The State Street corridor is looking a lot different than it did last summer. (First published in 2013)
The biggest changes are at the top and bottom of Old Town. The Victoria and State area is rife with construction as the Alma del Pueblo marketplace is moving toward a September completion when about 17 local businesses will sell their wares below 37 condos in what used to be a Vons supermarket.
Across Victoria Street, the remodeled Victoria Theater is nearing completion later this year. Around the corner, the Granada Book Store is in full operation after a packed June 20 opening. The owners are hoping to raise funds to build a small, outdoor live performance patio.
The city is trying to bring more art to the 1200 block of State. However, First Republic Bank is relocating on the corner of State and Anapamu streets where Santa Barbara Outfitters went out of business about six months ago.
At the south end of State Street, construction continues on the street improvements around Hotel Indigo and the reconstructed Californian Hotel. Expect street reconstruction to continue through the summer along with some heavy traffic and pedestrian congestion.
Moving up to the 400 block of State, another bid to open a restaurant, called Killer Shrimp, is under way where the old Sharky’s Baja Cantina once was situated.
The former Territory Ahead retail clothing company headquarters, 419 State St., is about to be replaced by Tapjoy, an Internet and interactive digital media company. The former Territory Ahead outlet and retail shops on State street still have no new tenants.
On Haley Street near State, an electric bicycle store called Pedego opened with little fanfare this month. It replaces a foreign car garage, which had been there for years.
After about four years of dormancy, Zia’s Café is reopening soon as Verdé, Southwestern Cuisine, at 532 State St. Across the street at 527 State St., the Coastal Collection is preparing to open with the sale of “old vine” tables and other furniture.
New to the 600 block is Skechers shoe store at 623½ State St. in a spot that was vacant for about five years.
The 700 block of State is seeing some big changes. McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream Co. is preparing to open a store at 728 State St. this summer and replace what used to be the Java Jones coffee shop.
At 740 State St., the recently opened Lulu Lemon boutique is doing a brisk retail clothing business. And at 714 State St., the Lolë yoga studio is preparing to open this summer. It replaces the short-lived Mimosa Restaurant, which was at that spot for less than a year.
Across State Street in Paseo Nuevo, a Pain Relief shop has opened near the building that houses the Social Security Administration office and Workzones, the new co-working office and conference center.
The 900 block still has its two chronically empty storefronts at 930 State St., the former GBMI shoe store, and 915 State St., formerly the Z Gallerie.
The Shirts Outlet, 1013 State St., is going out of business as is the Pacific Traveler Supply Store just off State Street on Apapamu.
In the ever-changing La Arcada mall, the Santa Barbara Art Store moved into what was the East Beach Wine Shop, which folded about six months ago. Sanford Winery is moving into the space vacated by the arts shop.
Also on the 1200 block, the Onward Art & Design shop, 1223 State St., replaces Beads of the World, which moved to 619 A State St. And, the Arbor skate and snowboard shop moved from Victoria Court to 15 Anapamu St.