An Outpost of L.A.’s Platform Is Coming to the Funk Zone

The Post, the revamping of the Las Aves complex across from the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge, isn’t the only development Runyon has in the works. The Historic Landmarks Commission’s April 12 agenda includes an outpost of the company’s Culver City complex, Platform. It’s at 301 E. Yanonali, on the west side of Garden Street and south of the 101, which is currently home to Stoneyard Building Materials. According to the description in the plans by Cearnal Collective….

The proposed project is a collection of independent merchants, eateries, and creative businesses making up a commercial development that will include approximately 45,140 square feet of nonresidential floor area comprised of a series of primarily one-story buildings totaling approximately 35,040 square feet configured around a central open walkable pedestrian courtyard area, with two-story portions encompassing about 10,110 square feet of nonresidential floor area provided in three separate areas of the project, with a majority of the second floor located in the northeastern corner of the site. The second floor also includes five outdoor decks that comprise approximately 9,706 square feet and a 435-square-foot dining patio in the northeast corner of the site associated with a second-floor restaurant space. […]

A total of 190 parking spaces will be provided [….] There will be 161 parking spaces below grade within a subterranean parking garage and 29 surface parking spaces behind the buildings on the northern end of the site.

I asked Runyon partner David Fishbein how Platform Santa Barbara will differ from The Post and how many tenants there might be.

The aesthetic will be the primary differentiator between both projects and there will be more open gathering space for the community given the size of the property and the limitations on how much square footage can be built. The merchandising vision will tie into the other great local independent businesses in the Funk Zone and be very complimentary. As is our specialty we will focus on unique independent boutiques and great local chef/restaurateurs. I’m not sure how many tenants we will have at this point but it will likely be similar to The Post given the projects are similar in overall size.

As for the architecture, here’s more from the plans….

The 3.04-acre site […] is located in El Pueblo Viejo Design District yet on the fringe of the Funk Zone. The architecture is intended to bridge that gap, alluding to the elegant simplicity of Irving Gill’s work and reflecting the spirit of this historically industrial location near the waterfront. The buildings are composed as if once a manufacturing facility, repurposed to new uses. The white plaster walls, abundant arches, steel windows, and Mediterranean landscape are compatible with the Hispanic tradition of Santa Barbara, while reflecting the more artistic spirit of the Funk Zone.

Personally, I’m delighted it’s not more Spanish Colonial architecture, although the elegant simplicity will undoubtedly be affected by signage for the various businesses.

I hesitate to include the renderings that show the buildings without landscaping, lest anyone get confused, but they do give a better sense of the architecture. Please bear in mind that this is not what the finished product will look like!


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This is the mind of development I would expect to see from Runyon here, and one I welcome. It looks great and hopefully we’ll get some nice new shops and dining establishments to look forward to.

I’m somewhat skeptical this project will engage with anything “local” but whatever. I like stuff that isn’t local, too. When they brought Platform to LA it was largely populated with stuff like: an outpost of Roberta’s from Brooklyn, Blue Bottle Coffee, Sweetgreen, Saturdays from NYC, etc. I’m not opposed to any of that, in fact I’d love a Blue Bottle and a previous comment thread here has people clamoring for a Sweetgreen. Just pointing out the claims of working with local businesses may or may not be legit.

This is very different from what is going on at Las Aves which still irks me to my core.

It’s a big, and questionable, play to go for adding so much premium retail in such a small geographic area. I’m skeptical both projects will be successful long term as far as the retail components go. I think this might fare better than Las Aves.

Runyon have partnered with Caruso on previous projects. I’ve got to wonder whether he’s involved as a backer, especially with the Las Aves redevelopment.


Autocorrect is not my friend. First sentence should read “kind of development” not mind.


I am for development in this industrial area and think it is a nice design, but I have some questions. A new shopping mall in Santa Barbara? Like Paseo Nuevo? Or La Cumbre Plaza? For more shops like on State Street?

On a 3-acre property that could be a mixed-use development like Neil Dipaola’s 2-acre 150-unit SOMAFunk project? Or the 4-acre site proposal for a 250-room Wright Family Garden Street hotel that is getting pushback from the planning commission? All within blocks of each other, within walking distance to downtown/beach/train, etc., designed by acclaimed local architects at Cearnal Collective? During a housing crisis where environmentally friendly Santa Barbara is designating high-density building sites in locations whereby the residents will be car dependent? The lack of residential/mixed-use in this plan seems tone deaf to the needs of Santa Barbara. It seems like all of these sites could house many people and still include mixed-use plans, making the area an ideal place to live a car-free lifestyle.

(FYI Under current Santa Barbara rules, the max housing units per acre is 63 per acre, yet last year, the council stated support for adaptive reuse to increase this to 147 per acre… this property could house over 440 units … the three of them could accommodate around 1,300 units and put a dent in the states housing mandates.)


Your points came to my mind as well: Another shopping center? Won’t the problems of State Street just migrate over here? Why not offer some housing? Yet on the second thought, market rate housing at this location would only bring out of town people (and their cars) which would exacerbate existing problems while increasing strain on our infrastructure.


