The Deal to Transform Paseo Nuevo Is Taking Shape

••• Movie theater chain Metropolitan Theatres Corp. has filed for bankruptcy. The company has a near monopoly on moviegoing around here, operating the Arlington Theatre, Hitchcock Cinema, Fiesta Five Theatres, Metro 4 Theatres, Paseo Nuevo Cinemas, Fairview Theatre, and Camino Real Cinemas. President David “Corwin, whose family has owned Metropolitan Theatres since it was founded by Joseph H. Corwin in 1923, said the company intends to use Chapter 11 to negotiate rent reductions with landlords and close locations it can no longer afford.” Corwin blamed Covid and the state of the movie industry, which are surely factors, but you can’t entirely dismiss the substandard moviegoing experience at many of the theaters. —Bloomberg

••• Noozhawk called the First District Board of Supervisors race for Roy Lee over Das Williams: “They were separated by 637 votes” and “it’s unlikely the remaining uncounted mail-in and provisional ballots will be enough to change the outcome.” And Joan Hartmann and Bob Nelson have almost certainly been reelected (also Noozhawk). Updated results are expected tomorrow.

••• “Santa Barbara City Council unanimously approved a project agreement Tuesday for what would be a massive rehaul of Paseo Nuevo [….] The agreement marks the official beginning of the courtship between the city—which owns the land under the property—and AllianceBernstein, the investment group that became the unintentional leaseholder of Paseo Nuevo after making a loan to the prior owner, which eventually defaulted. According to the terms agreed upon by the city and AB, the project would include 500,000 square feet of residential; 85,000 square feet of retail focused on smaller restaurant and shop space, including a possible 15,000-square-foot grocery and a 20,000-square-foot gym; and 96,700 square feet of open space, about half of which will be public space. The buildings could be anywhere from two to seven stories high, including an underground parking garage with 640 spaces.” —Independent

••• “Despite Clash of Opinions, Santa Barbara Planning Commission Signs Off on Garden Street Hotel Project.” —Noozhawk

••• “The Federal Emergency Management Agency is nearly done with updated flood zone maps for the region. […] Planning commissioners were frustrated that they haven’t seen the maps yet, and that the decision to replace Highway 101 sound walls with chain-link fences was made before the new maps were released.” —Noozhawk

••• The buyer who paid $32 million for the DeGeneres/de Rossi flip on San Ysidro Road was indeed mining magnate Robert Friedland, who also recently dropped $46.9 million on Padaro Lane. —Robb Report

••• A KSBY article about how the “Santa Maria Macy’s [is] spared from list of 150 store locations that will soon be closing” also says that the La Cumbre Plaza store “would be staying open as well.” But of course it’s just a question of time….

••• “The State Coastal Commission okayed UCSB’s plan to remove the Ellwood Marine Terminal and to restore the 19 acre site to its natural state. […] plans call for restoring the natural habitat, and adding trails and coastal overlooks. The demolition work will take about eight months, but the entire restoration effort could take five years.” —KCLU (and there’s more in the press release on Noozhawk)

••• From a press release on Edhat: “The City of Goleta is pleased to announce the reopening of Ellwood Mesa to the public [….] The Ellwood Mesa was temporarily closed following severe winter storms that caused several landslides, downed dozens of large trees, and damaged a critical authorized vehicle access road. The City completed major tree work to reduce risks to trail users and protect monarch butterfly habitat.”

••• “Long-Planned Strauss Wind Farm Near Lompoc Spins to Life.” —Noozhawk


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Sam Tababa

Replacing businesses with low income housing and part time residents is one hell of a way to build your tax base and fund the future…


Have you been to Paseo Nuevo lately? According to the Paseo Nuevo website, there are at least 15 vacant stores. The linked article claims that if this housing project falls through, the mall could potentially sit unchanged for 40 years. I’m not sure that would be good for the city, either. Plus the housing project does include 85,000 square feet of retail space, so there will still be businesses there.
Also, they haven’t agreed on the number of affordable units (it could be as low as 40 or as many as 200), nor have they decided if those units will be low-income or moderate-income. So the vast majority of units will be market rate.


The victory of Roy Lee over Das Williams should give everyone hope that good can triumph over evil at least some of the time.

James melillo

Evil yes. The man that started out demanding a blue line be painted across all state ate business to show where global warming could raise water, promoting himself as a low income building expansive and a land preservation person literally in the same week, building a sleazy industry in order to find his campaign term after term choosing hundreds of Carp puerile the quality of their lives and giving the county noting but increased costs. How can they object to the term evil.

Marg Lee

well you are certainly only marginally literate, or just illiterate. please go back to school, learn grammar, how to spell, and how to compose a sentence. No one can take you seriously