Developer Rick Caruso Makes Surprise Visit to Meeting About Miramar Project in Montecito

Entrance into one of the parking lots at the Rosewood Miramar Resort (Google Maps)

Real estate developer and former Los Angeles mayoral candidate, Rick Caruso, made an unexpected appearance at a recent meeting, aiming to generate support for his proposed housing and retail project at the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.

Caruso’s project envisions the construction of apartments for employees, as well as separate luxury apartments for long-term resort guests, alongside an array of high-end boutique shops.

Aerial view of the Rosewood Miramar Resort in Montecito showing two parking lots to the right of the main buildings (Google Maps)

The monthly Montecito Association meeting took place last week and local residents turned up in droves to share their objections to Caruso’s latest endeavor.

The Miramar Project Proposal includes 26 below-market homes for employees, 10 luxury apartments, and 10-12 boutique shops and cafes that would replace the parking lots on either side of the resort.

During the meeting, Caruso did not submit any formal plans, but presented new renderings based on feedback from last year’s meeting. Employee housing was consolidated into one building, retail stores would no longer face the street, and there will be 50 valet parking spaces.

Rick Caruso (courtesy)

Even with the adjustments, Montecito residents raised concerns over the height of the buildings, the blocking of views, increased vehicle traffic, safety, coastal access, and the need for luxury apartments instead of more workforce housing.

Cliff Gherson urged the Montecito Association to “protect the community” while Brandon Aroyan urged people to walk around the neighborhood to see the views that will be replaced by a new shopping mall.

The public meeting only allowed for a total of five comments, and while the majority of attendees had concerns about the project, there were some that were in favor.

Adrienne Bamford attended the meeting but didn’t have a chance to speak. She’s a San Ysidro/ Monte Vista resident with two young daughters who believes this project will enhance walkability and family-friendly appeal.

“Our daily beach walks through Rosewood’s public access are a necessity, as one daughter suffers from severe car sickness. Rosewood provides one of the few safe places to let our children roam freely. The expansion promises a secure, engaging environment with additional dining/shopping options,” said Bamford.

Caruso purchased the Miramar property in 2007 for approximately $50 million after the original historic building was demolished years prior. The Rosewood Miramar officially opened in 2019.

[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included the incorrect number of housing units. This has been updated along with a quote from Adrienne Bamford.]

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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