Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center title=
The former home of Macy's that has sat empty for several years on the corner of Ortega and State Streets in Santa Barbara (file photo)
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By edhat staff

The building that housed a Macy's department store in downtown Santa Barbara's Paseo Nuevo mall will now become a "fun center" with a roller rink, laser tag, and arcade.

Aloha Fun Center will lease the ground floor of the building at 701 State Street. The second and third-floor spaces are still available to rent.

The Fun Centers have two other locations in San Jose and Emeryville and are currently advertising open positions through their social media channels for skate guards, skate instructors, emcee DJ, and an assistant general manager.

Macy's closed the location in 2017 and sections of the space have since been used for small pop-up stores.

In March of this year, Hayes Commercial Group announced the three-story, 132,500 square-foot building is being restructured to provide the largest office floor plans in downtown Santa Barbara with the ground floor simultaneously being marketed to retail, restaurant, and grocery tenants. 

Commercial realtors hoped to nab a growing tech company to lease the space since companies like Amazon, Honey, Sonos, and Invoca are already leasing large office spaces along the State Street corridor.

Aloha Fun Center is aiming to open before the end of the year.


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a-1639728398 Dec 17, 2021 12:06 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Remember Golf & Stuff on Hope x Calle Real?
Remember how our community howled, for years, for places like this for kids?
Weird response.

More info from Noozhawk:
"Aloha to New Fun Center?
Although no one is quite sure when, apparently the San Jose-based Aloha Fun Center is opening an entertainment center inside the old Macy's building in Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara.
The center will feature laser tag, roller skating, an arcade and "good vibes."
It's unclear when the place will open. Efforts to contact the ownership for details were unsuccessful.
According to Instagram, Aloha Fun Center is holding a hiring fair on Saturday, with "pay determined on experience." Junior associate jobs start at $15 an hour, according to the social media post. Jobs include skate guards, skate instructors, an emcee DJ, an assistant general manager and shift leads.
"Aloha Fun Center is a growing family entertainment center in the Bay Area," according to its Instagram post. "We strive to bring fun and enjoyment to people of all ages. We love our community and continue to grow it."
The hiring fair ad states, "Walk-ins welcome. On the spot hiring."
According to Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, the senior marketing director for the Paseo Nuevo mall, the company will occupy the first floor of the building.
"This is a great use for this building that will give families something new and fun to do in downtown," Harms-Romo said."

Byzantium Dec 13, 2021 04:47 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Definitive gang report prepared by the Clinton administration decades ago - AG Janet Reno - a good read: .....................(p. 158)
Commercial Sites
Commercial sites most at risk are those where people congregate for sub- stantial periods of time—taverns, restaurants, bowling alleys, pool halls, amusement arcades, and parks. Some service facilities such as laundromats, barber shops, and garages require that people wait around for service to be finished. Other commercial sites can become gang hangouts if the managers allow it. Gangs may find parking lots to be suitable gathering places, re- gardless of the type of establishment.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 05:15 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

BYZ - that's brilliant. Yes, let's stop building "taverns, restaurants, bowling alleys, pool halls, amusement arcades, and parks" and "laundromats, barber shops, and garages." Great idea!

Anyway, none of that bolsters, supports, evidences, backs up, or even hints at your claim of Macy's having been "ground zero" for turf wars.

It's as if you wander in here and proudly proclaim whatever nonsense you're angry at that particular moment as "fact" without even the slightest attempt to verify. Wild, just wild.

LooseCannon Dec 13, 2021 03:53 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

I can't say I am enthusiastic about "laser tag".

Maybe the upper floors could become an Adult Fun Center.

Think, uh, Plato's Retreat.

SBTownie Dec 13, 2021 01:58 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

I've been wishing for a roller rink forever. For personal health reasons relating to COVID and Omicron, which seems near impervious to vaccination, I will be avoiding it. But personally I think this is a great addition to the town.

SBTownie Dec 13, 2021 04:08 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Sac is correct. Also, 3:52 should read up on Omicron's breakthrough capabilities as seen in cases from Europe and South Africa. Omicron is absolutely capable of breaking through vaccination, even boosted, at rates we haven't yet seen. I am vaccinated but have a complex medical history with ongoing problems. Therefore I cannot afford to be lackadaisical about Omicron, despite being vaccinated.

a-1639440399 Dec 13, 2021 04:06 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

But the fact that it was based on only a small number of cases (<50 when the antivaxxers started bandying it about), certainly does classify as highly misleading.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 03:58 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

3:52 - sadly, only 60% of our population is vaccinated. While it's technically "most," it's probably not enough to really skew the stat so much that it's "highly misleading."

a-1639439538 Dec 13, 2021 03:52 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

When most of your population is vaccinated, of course most of your cases will be among the vaccinated. That's a highly misleading statistic, especially since it is based on a small number of cases (so far). Using the word"impervious" implies that vaccines have no effect. That's very very far from true. Being boosted helps even more, though again not perfect.

a-1639435149 Dec 13, 2021 02:39 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

80% of the US Omicron cases are in the fully vaccinated. That's a complete reversal from prior variants. Good news though, so far it's extremely mild.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 02:34 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

2:22 - People are getting Omicron (and other variants), despite being fully vaccinated. It's not far from "impervious" at all. Trick is though, being fully vaxxed protects you by decreasing the risk of serious infection, hospitalization and death. No, the vax won't fully protect you, but it helps a LOT more than nothing at all.

