Sak’s Building to Become Tech Center?

The Sak’s Building on State Street is the source of many rumors.

A member of the Santa Barbara Historic Lands Commission told the Planning Commission on July 19 that the still-occupied Saks building on State Street and Carrillo Boulevard could someday be used to house technology companies.

HLC member Bill Mahan was addressing the Planning Commission on another proposed mixed-used development around Anapamu and Garden streets. The commission took no action on that massive, 52-unit project.

Mahan said the HLC has heard from Michael Rosenfeld, owner of the Sak’s building and developer of the Hotel  Californian, who said he would favor the two-story structure being used for office space.

In December, Rosenfeld purchased the 46,813-square-foot building in the heart of downtown.

Mahan also said local architect Brian Cearnal said he could redesign the building for use by technology companies.

However, the building’s owner has leased it for Sak’s Off 5th retail use through the end of this year.

Mahan said it could take “a year or two” to remodel the building. But, he admitted, everything in Santa Barbara takes longer than that.

It was rumored that the prominent  building will be converted to mixed-use, with retail and residential components, according to commercial real estate broker Natalie V. Wagner in her March newsletter. 

However, Mahan did not mention any residential use for the structure.

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