The plans have dropped for a big, interesting project in the Funk Zone, to be discussed by the city’s Planning Commission on October 14. The address is 35 Anacapa Street, currently a vacant lot; an entity called 35 Anacapa LLC—which appears to be the Theimer Group—brought the property from the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara for $2.9 million in June 2020.
From the Planning Commission’s agenda: “The project consists of a new three-story development on a 0.5-acre vacant lot located at the southwest corner of Anacapa Street and E. Mason Street. The proposal includes two options (airspace condominium map or lot split/lot-tie agreement) for development of one building consisting of two small hotels, corner market/bodega, various types of restaurants (sit down, coffee shop, and fast casual kitchens), a tasting room, artist studios, an art gallery, and other retail space.”
Without further ado, let’s get to the renderings. (The design is by the Santa Barbara/L.A. firm DesignARC.) From Anacapa, looking west:
I’m sure there are already readers getting ready to comment about how this will be the nail in the coffin for the Funk Zone. Personally, I think this could be one of those embrace-the-future moments that so often bedevil Santa Barbara. Is all change bad? The past isn’t coming back; the Funk Zone will never be funky the way it once was. To its credit, this design is far from run-of-the-mill architecture, what with the chockablock roofline, massive courtyard, myriad decks, second-floor commercial use, and the roof cut-out, and I couldn’t be more delighted to see something besides more Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. If any part of the city can handle contemporary design, it’s the Funk Zone.
The plans also include looks at a few spaces. These three are all labeled “courtyard”—and seeing as how renderings rarely mention real businesses unless they mean it, the smart money is on Third Window Brewing moving in someday. (You could hardly blame Third Window for wanting to be somewhere with more action.)
…but the floor plans are fascinating. You’ll recall that the agenda description mentions two options. Here’s option one’s first, second, and third floors, respectively. (Click on them to see them larger.)
And that’s it. If this and the full-block SOMOfunk development nearby come to fruition, the Funk Zone will certainly be a different place a decade from now.
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