Byzantium Dec 13, 2021 09:27 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Keep asking what these continually increasing tax revenues are actually spent on. Don't just target the symptom; attack the cause. I recall a tourism consultant brought in after cruise ships first came to town. She recommended adding more gimmicky activities like silly cars that would appeal to day-tripper entertainment demands. Just coming to Santa Barbara to enjoy its local small town beauty and rich cultural heritage was not enough, according to this tourism consultant. She wanted us to add circus side show extras. Was that a price we wanted to pay ...just to increase tax revenues ...for what end purpose? Keep asking those questions - who are we really benefiting when we destroy the core, heart and soul of this unique community to raise the tourism buck.

Byzantium Dec 13, 2021 09:19 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

There were plenty of reasons Macy's downtown closed. One of which had to do with local downtown gang initiation demands to commit increasing levels of crime - shop-lifting being one of them (Hello Macy's) , along with vandalism, graffiti, assaults, acts of bodily harm against others which occasionally actually in death. Just to get "jumped" into a local gang. Macy's on State Street was ground zero for the Eastside-Westside turf wars. Wish this project well. Hope they understand the context in which they will exist. It will serve our community well if zero tolerance or gang activity becomes part of our local fabric. Good place to start a new community ethic - gang free and safe for all.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 03:06 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

"Macy's on State Street was ground zero for the Eastside-Westside turf wars." What?? Bwahahahah! No, not at all, not ever. Macy's didn't close because of gangs.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 09:15 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

This is AWESOME! Finally, SB is bringing back some place for the kids to hang out! Since I was a teen in the 90s wandering aimlessly up and down State St., I've been saying they need some place for teens to hang out and have fun. Glad to see some consideration for a huge portion of our population!

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 04:52 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

GT - my daughters are in high school and jr. high. Both are super excited and it's all the buzz at their respective schools. Ice in Paradise here in Goleta is STILL a major hot spot for a lot of local kids. I really doubt "tourist kids" will be the main clientele.

Curious though, what "more than fun center" do they need? The only thing I can think of would be an all ages live music venue.

GeneralTree Dec 13, 2021 11:34 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Unfortunately Goleta and SB needs a lot more than a "fun center" for kids and teens.. More likely it will be an attraction for tourist kids - and close it's doors due to lack of support after the novelty wears off in a few years

Shame Dec 13, 2021 08:19 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

I agree much needed. I feel that sears would have been a much better area.safer for kids to be dropped off. And the little mall could use some help.

pstarSR Dec 13, 2021 07:40 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

whoever has been here through the 80's

we had all this, literally had ALL THIS. the city banned arcades because they brought "unsavory" characters. and they didnt want that vibe

well. now they want the money

pstarSR Dec 13, 2021 10:10 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

100% agree with your statement. wouldnt it be an amazing thing, if the city fostered and promoted local business over tourism. Residents over visitors, Community over Influence. we can dream I guess.....

SantaBarbaraObserver Dec 13, 2021 08:33 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

This city sold its future and its soul decades ago. The absolute worst industry you can foster and promote is tourism. Low wage jobs, low skill employees, massive abuse of public resources and excessive costs levied upon the citizens. All so the city can grow its tax revenue while putting us further and further into debt. A few more years of this stuff and Santa Barbara will be known as the Atlantic City of the west...

a-1639418922 Dec 13, 2021 10:08 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

No one believes this use will last indefinitely. It is clearly a temporary occupant until a more suitable long term occupant appears. Roller rinks are historically not purpose built but move in to available space as there is not much profit in the business. So it is good that life will be brought back to this area without more wine bars and pizza.

Byzantium Dec 12, 2021 09:06 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

If you are bored, then you are boring. Queen Mother's advice to her young daughters. Pass it on to anyone who claims "there is nothing to do" in Santa Barbara.

sacjon Dec 13, 2021 01:04 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

BYZ - who is "bored?" I don't understand the point of your comment. This is a great facility for young people to hang out, as opposed to lurking around on State street getting into trouble.

a-1639358761 Dec 12, 2021 05:26 PM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Seems like a good idea, sort of a return to penny arcades, but modernized. Drop the kids off at the Aloha Fun Center while the folks head to the Drunk Zone.

GeneralTree Dec 13, 2021 11:31 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Nobody wants to go down there with the gangs and homeless. Lived here 35 years. I've seen guns and jump ins on state street. And who are you calling "you people"? It will be considered territory wants it's doors open.

GeneralTree Dec 13, 2021 11:11 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Ehdat - I'm wondering if you live in Santa Barbara if you have been down off the hill.... if you have never witnessed gang activity downtown or on State street. Been here 30+ years and I've seen it a number of times. I've seen people get jumped and also seen firearms brandished. Another reason to stay off state street.

ZeroHawk Dec 13, 2021 11:10 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

GT you must never leave your house. I live right by this place. Also, SB has very low gang activity...its Santa Barbara....not Compton. I don't think you even live in Santa Barbara with your comments. That intersection is bustling and full of people of all ages shoping, eating, drinking, hanging out with friends and having fun. Putting an arcade, lazer tag and a roller rink will give little kids, big kids and grown up kids as well as families a lot more to do downtown.
I see so many negative and flat out rude comments about this. Seriously, you people have some major issues you need to deal with. Seek help. I grew up downtown in the 80s and loved the state street arcade, golden eagle pool hall and the arcade in picadilly. But I gather that you would have no idea those places existed.

Ehdat Dec 13, 2021 08:37 AM
Downtown Macy's to Become Aloha Fun Center

Gang territory? HAA.. do you even live in SB? First of all, the location is in the middle of downtown, and second if there are gangs.. there are 10s of thousands of people not in gangs and millions and millions of dollars in properties in those neighborhoods. (Technically the fun center is on the westside... so eat that

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