Precisely this. This feels like La Cumbre from 10 years ago and will likely end up the same way… empty of most flagship shops and underutilized by the community (ultimately leading to questions as to why this wasn’t just developed into housing instead).


“Personally, I’m delighted it’s not more Spanish Colonial architecture, although the elegant simplicity will undoubtedly be affected by signage for the various businesses.”

A thousand times yes to this!!!! The way in which Spanish Colonial has become this default look for new construction in Santa Barbara drives me nuts. It feels like ANYTHING with white stucco and a red tile roof can get approved in this town, and frankly it can. It feels cheap and theme park-ey to me at this point.


Anyone who has been to the platform will love this place, especially if you love clothing boutiques where T-shirts cost $120 and candles cost $80. The only thing I can afford at the Platform is the Blue Bottle coffee, everything else is just window shopping.

ES Corchero

I like the idea of the Stone Yard Building space — especially to cater to the growing tourist zone (formerly the funk zone). Sincerely! Like others, I do wish it was affordable housing, but it won’t.

Yep, I know how this plays out…

And it will launch, much like Las Aves with a lot of cute, expensive shops and some high-end buzzy venture capital retail brands — and then it won’t. Unlike Culver City (now) or previously Venice or wherever else in LA, I am just not sure the demographic of someone with a lot of new money with a lot of discretionary income is actually what’s going on in Santa Barbara economically. Frankly, I think these projects are a bit too early — and will be too reliant on up-for-the-weekend-Angelenos and tourists staying at the Miramar or Californian. (How are those hotels doing with occupancy?)

I think the “Platform SB” idea may do alright, but after the initial tenants leave, I guarantee it will look like the Mill for awhile and then actually fill with local businesses. On the other hand, I absolutely feel like the Las Aves is such a dumb idea for the developers. There’s no parking. It’s not a convenient spot. I know they’re trying to fix the red algae bloom, but the bird refuge stinks — and the road backs up and sucks. And I see the dollar signs in their eyes for that wealthy Montecito crowd, but they’re not gonna show up once Caruso swallows the Upper Village and does the same thing.

I feel like we go through these waves in Santa Barbara. Big ideas that dream of a retail frenzy (looking at you La Cumbre Mall with your power move to lure in Tiffanys and Louis Vuitton to the extraordinary sound of crickets). And we end up with a lot of empty retail space. Am I wrong?

Maybe one day, if we improve the amount of discretionary income residents have, we can make this work?
Until then, it just feels like someone isn’t doing their research on the real economics of Santa Barbara county.

John Jorgensen

This will place a concentration of Cearnal Office work potentially in the eastern edge of the Funk Zone.
By my reckon, this is for the NE corner of the intersection, not NW, yeah the streets are skewed a bit. Not the west side of Garden, that corner is much smaller and used for yard storage.
The underground parking entrance is at least potentially above the flood zone, not so sure about the 101 Garden street proposal.
This project will add a measurable square footage of retail, factoring in the existing on State, the new and old and the rework at the Eastern edge Cabrillo… I do question the demand for retail. Unfortunately this project will need to be actively patrolled overnight for concrete campers.
When will the City start asking for future sea rise inundation cost sharing?

FZ artist

The population of Santa Barbara is not SB Magazine. This looks like another out of the area developer spreading their desire to urbanize and rape SB of its soul. The Funk Zone, which will need to be renamed and “rebranded” still serves a purpose for SB. The remaining industrial land will soon disappear…Where will the warehouses, stone yards, carpentry shops, welding shops, yards for the tree trimming equipment, and artist studios go? The community still needs spaces for these services, but where? Sad.


I personally like this project but you pose an important question that often goes unaddressed. When industrial is reimagined as retail or housing, where does the industrial go? Industrial lots house essential businesses such as those you mention and they’re integral to the functioning of the community.


Now this looks exciting and interesting and it has a lot of parking ! Hope this project makes it and it’s low so you still see the mountains . Bravo

Sam Tababa

The funny thing about SB is that while it appears to be wealthy, it’s actually a town full of poor people (or at least people just hanging on). The majority of people who call SB home have no money. They’re either house poor or they’re literally poor.

This is why we end up with high end chain stores and restaurants that fail within months. Outside in SB looks like a wealthy town. High end real estate, famous residents, etc. Inside out, its full of do-nothings, bums, students on their parents dollar and generations of hanger-on who live in their grandma’s house until they are in their 50’s…

These high end retail and restaurants experiments always fail. This will be no different. Especially considering the location is SB’s Skid Row with hordes of homeless, drug addicts and day workers hanging out in front and behind 24/7. Certainly does not make for a pleasant shopping or living experience.


Lots of politics and infinite wisdom here I’m certain… but the city effectively moved most transient services from the industrial zone to State and Carrillo during the same weeks as the state street revitalization project. Apparently transients are good for tourism… Who knew??? This “platform” project mentioned in this article is being built where that last encampment is. Which will leave just the rescue mission on Calle Cesar Chavez that was a free local resource for the taxpayers which has been replaced by CityNet (a DBA of Kingdom Causes, Inc.) with the founders Mega Mansion in Santa Ynez.