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Pacific Coast Business Times: Sale of Paseo Nuevo Macy’s building will spur repurposing

February 16, 2018
Santa Barbara, California – Published 2/16/2018
By Robert Shutt

Pacific Retail Capital Partners and several other institutional investors under the advisement of J.P. Morgan Asset Management announced on Feb. 7 their acquisition of the former Macy’s building at the Paseo Nuevo mall in downtown Santa Barbara.

The shopping center will now be able to look at repurposing options for the 135,000-square-foot building that will both fit the needs of the community and better serve the modern retail environment, according to Paseo Nuevo officials.

“This will be an opportunity to continue elevating the thriving atmosphere of this charming open-air center,” said Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, Paseo Nuevo marketing and specialty leasing manager.

“Investment in the former Macy’s building demonstrates our commitment to this community, State Street and the next generation planning of Paseo Nuevo,” said Steve Plenge, managing principal at Pacific Retail Capital Partners, in a news release. “We have been working to form the adaptive reuse of the building that will contribute to the balance and remerchandise of the area.”

Architects and architecture firms in the Santa Barbara area have been asked to assist in the overall vision and concept plan for the space and, until a permanent use is determined, the old Macy’s building will be used for community events, pop-up shops and entertainment experiences.


California Lutheran University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 23 for its new $30 million science center.

The 47,000-square-foot building will be located just east of Pioneer Avenue between Memorial Parkway and Faculty Street on the university’s Thousand Oaks campus and more than double the amount of space on campus dedicated to scientific study. It will house the entire chemistry program and parts of both the biology and exercise science programs.

Construction is slated for completion in the fall of 2020.


Islands Restaurants has opened a 4,901-square-foot location in the La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara. It is the company’s first Central Coast location.

The tropically-themed eatery features gourmet burgers, fries and specialty drinks in a casual atmosphere.

CEO Tony DeGrazier said he wanted to recreate the memorable dining experiences he had while stationed in Oahu in the early 1960s when he started Islands. The restaurant chain now has more than 50 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Bill Hagelis of Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments represented Islands in the purchase of the property.


The barbecue is back in San Luis Obispo with the reopening of MO’s Smokehouse BBQ on Monterey Street downtown. It will now be able to add to its already 20-plus-year-long legacy in the area.

MO’s will offer the same slow-smoked barbecue and award-winning BBQ sauce that gave it its stellar reputation on the Central Coast with the addition of a beer and wine bar. The restaurant now offers 10 beers on tap and a variety of local and imported wines.

A major feature of the remodel is the addition of five big-screen TVs for sports fans.

“We’re still the same MO’s that San Luis Obispo has known for 24 years,” said Nancy Snyder, MO’s general manager, in a news release. “But it was time for an update. Monterey Street is being updated and revitalized and we wanted to be a part of that.”


The doors of Central Coast Brewing’s second location at 6 Higuera St. will soon be open.

The owner of the company, George Peterson, hopes to have the location fully open by the beginning of March.

With 12,000 square feet of space to work with at the new location, Central Coast Brewing will be able to offer much more than its other location. There will be 48 beers on tap alongside guest brews, cider, wine and growlers to go.

The kitchen will serve food like wood-fired pizzas and smoked barbecue sandwiches. The patio in the front will have a large fire pit and a “man cave” in the back will feature a pool table, dart boards, video games and a shuffleboard.

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