L.A. developers David Fishbein and Joseph Miller of Runyon are totally revamping the Las Aves complex at Los Patos Way and E. Cabrillo Boulevard, which they bought in May for $19.25 million. “When we first saw the property, we were struck by the incredible landscaping, the character of the buildings, and that beautiful courtyard,” said Fishbein. “Most people have no idea it even exists.” He’s not kidding; whenever I mention Las Aves to anyone, they’ve rarely set foot on the property, which really is lovely (and has lots of parking).
The new development will be called The Post: “We like the idea of people ‘posting up’ there—a community gathering space, a place to grab a coffee or hang out with their kids.” Like Platform, Runyon’s popular Culver City development, The Post will have an eclectic mix of merchants, but “totally geared to the community of Santa Barbara and Montecito.” The plan currently calls for one full-service restaurant and, at the corner of Cabrillo and Los Patos, something along the lines of a bakery or café, with a patio to beckon people in. Beyond that, they’ll shift away from the services that currently dominate Las Aves and toward retail, particularly apparel.
The timing is an open question. They’re not adding any square footage to Las Aves proper, which should speed things up. They are, however, also in talks to purchase two other buildings on Los Patos. Fishbein was understandably reluctant to disclose which ones, but the word on the street is that one is the Montecito Athletic Club (40 Los Patos Way). The other is most likely the former Magic Castle Cabaret (30 Los Patos Way), which has been on and off the market. As you can see from the map, if the Magic Castle folks hold out, Runyon could instead be buying the apartment building behind it (34 Los Patos Way), which links Las Aves with the gym. The least likely contender is Stella Mare’s restaurant at 50 Los Patos, given that it’s farthest from Las Aves and historic (built in 1872 and moved from 812 De La Vina in 1962).
P.S. For those who haven’t been keeping up, that strip is already headed for transition: the city is working on the smell problem at the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge; the intersection with Cabrillo is being converted into a roundabout
early next year,* which will make turning left off of Los Patos infinitely easier; and the Los Patos freeway exit will eventually be closed, transforming the street into a cul-de-sac. [Update 10/20: The city is now saying that construction on the roundabout start sometime in 2023.]
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