 meeting of the city’s Architectural Board of Review includes the final design review for The Lofts at the Mill, a project that has been many years in the works but was news to me. The three buildings at 401 E. Haley (Lighthouse Coffee, AM Fitness, and the one to the north) and 409 E. Haley (below) would be torn down to make way for a 42,337-square-foot mixed-use building with 30 apartments and ground-floor commercial space. UPDATE: I added a rendering.

••• The Dirty Dog Wash & Goods announced that it’s opening today, April 27.

••• Kenny Loggins plays the Santa Barbara Bowl on November 4.

••• Aron Ashland of The Cruisery is asking that people who support the State Street Promenade write to the city council ([email protected]), because he has heard that council members are said to be receiving more emails opposing the promenade. And then he forwarded an email he sent to the council; here are some excerpts:

I heard that you have been getting more emails against supporting the promenade. I understand that those people need to be heard but they had their chance and it was 4-to-1 against what they wanted. Can’t we stop listening to the minority? […] Nearly the entire city disagrees with the Mayor and his idea that things were good before the Promenade—they just weren’t. Don’t forget that he doesn’t know how bad it was because his business wasn’t on State. He had an elevated patio [and] narrow sidewalks so homeless didn’t bother his guests or sleep in his doorway. I bet he rarely dealt with the homeless and the crime that we’ve been facing on State St since around 2015. It steadily got worse. You don’t have to believe me—look at the vacancy rates before Covid. Why would we want to go back to the highest vacancy rates we’ve ever seen?

Do you remember when [assistant city attorney] Dan Hentzcke and [economic development manager] Jason Harris said the fire lane wasn’t going to make a difference to the businesses and we’ve since lost Cold Stone, Natural Cafe and the e-bike store on just the 500 block. One of our best blocks! […]

Please extend the ERETO or whatever it’s going to be called to bridge the gap between now and the completion of the promenade—please don’t let it die just as plans are being approved to break ground. It would make no sense to leave a hole in the middle of the city for 2-5 years when we could have what we had right after Covid—an amazing, fun, vibrant promenade that attracted locals and visitors in droves.

••• On May 4 and June 1 (5-8 p.m.), at the Couture Pattern Museum inside Workzones at Paseo Nuevo: “a pop-up display that celebrates the coronation of King Charles. We will be highlighting the queen’s dressmaker, Norman Hartnell, and will be displaying revived ensembles created in our Santa Barbara atelier, using extremely rare patterns from the house of Sir Norman Hartnell from 1953. In addition, we will have original press photos and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth playing in the background.”

••• Electric bike company Rad Power Bikes has opened in the Funk Zone, at the corner of Santa Barbara Street and E. Montecito Street.

••• Los Padres ForestWatch and the Cuyama Buckhorn hotel have partnered on Guide to the Outdoors in the Cuyama Valley, with info on hikes, drives, and other things to do. I thought it was nicely done, and well worth the $10 (digital) or $20 (print).


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Dan O. Seibert

Aron Ashland did not speak the truth in his letter. I’m the gardener for the former Paradise Cafe, currently La Paloma and we have the same issues with homeless as those businesses on State. He also states the majority of city residents support the current closure of State. If he followed local media on Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor he would know there are equal opinions on both sides. But I watched him and others on Tuesday at the council meeting. I was so disappointed to see the five council member side with Aron, Bob Stout, Richard Yates and the 400 emailers and vote to reduce the square foot charges to $2. For the past year city staff has been working on the fees and I believe, fairly. What a crazy, mixed up message this sends to all city employees. No matter how good you do your job, if a group of people can marshal 400 protests then your work is thrown out.

Reopen State Street

You’re right Dan. City council caved to a very vocal minority in supporting the reduced parklet fees which only benefit a small group of businesses downtown, all bars/restaurants, to the detriment of all other businesses on State St. and restaurants off State. The continued closer will further erode the retail component on State and lead to more vacancies, again all for the benefit of a handful of restaurants.

It’s open!

Your name seems to suggest state street is closed. But I have good news, my friend – I was there last night and it was open!! Open to people and kids walking and biking, bands playing music, people dancing and dining, enjoying a wonderful public space.

It’s only closed to loud, dirty, polluting cars that put pedestrian lives at risk. But don’t worry, cars have over 700 miles of roads in the city and 3000 parking spots in downtown where they can still go. They’ll be a-okay with one less mile

Matt McLaughlin

If you can’t drive up& down State Street I would think that’s a negative.


It’s laughable to think social media comments are an accurate representation of what people think… thankfully that’s why the city hired experts to conduct online and in-person surveys. Sorry, but y’all are vastly out-numbered. 79% support the promenade

Reopen State Street

Hired experts to conduct a survey with sample bias (only capturing results from a certain segment like people who walk up to their booth on State, ignoring people who aren’t going to State because they don’t like it’s current condition), response bias (did you do the survey? all multiple choice responses were geared towards keeping the promenade, and any fill in answers/comments didn’t make it in the report). They even included young kids in their “survey”. These experts also cited many other examples around the country of outdoor promenades, which were in cities much larger than SB with promenades smaller than ours, and left out of their presentation that only 38% of the examples they cited were successes and failed to disclose the very high vacancy rates in those areas. That 79% is not indicative of the entire population of SB.

Reopen State Street

Look up sampling bias and nonresponse bias. There are inherent issues with a survey you have to go online and voluntarily take, similar to inherent biases with having a booth on State waiting for people to voluntarily engage and take the survey.

Mark Rosenthal

The rendering of ‘The Lofts at the Mill’ (what a hollow, anonymous name!) is a poster for the mediocrity of current American architecture. These ersatz-contemporary (Van Der Rohe wold be appalled) buildings are urban stuffing; representing nothing specific except the low cost of throwing them together. This is a building that could be in any sprawl in any city. It is hostile to the street and generic to the downtown. I hope the review board stops this newest attempt by indifferent architects to do to S.B. what was done to the Hollywood flats — remove California.


Wow, just revisited this post in order to read your comment and I hadn’t seen the rendering. Blight!