Last we heard about La Cumbre Plaza, a group of local investors bought the Macy’s building—and it turns out they bought various parking lots around it, too. Now comes word that the father-and-son team of Jim and Matt Taylor is leading the charge, with the goal of taking over the entire center and replacing it with a major mixed-use development.
Shooting the moon at La Cumbre is even harder than usual because the complex has a patchwork of owners, some of whom own the land and some of whom own the buildings. Moreover, there are restrictions on development, although some will expire in coming years. One can only hope that (a) Santa Barbara city government, desperate for housing, will do everything it can to ease the way; and (b) nearby residents will see the benefits of a city-center-style complex for Upper State. To sweeten the deal, there’s talk of including a park—and possibly even a pedestrian bridge over Hope Avenue.
Just look at the map below to see how much more efficiently the land could be used.
More will inevitably come out over time. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my ear to the ground—and if you hear anything, I’m at [email protected] and 917-209-6473. As always, anonymity is guaranteed.
UPDATE: Macy’s apparently has six years left on its lease (if the company lives that long). The ground lease for the Sears building, meanwhile, has 15 to 20 years, so nothing is likely to happen on that front for a while.
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