City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown title=
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

A series of workshops brought together entrepreneurs, brokers, and property owners to find vacant space downtown.

A new sign template was also developed to help start-up businesses open their doors quickly and generate foot traffic downtown. 

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Becky Nov 29, 2018 12:21 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

I love Edhat readers! Many of us have been here for decades, & shake our heads in disbelief when we hear another clueless government plan to “fix” a problem. The rent’s too high. The entrepreneurs are leaving in droves because the red tape burden & bureacratic obstacles makes being profitable extremely difficult. Unless you solve the aggressive panhandler problem, downtown isn’t desirable. Too few big landlords & ludicrous tax laws often make it more profitable to leave some of their properties vacant and declare a loss, than to lower the rent to reasonable levels to attract a tenant who isn’t a national chain. Businesses exist to meet a need so as to turn a profit, not to create a demand. Government bureaucrats really ought to be required to work in heavily regulated small businesses for a few years, so they get exposed to financial realities.

a-1544478247 Nov 29, 2018 05:04 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

I'm with you on all points Becky except that you share a common misconception about landlords: while there are tax advantages to owning real estate, it is NEVER more profitable to let a space sit vacant than to lease it out at lower rents.

NotReallyDave Nov 28, 2018 07:49 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

Maybe a fish processing business or a meat packing plant would work downtown. It would definitely create jobs, increase walk-in traffic by the homeless, give new experiences to tourists, and add the special smells that people talk about forever. Make Santa Barbara Great Again!

Factotum Nov 28, 2018 12:00 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

About 18 vagrants hanging our around the Art Museum today, ready to pounce on any new downtown shoppers. So all the good ideas downtown has to bring people back are sabotaged by this same chronic group of abusers. All establishing their stakes on city sidewalks so they can be first in line for the rolling tiny houses? Every feel-good attempt by our city council is always countered by this same group of provocateurs who have resisted every and all attempt to change their behavior. Drying up the handouts down town only moved their business operations out into the rest of the city. Free housing will now make their downtown daytime activities permanent. Just look what happened to Fresno.

midair Nov 28, 2018 10:56 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The homeless and the aggressive panhandlers OWN downtown. Tourists will go there ONCE and never return. Locals know to stay away. Nothing will succeed until that problem is fixed, and our "leaders" don't have the backbone to fix the problem.

Luvaduck Nov 28, 2018 10:20 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

Downtown is a bad place for start-ups: If they're successful owners raise rents and in essence become silent partners. If it takes too long to get established, they're given notice to move. The only commercial entities that can succeed in that atmosphere are ones owned by the building owners or governmental deep pockets.

bgallery Nov 28, 2018 09:17 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The Santa Barbara Timeline Mosaic project is very thankful to Paseo Nuevo management for our temporary workshop space at 723 State Street. Our project is providing free, or donation based, mosaic classes to community members who want to be part of a large-scale public art installation telling the story of our county from the Jurassic Period to modern times: 150 Million Years of History in 50 Feet of Mosaic. This week our workshop is expanding to include art students from La Cuesta School with their art teacher Mike Mowers. Without the generous aid of Paseo Nuevo we would not be able to provide this community service. Betsy Gallery, lead mosaic artist & Robin Elander, project manager. See our Facebook page at SBTimelineMosaic.

andrewbaker77 Nov 27, 2018 01:22 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

Ugh. You don't open a store to create demand. You open a store to fulfill a demand. The city needs to populate State St with people who will shop State St - ie Tourists. Legalize STRs within six blocks of State, from the ocean to Mission. Solved.

andrewbaker77 Nov 27, 2018 05:01 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The city is a business. It makes money by making requirements. The more requirements, the more staff to manage those requirements, the more permits needed, the more money made. All done "for the good of the people." Ahahhahahahahaha

andrewbaker77 Nov 27, 2018 05:01 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The city is a business. It makes money by making requirements. The more requirements, the more staff to manage those requirements, the more permits needed, the more money made. All done "for the good of the people." Ahahhahahahahaha

andrewbaker77 Nov 27, 2018 05:01 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The city is a business. It makes money by making requirements. The more requirements, the more staff to manage those requirements, the more permits needed, the more money made. All done "for the good of the people." Ahahhahahahahaha

a-1544478247 Nov 27, 2018 03:40 PM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

You and SANTABARBARAOBSERVER are right on! The city is the number one impediment to new business opening on State Street. Our elected "leaders" keep spewing business friendly rhetoric but that doesn't trickle down to their staff who throw up as much red tape and regulatory hurdles as possible, all the while they have the discretion to act otherwise. Maybe it's to create more work for themselves and justify their bloated staffs, just a guess, but let's hire more consultants anyway... That picture isn't exactly accurate either. There is already a women's boutique open in one, the other is a poke / ice cream restaurant whose ready to open but the owner said the city won't let him hook up his fire sprinkler system to the water main until January, business friendly indeed!

a-1544478247 Nov 27, 2018 09:47 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

I understand that rents are standard but the term is much shorter than a standard lease. Participating landlords will even consider occupancy of a few months. Only catch is that the entire lease must be paid upfront. My $0.02 is that this is a fair trade, and it's a great way for a business to test the waters or offer a seasonal shop.

SantaBarbaraObserver Nov 27, 2018 09:47 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

Here's an idea: How about the city reduces 33% of its staff and gives them a "template" for opening up their own business on State St. That way we can save millions a year in superfluous payroll expenses while increasing the sales tax coffers. All while treating the bureaucratic noodle-brains to a taste of what life is like on the other side of the counter. A win win! Or we can spend a few million on consultants that inform us to the fact that the city's employees are not doing the very job their hired to do and therefore we need to hire more of them to make up for their disparity...

Factotum Nov 27, 2018 09:51 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

The entire mission accomplished city Environmental Services crew could be cut loose and open a fair trade coffee shop in this space. There is an easy one million dollar in city staff compensation saved.

PitMix Nov 28, 2018 11:55 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

Esau's building was owned by those 2 brothers that didn't like to maintain their buildings and had bought them so cheap years ago that they didn't care if there was any income. I know someone with a business that rented from them, the heater was redtagged, rats ran wild, and no matter which brother you talked to about the problems, he blamed the other brother for not wanting to do the work. The brother you were talking to, of course, was fully in support of doing the work but his brother wouldn't let him. Old school landlords!

ZeroHawk Nov 28, 2018 09:43 AM
City Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fill Vacant Space Downtown

absolutely not. remember Esaus? he was forced out when he was on State street...that's almost 18 years ago. the place is still vacant. they use the vacancies as a tax right off and the city allows them to do so....this is why the landlords don't care if they are vacant or not. very very few businesses can afford this ridiculously high rent

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