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Subscriber Comments for
Should SBC Say Yes to Caruso?

Most recent Comments first | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 259260 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-24 09:05 AM

He got his extension and that is fine but it's time to force his hand. Give him zero tax breaks and take him to court now to make him clean up the property under blight laws. Simple. It's time to stop coddling the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.


 COMMENT 259176 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-23 08:22 PM

Require Caruso to return the Miramar land to its natural state as a condition of extending his permits. And then.....

.....just wait.

Citizens, you are now enjoying an ocean front vacant piece of land a la Wilcox Property, a la More Mesa, a la Ellwood. Enjoy.


 COMMENT 258728 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 03:33 PM

Caruso seems to have plenty of money to partner with others and bid on the L.A. Dodgers, for a price between $1.5-2 billion. Yes, Billion with a B. Maybe give him the time extension, with enforceable conditions to make demolition happen, but absolutely NO tax money must go to this guy. Not one cent!


 COMMENT 258724 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 03:21 PM

KDEF: Everyone had access to money in 2007, but that was before the financial meltdown that has caused a huge recession in this country. In case you haven't noticed, credit in this country is extremely tight and it is extremely difficult to borrow money now. Like all other developers, Caruso doesn't have access to financing like he once did. I'm sure he's just as unhappy about our nation's financial woes as everyone is about the abandoned Miramar property.


 EARO65 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 10:50 AM

That property would be an ideal place for subsidized housing. Montecito employs a number of people who must commute from outside the area, if living there, the traffic problems would decrease, and air quality would improve. Instead of destroying viable ag land in Noleta to house those who work in Montecito and SB, why not build housing on available land that will not reduce our local ag community?


 COMMENT 258618 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 09:48 AM

I like KDEF's response the best!


 COMMENT 258603P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 09:01 AM

It business ... even if he and his investors have 'billions' they got that way because they are smart business men/women. Miramar is a business. It needs to be a profitable business. There needs to be a cooperative relationship, otherwise, he'll walk away and I wouldn't blame him. Make his life hard and expensive and you'll get to keep what you already have and it will stay exactly like it is today. Work with him and he'll make it better. Work against him and you'll have Roger's Esperanza 2!!!


 COMMENT 258575 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-22 07:52 AM

The guy gambled and lost, for now. It should be easy to say no to a bail out. Not like he's losing the roof over his head(bailout please). He needs to put his investment to work sooner or later, I'm willing to wait. For now, less traffic is actually kinda nice, and the eyesore part, I just look the other way. No bed tax rebate, cost-benefit is a bust; extend permits with conditions that the property gets a makeover, returns to more natural state for the interim, remove decaying buildings, chain link fence; a meadow behind a split rail fence would be nice and countrifying.


 COMMENT 258543P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 10:24 PM

Yea. Billionaire.


 COMMENT 258539P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 09:41 PM

A high rise of 30 stories would be sweet.


 KDEF helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 09:33 PM

According to the Santa Barbara Independent April 11, 2007, reporting an open house held by the Caruso group pitching the Moramar project to the citizens of Montecito, Caruso calmed financial fears by saying his monetary picture was strong. "Banks are calling us," he noted. "We have a balance sheet that, if it came down to it, we could do it on our own." He said.

If in 2007 he claimed to have the funds to build the entire project. Why can't he provide the funds to to at least tear down the buildings? Of course, a city slickers will try to con the local yokels to pay for the demolition and even the much of the project.


 COMMENT 258524 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 08:22 PM

This man is a capitalist opportunist. Nothing wrong with that...as long as you can man up on the responsibility end. But trying to weasel out of your own big statements...just proves you to be a weasel. We hold the small and insignificant among us to a standard; we should also hold the high and mighty to the same, even if they only pay 15% in taxes. I also miss the El Encanto, the old Miramar, Rocky's, etc.


 COMMENT 258523 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 08:15 PM

A billionaire? I can assure you that Mr. Caruso is not a billionaire or anywhere close to it. He has the same problems that all developers have had the past four years. He does not simply "own" the centers he has built. They have debt against them like most developments.

He did not buy the Miramar property outright with his own money. He has investors involved and it was largely investor's money that was used to buy the property. His investors are not pleased and unless he can work something out with them, the Miramar is going nowhere. This not an unusual predicament for a developer these days.

Way too many egos compelled all those involved over the past decade to pay too much for a property that does not work. It doesn't produce enough income to support the cost and debt involved to bring it to fruition.

If a developer sees a clear path to profit on a project after ALL is done, it will be done. Otherwise, it will be one reason after another for public consumption.


 COMMENT 258521 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 08:11 PM

I don't like the Esperanza idea's! Keep the WALKERS down town!


 COMMENT 259176 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 04:57 PM

Mr. Caruso doesn't have to build or sell, but he should me made to DEMOLISH THE DECAYING MIRAMAR STRUCTURES!

Instead of seeing the blighted Miramar buildings, imagine seeing empty land fronting the ocean. Mr. Caruso will continue to pay his property taxes.

We can extend his building permits for generations and enjoy the beauty of his vacant land.

What an opportunity to turn back the clock on oceanfront property! Think how Hammond's Meadow used to look before development.....


 COMMENT 258459 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 04:25 PM

@457P Seriously?!


