More Downtown Changes Rolling Along

Electric bicycles can be rented on State Street for $7 for an half hour hour.

The first month of 2021 brought some more comings and goings as the tide ebbs and flows in the business community. 

New electric bikes more parklets for outdoor dining might mean permanent closure of State Street to vehicular traffic. 

BCycle, operated by BCycle, LLC.  Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisc., installed the electric chargers on many blocks of State Street last year, which has been closed to cars and trucks since last year. The bikes arrived Jan. 28 and seemed to be growing in popularity. 

However, just a 30-minute ride costs $7. Monthly and yearlong passes cost $30 and $150, respectively.  It appears these bikes will last longer than the electric scooters that came through a few years ago by a company called Lime. The company failed to get city approval and was kicked out.

Meahwhile Bank of the West vacated its office at the corner of State and Figueroa streets. And, across the street, the cosmetic store has shuttered even though the blue awning on Figueroa Street still says “Wolf Camera.” Several other State Street cosmetic shops have given up the ghost.

Just a few steps away, the popular Jennine’s Restaurant and Bakery has closed it La Arcada location. The chain has other locations, including one on upper State Street, which remain open although without indoor dining for now. 

The departure of more State Street shops has brought more than 30 empty venues, which just about unheard of in Santa Barbara. Interestingly, after the company shuttered the business several years ago, the former Staples building, 410 State St., reportedly has been leased to Reality Church until 2022. That building and an adjacent structure, where Reid’s Appliances is now housed, have been targeted to be converted into 84 housing units at some point. 

To fill a large empty spot a fee streets north, the nonprofit Community Environmental Council moved from around the corners to 1219 State St.

Meanwhile, on the Santa Barbara City Council agenda Feb. 9 is a discussion of what to do about abandoned shopping carts. One proposal is to charge business owners for the carts’ removal, instead of the patrons who take them away from a store or market. 

Also, an Alcoholic Beverage Control meeting is set for Feb. 9 regarding the CVS drug store at 336 Milpas St, which has requested a booze license. However, other business owners and residents have complained for many years about the drunken transients who urinate and leave their garbage on and around Milpas Street. 

Posted Feb. 8, 2021.

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