Sands of State Street Keep on Churning and Churning and…

Although an update probably will be needed again before summer, it’s time for yet another look at the ongoing saga of the State Street commercial real estate scene, which has been long considered a barometer for the South Coast economy.

Late winter 2013 finds the State Street corridor a mixed bag of comings and goings.

Perhaps the newest addition to the downtown scene will be the upcoming opening of the Core Power Yoga studio in what used to be a restaurant at 1129 State St. The studio is tucked away in a courtyard with a fountain behind Peet’s Coffee & Tea at 1131 State St. It’s been some five years since anything occupied the spot where Core Power Yoga is to inhabit.

State Street again has its share of vacant store fronts, ranging from the three Territory Ahead retail shops and corporate headquarters to the corner retail property vacated by Santa Barbara Outfitters and PrAna.

A couple of rug shops finally departed. One made way for a soon-to-open Brazilian Arts Cafe close to what soon will be an independent book shop on the 1200 block of State Street. And, at 1226 State St., the Metropolitan Art & Literature shop quietly replaced Ultimate bagels, which used to serve the cheapest meal in the area.

Nearby, the first independent bookstore in 20 years, Granada Books, is set to open in June, said co-owner Sharon Hoshida. She said she has been working on the 3,300-square-foot shop for the last 18 months.

Another rug shop at 1117 State St. has relocated at 410 Olive St.

Alas, La Arcada mall on the 100 block of State Street has been hit with the loss of East Beach Wine Co., which closed just after the first of the year. Owner David Cable moved from lower Milpas Street a couple of years ago, but never could draw many folks to his daily wine tastings.

Interestingly, a block over on Chapala Street, the Winehound shop left for greener pastures to La Cumbre Plaza.

On the 900 block of State Street, the Neapolitan Persona Pizza shop has moved into the space once occupied by the Taj East Indian restaurant.

On the 700 block of State Street, the symbol for Pi hangs over a long-dormant storefront across the street from what soon will be the Brat Haus, another in a succession of eateries to occupy what was the Snack Shop a few months ago.

Not far away remains a vacancy at 714 State St., which last was occupied by the Mimosa French restaurant. And, at the corner of Ortega and State streets sits the former Left at Albuquerque, while plans still call for it to be transformed into a Panera Bread shop.

Meanwhile, after more than a few years of vacancy, the former Café Zia and ex-Esau’s spots remain unoccupied. And the former Sharkee’s Baja Cantina, 415 State St., is expected to sit still for a long while since its owner is incarcerated.

The State Street corridor includes a few more commercial properties that have come into play this year. The former Brown & Brown insurance building on the 1000 block of Chapala Street remains unoccupied this year. The new owner of the almost 6,000-square-foot space is asking $1.85 per square foot for a triple net lease, which includes rent, utilities and other services.

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