 COMMENT 258457P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 04:23 PM

The property would make a great homeless encampment for the County. Then they'd be off State Street & from around the AMTRAK station.

Heck, what a deal - their own beach, living facilities, place to bathe, it just gets better & better.


 COMMENT 258445P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 03:52 PM

No County Taxpayers should not be saddled with a 10 year subsidy to get this project built.

If the County stopped extending the permits, then the owner would be forced to either build what is approved or lose the entitlement and start over - that would be a lot of money for their investors to lose. So they might decide to actually start building.


 COMMENT 258543P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 03:21 PM

IF CARUSO receives this "sweetheart deal", all credibility and fairness in re the County Board of Supervisors will be lost, especially with other hotels existing and in the works. Why should the taxpayer subsidize this billionaire, out of town developer???


 COMMENT 258424 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 03:02 PM

I can see Mr. Caruso in the same way as the owners of the Arlington Hotel and the Potter Hotel from days gone by. They all wanted to capitalize their property by building the biggest and best hotels. But the Arlington and Potter were both destroyed and nothing ever replaced them. Kind of like the Miramar today.

Maybe we should consider an alternative use for the property.


 COMMENT 258618 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 02:01 PM

I would be better disposed toward if they split the baby and offered him a 50% rebate, anything over that I would be upset. It seems since Schrager first had it the project continues to go downhill and the more desperate the county gets it allows Caruso to try and exact more. I've known and worked with quite a few developers, always loved how a campaign contribution can buy you a offramp making your land more valuable. It will be interesting to see how many donations from Caruso friends are handed out to Salud and company in the next year or two.


 COMMENT 258392 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 01:46 PM

258384--Really? He is willing to invest $170 million? I have seen no good evidence of that. If he is willing, why doesn't he go ahead and do it??? If we keep on giving extensions that pile will remain the eyesore it is. I say put up or shut up.


 COMMENT 258384 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 01:31 PM

258358 - No, "he" didn't buy it, his company did. That would be saying don't give any subsidies to the railroad business because Warren Buffet owns Burlington Northern Railroad and he has $65 billion dollars. Yet the railroad industry get millions in subsidies each year.

It appears that there's a personal vendetta against Caruso, rather than just looking at what makes economic sense. He's willing to invest $170 million into a hotel that will bring in over $3 million each year into our local economy via property and sales taxes and over 200 jobs. I'd rather put money into the economy, and get people working. Seems that a lot of people would rather not, just so they can spite Caruso.

258377 - Please. The government is giving breaks left and right to the middle class right now. You didn't hear about the payroll extension? How about the latest distribution of funds for those that were foreclosed? Free medical is around the corner. You'll be fine.


 COMMENT 258377 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 01:09 PM

None of us get breaks in this economic time, why should he?


 COMMENT 258424 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:52 PM

NO! Caruso wants to build retail as much as he wants a hotel on the site. For him, retail means more income, but it doesn't make a better hotel. I miss the old Miramar, and El Encanto, and Californian Hotel (Rocky Galenti's).


 ROGER DODGER helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:44 PM

What about the Bacara? Casa 4?


 COMMENT 258366 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:40 PM

Just say NO to corporate welfare.


 COMMENT 258365P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:38 PM

I agree that the property would be a good site for the next homeless shelter, Casa Esperanza II. And after we build that Casa Esperanza III could be put in at the Clark Estate which has also been abandoned for years. Santa Barbara could become a mecca for unfortunate homeless from all over the country. They have a right to live in a nice home by the beach too.


 COMMENT 258361P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:28 PM

No more extensions and no more tax rebates: build or sell or, if he can do neither, give it away to the County for a park or homeless site or?....

A homeowner would not have such handholding as has been done by the County.


 COMMENT 258358 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 12:21 PM

I think his personal worth has a lot to do with it.

He bought the property. Isn't it his responsibility to take care of it?

Why should the tax payers of Santa Barbara constantly be asked to subsidize him.

I own property very close to the Miramar. Frankly, from my vantage point it can stay the way it is forever if the choice is between that and constantly bowing down to Caruso.


 COMMENT 258340 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 11:29 AM

Yes. Yes. Yes! Oh yes!! YES. YES!! OH YES!! *sigh*


 COMMENT 258337 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 11:16 AM

its amazing the place has been there that long and hasnt been hit by lightning.


 COMMENT 258336P helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 11:09 AM

The owners of the Miramar property all have suffered from too much ego. That property could have been making money all these years. It can still make money. Build it in phases. Use what's usable. Get it operating ASAP.

No, I don't want to subsidize years of bad decision making by the past and current owners.


 COMMENT 258333 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 11:03 AM

Yes. This post sound like some sort of OCCUPY pity party.


 ROGER DODGER helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 10:56 AM

I think the Miramar would be a beautiful site for Casa Esprenza 2...


 COMMENT 258384 helpful negative off topic

2012-02-21 10:53 AM

The fact that he's a billionaire shouldn't have any impact on anything. Would that change if he only made $100K? Regardless of his personal net worth, he still has an obligation to his company to make deals profitable, just like ANY President or CEO does.

Unless Santa Barbara wants to continue to see the Miramar as a waste zone, then yes, they should continue to say "yes."


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