Derelict Depot Still Vacant While Saks Building Sells for $15M


Between State and Chapala streets in downtown Santa Barbara lies a study in contrasts.

The 46,813-square-foot retail building that houses Saks Off 5th, 1001 State St. in downtown Santa Barbara, was sold this week for more than $15 million.

Lee & Associates principals Stephen Leider and Clarice Clarke represented State Street Properties, LLC, which sold the property in a transaction described as an “off-market investment sale.”

The Saks Fifth Avenue store earlier this year and reopened it as the Sakes Off 5th high-end outlet store in the fall. The rebranded store is seeing a lot of foot traffic during the holiday shopping season, even if discounted items aren’t flying off the shelves.

In contrast, just a stone’s throw from the Saks building sits the old Greyhound bus depot, which has been vacant for nearly four years. After 70 years on the corner of Chapala Street and Carrillo Blvd., Greyhound moved in 2012 to a building on Montecito Street next to the Amtrak Station.

It’s another conundrum for Santa Barbara that such valuable retail space where the Greyhound depot once was has been vacant so long. If the sale price of the Saks building is any indication, the old depot location should someday fetch upwards of $10 million.

However, on one seems to be in a grand hurry to purchase and renovate the derelict property. A pop-up Tesla electric car “showroom” was set up earlier this year in the depot’s parking lot before moving to a permanent spot at 400 Hitchcock Way.