New owner jump starts long dormant Chapala One project and readies units to finally bring together commercial and residential tenants in unique downtown community.
A major chunk of mixed-use space that has sat empty for the past few years in downtown Santa Barbara is about to come back to life.
Although the Chapala One development project located on the corner of Chapala and Gutierrez streets was completed in late 2008, the 46 residential units and seven commercial units remained vacant for the past four years after financial and legal matters brought the project to a stand still.
Since that time, none of the housing units or the nearly 9,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space has been sold or occupied. That is all about to change when new owner Michael Rosenfeld officially takes ownership of the property.
“We didn’t develop this project, but we are excited to pick up the baton because we believe wholeheartedly in what it will mean for downtown Santa Barbara,” said Rosenfeld.
Austin Herlihy of Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments represents both Rosenfeld and the previous owner and has been working with both parties on the project for the last several years.
“Even though all the units are essentially brand new and move-in ready, the new owner is a perfectionist and will meticulously go through every unit to make sure they are in as good or better condition than when they were first constructed,” said Herlihy.
“It may still be a short time before the first tenants bring life to the shuttered space, but it will be well worth the wait for the lucky few who will call the condos in this development their home,” he added.
Still, with close proximity to Hwy. 101, downtown shopping, restaurants and the beach, the project is expected to attract local tenants quickly. “It is very important to establish a synergy between the retail tenants and the building residents, so the owner will go to great lengths to ensure he chooses tenants who add to the loft experience. Initially, we will be looking for a local boutique restaurant or bakery, a wine store and several small retailers giving the building a Mediterranean feel,” said Herlihy.
Rosenfeld sees a lot of potential in the lower State Street corridor and is looking forward to the transformation, according to Herlihy.
Aside from Chapala One and La Entrada, Herlihy points to other successful projects Rosenfeld has been a part of, including the purchase of the Fairmont Orchid hotel in Hawaii, as well as the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and the Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
“Knowing Michael’s track record, I feel strongly this development is going to be something we can all be very proud of,” said Herlihy.
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