UPDATED: Samy’s Closing June 29; Upper State Building Up for $4 Million

The county’s most visible commercial corridor is having mood swings once again, just in time for Saturday’s 45th annual Summer Solstice parade, which starts at noon at State and Cota streets.

Samy’s Camera, 530 State St., is closing even though a sign out front says it’s relocating. The company, which has other locations in Los Angeles, reportedly could not reach a lease agreement with the building owner. The closing date is planned for June 29.

Samy’s moved to State Street several years ago from its Chapala Street location around the corner where Sonos is now located.

Meanwhile, a two-story mixed-use office and retail building in the upper State Street corridor is up for sale for almost $4 million, according to Santa Barbara commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates. 

The upper State Street corridor building, encompassing 37, 39 and 41 Calle Laureles as well as 2946 De la Vina St., is completely occupied. Tenants include Endeavor Communications on a one-year modified gross lease and three, short-term tenants in smaller spaces. 

Month-to-month tenancies and short-term leases allow flexibility for an owner-user or for an investor, Lee officials said. The sale is listed as a “price adjustment.” 

The building is 9,134 square feet on a 16,117 square-foot-lot. The principals in the sale are Lee’s Steve Leider and Clarice Clarke. 

Downtown is churning once more with the closure of the Rocket Fizz candy and soda shop at 1021 State St. The franchise shop, which is one in a national chain, lasted almost five years. They must have sold a lot of sweets to pay the lease. 

The 12-year-old Rocket Fizz company has its “flagship” shop in Camarillo with other locations in Ventura County and more shops from Colorado to Georgia.

“The store shut down due to lack of business in that part of State Street,” Rocket Fizz officials said in an email. “There are many retail vacancies in the area and the people walking the street has steadily declined over the past year. Santa Barbara is a very beautiful city and we love it there, but unfortunately the location did not work out. However, we have over 100 other Rocket Fizz shops open across the country.”

It’s unclear who the next tenant at 1021 State St. right now. 

One street away, Coastal Dispensary, 1019 Chapala St., has rescheduled is opening until August, company officials said. The business is one of the full-service cannabis dispensaries on the South Coast to open this year.

Some other store fronts are being filled by little shops such as Woven, 1019 State St. It’s a 2-month-old, color-filled shop with many vibrant articles of clothing and accessories. And, at the old Jersey Mike’s site, plans are set to bring in Taqueria Santa Barbara, 1031 State St. 

Bring one taco place in as another leaves. An Indian cuisine eatery, Apna, is supposed to replace Goa Taco at 718 State St. Meanwhile next door, Choppa Poke, which opened recently, replaced a cosmetics shop that moved. The new seafood eatery not only serves poke, but also dishes out ice cream just a few doors down from a McConnell’s frozen confection shop. 

In Old Town, another electric bicycle shop is “coming soon” at 506 State St. in a space most recently occupied by an art gallery and before that it was another cosmetics shop. 

Two spaces on lower State Street still remain vacant some years after their tenants fled. 

The space at the corner of State and Gutierrez streets is supposed to house a home and garden store called Habitat, but the “coming soon” sign on its window seems to have been posted for years. And, next door also vacant for a few years is the old, 17,000-square-foot Staples site with no new tenant in site. 

Further down the corridor, another liquor sales place called “La Cantina” is slowly coming together just north of Loquita Restaurant on State and Yanonali streets. 

Finally, the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region plans to open a new visitor center sometime soon on State Street across from the railroad tracks, but little interior activity can be seen inside these days. 

The other visitor center on Cabrillo Boulevard and Garden Street will remain in operation. 

In yet more State Street news, city officials are still finalizing the $84,000 report from a consultant that was hired to make downtown recommendations.

A special city council meeting is set for 4 p.m. July 25 to hear a presentation and recommendations for downtown from Kosmont Consulting, a Manhattan Beach-based commercial real estate firm hired earlier this year.

The city council called for the firm’s report to be delivered this month. City official Nina Johnson said the July council meeting will “be an opportunity to report out what was learned from (an earlier) Downtown Innovation Workshop.” She said, “The meeting is open for the public and I anticipate strong interest.”

Posted June 20, 2019. Updated June 27, 2019.

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