Five-Story Building Proposed for Downtown

••• Tuesday’s Architectural Board of Review agenda includes “a new 5-story, 40-unit residential apartment building and 4-story self-storage facility with a basement level, mixed-use development on a 77-space parking lot” at 102 W. De La Guerra (Chapala/De La Vina). If I understand the plan correctly,* the space outlined in pink—which includes the former Frontier building at the corner of Chapala and Canon Perdido—will be self-storage, both in the existing building and in a new annex. (According to the submission, self-storage is the only use “that realistically can be implemented for adaptive reuse in this existing building because residential is not allowed due to environmental/toxic issues and office use is simply not viable.”) The red outline, meanwhile, is where the proposed five-story building would go; and because of a well-intentioned but overly blunt state law, no parking is required (due to the proximity of the bus station). The design by Cearnal Collective is rather utilitarian for such a prominent location. UPDATE: *Apparently, I didn’t. “The pink outline is not part of the design,” says Nik.”It depicts the neighbor property and the easement which give access to the self storage (dashed green area) the 40 unit 5 story is the south part of 102 WDLG and the storage is in the north side.”

••• “Non-emergency city offices” are closed tomorrow (April 1) in observance of Cesar Chavez Day (March 31). So we’re honoring someone who fought for laborers’ rights by giving only some people the day off?

••• A show of work by artist/architect Nicklaus Schwaller is up at 3823 Santa Claus Lane, with 50 percent of artwork purchases going to Heal the Ocean. “The works are made to reference an abstracted landscape of the Santa Barbara marine biosphere, aiming to to capture a sense of spontaneous life in Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands, by distilling its experiential qualities though a human perceptual and representational process of making.” It’s open April 13-14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment.

••• Jazz at the Ballroom returns to the Lobero Theatre on June 29 with a tribute to “female vocalists who started with popular big bands such as Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman. […] Swing the music of jazz canaries Billie Holiday, Anita O’Day, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and others.” Jane Monheit is among the performers. Perhaps she’ll perform this Cole Porter classic, which I associate with the great Lena Horne.

••• On April 11, ARM Studio hosts a screening of Grandes Horizontales, local filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis’s new documentary about 19th-century courtesans in Paris: “The evening will begin at ARM Studio with a pre-screening reception filled with Champagne cocktails and French bites and delights. Zemeckis will indulge guests in an intimate discussion of the film’s journey from inception to creation, offering insight into the rich subject matter and its correlation to the female experience today. Next, we’ll whisk off to the Riviera Theatre for an exclusive screening of the film and Q and A.”

••• With ziplining and hang-gliding under her belt, my mother-in-law needed something new to satisfy her urge for thrills. And so she, my husband, and I headed off to try iFLY indoor skydiving at Universal Studios. We all loved it! We paid around $90 each for two flights. The first was simply levitating in the air at around head height; for the second, a “high flight,” the instructor led us up and down the cylinder. The time in the air is short, maybe a minute each go, but it’s enough. And afterward, the instructor does a demo where he flies around like Spider-Man. It was pretty impressive. Here’s what I would’ve wanted to know beforehand: 1) the time of your reservation is 30 minutes before you’re actually required to be there, so we got to spend far too much time exploring Universal CityWalk, which is interesting only from a sociological perspective; 2) the cylinder is transparent and the public can (and will) watch; 3) you can pay extra for photos but the girlfriend of another skydiver offered to take photos and video for us, and they came out better; and 4) iFLY’s ridiculous release insists on the right to use participants’ names and likenesses however it likes, which is a massive overreach—but you can get out of it afterward by jumping through a few hoops.


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The Frontier building is gorgeous. It’s such a shame it can’t become housing but I suspected as much. (I have similar concerns/questions about the News Press building.) The proposed building could be worse. At least it has some color with the green windows (please don’t let them end up black) and it’s white stucco, not craptastic cladding. Cearnal seems to have a near monopoly on proposals for downtown. What gives?


the pink outline is not part of the design, it depicts the neighbor property and the easement which give access to the self storage (dashed green area) the 40 unit 5 story is the south part of 102 WDLG and the storage is in the north side

Carla Trott Lejade

I find it so disappointing that such an ugly utilitarian 5 story block of concrete is being proposed for this city witb low profile gorgeous architecture. Our mountain views and pretty architecture draw people worldwide here. Let’s not loose sight of this by proposing blocky storage buildings in prominent places.


I agree! 3 stories max! Don’t ruin Santa Barbara because the rest of CA is already being ruined by Scott Wienr / Newsom and their one size fits all approach to housing. New leadership desperatley is needed in CA