Historic Adobe Complex Downtown Seeks Buyer

••• Think what you could do with the Oreña Adobe complex at E. De La Guerra and Anacapa…. The price was recently lowered to $9.85 million.

Oreña Adobe is actually two authentic adobes built in 1849 & 1858, plus buildings added in the 1920’s. This remarkable property is still owned by the descendents of the De La Guerra Family of which the street is named. The adobes are “Designated Landmarks” within the City of Santa Barbara. They have high ceilings and thick walls, currently used for business offices, and all are rented. There is an additional upstairs apartment living space with 2 private bedrooms and 1.5 baths with a kitchen. Located on a large corner lot (122’x120’) with outside tiled patios, iron gates and grassy lawn entertainment areas. The property buildings are ~8000 sq.ft. with recent upgrades. The commercial tenants include The Downtown Organization, James Fine Art, investment, internet & consulting companies.

The Oreña Adobes were Designated Landmarks within the City of Santa Barbara in 1960. Exterior Changes need special approvals. The adobes were restored in 1921 and the rear building added. A local contractor upgraded & permitted electrical, plumbing and other improvements in 1985. Earthquake retrofits were performed in 1980s.

ADOBE 1849: ~ 1,715 sq. ft. with bath and kitchenette. / Built by Don Jose de la Guerra and used as a storehouse; Gaspar Oreña married into the De La Guerra family in 1854 purchasing the adobe. The interior of Adobe 1849 was fully refurbished in 2019.

ADOBE 1858: ~ 2,340 sq. ft. / Downstairs including the entry portico has six offices and two bathrooms. Includes retail Antique Business.

Adobe 1858 Second Story: ~ 1,656 sq. ft. / Open Beam living quarters with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, living room, Full Kitchen and outside patio.

BOREIN STUDIO: ~432 sq. ft. / Famous artist Edward Borein used this open beam studio in the 1920’s with fireplace, kitchen and bath.

1921 STUDIOS: ~ 1,400 sq. ft. / Architect James Osborn Craig, who also designed the neighboring El Paseo, built this Studios building and tiled patios & fountain with the owners in 1921. The two Studios have high ceilings, fireplace, kitchenette, two bathrooms and storage / sleeping lofts.

STOREROOM: ~432 sq. ft. / Accessable via inside Adobe 1849 or outside.

El PASEO Alley: (15’x 123’). / The private graveled and gated alley along the north side of the property is included; access is from Anacapa Street.

••• Brace for the flaggers! The county announced road repairs throughout Montecito:

The County Board of Supervisors dedicated $10.1 million toward restoring haul routes and roads within the Montecito community and surrounding area that were damaged due to the 1/9 debris flow and emergency response. The funds recently were received as part of the County’s litigation settlement with Southern California Edison and will address 60 proposed road sections that are of highest priority to be restored to pre-debris flow conditions. [Map below.] […]

This part of the settlement, totaling $28.1 million, partially reimburses the County for costs incurred resulting from the Thomas Fire and debris flow disasters and recovery efforts. In total, the net financial impact on the County related to the disasters and ensuing storm readiness and response is estimated at approximately $94 million.

In addition, the settlement agreement sets aside between $2.8 million and $15.8 million associated with pending damage reimbursement claims and grant requests to FEMA and CalOES totaling $54 million in costs. Depending on the outcome of the claim reimbursement and grant process with FEMA and CalOES, and in addition to whatever funds FEMA and CalOES approve, the County could expect to receive some of this set-aside funding over the next few years related to these infrastructure projects.

The Board also allocated $2 million to the Flood Control District and almost $8 million to the General Fund, which County staff recommended for one-time expenses related to emergency preparedness, response, recovery and public safety needs. The remainder of the funding will be set aside for litigation defense costs against SCE and potential future audits by the federal Office of Inspector General as part of routine practices performed after all FEMA declared disasters.

••• While they’re at it, perhaps they could take down this sign on E. Mountain Drive. The sign is old, says the Montecito Trails Foundation, and the Cold Spring trailhead is definitely open, with no plans to close in May.

••• The Lobero Theatre no longer sells bottled water, which is great—bottled water is indefensible unless you’re traveling or something, and that goes double for water imported from another continent—and it’s giving away water outside, which is also great. Now maybe it can work on the plastic glasses….

••• From the Montecito Association:

The Montecito Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency will host a public meeting on February 24 at 5 p.m. at Montecito Union School. The meeting will provide an introduction to the Agency and a presentation on groundwater and its importance for the community. […] The Montecito Groundwater Basin supplies numerous public and private wells. Groundwater is heavily relied upon for residential use, along with some commercial and agricultural uses. Available data shows that area groundwater levels are generally low following the worst drought in this region’s history. The Montecito GSA is tasked with developing and implementing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan to ensure long-term sustainability of the basin and prevent undesirable results, such as seawater intrusion and depletion of groundwater supplies. Plan development is a several year process and is currently underway.