Four Large Developments Planned for the Funk Zone

Rendering of the proposed 250-room hotel in the Funk Zone (courtesy Cearnal Collective)

By Lauren Bray, edhat staff

With all the developments taking place throughout the South Coast, it’s hard to keep up with what hotel will go here and what luxury condos will go there.

Here’s a recap of the four largest development projects proposed for Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

Garden Street Hotel

This one has been in the works, sort of, for decades but its back to gaining steam at 101 Garden Street.

The proposed three-story, 250-room hotel is located on a 4.5 acre parcel from the corner of Garden and Yanonali to the railroad tracks and towards the corner of Santa Barbara and Mason Streets. It’s six lots that the owners have proposed merging which is the majority of the 100 block wrapping around the Michael Kate Contemporary Furniture, Topa Topa, and Lama Dog buildings.

The hotel property would also include a bar, lounge, market, library, meeting rooms, pool and spa, fitness room, over 260 parking spaces, and a 7,500-square-foot deck. While 120 of the rooms will be standard hotel rooms, the remaining 130 will be “extended stay” offering larger bathrooms, kitchens, and sleeper sofas.

Last month the project was met by criticism from the city’s Planning Commision for not including long-term housing. There’s a storied history of the property plans dating back to 1983 (read Nick Welsh’s details about it here). The Planning Commission will review the project again on May 11.

Garden Street Hotel looking north from the railroad tracks (rendering courtesy of Cearnal Collective)

Aerial rendering of the Garden Street Hotel (courtesy of Cearnal Collective)

The Platform Project

Just a stone’s throw away from the Garden Street Hotel is another large development in the works at 301 E. Yanonali Street.

Located along Highway 101 and Garden towards E. Yanonali where Stoneyard Building Materials now sits. This 3-acre parcel sold in 2021 and the list price was for $9.375 million boasting a multitude of development options. 

According to the project plan it’s intended to be a “collection of independent merchants, eateries, and creative businesses” comprised of a series of primarily one-story buildings. The buildings will center around an open walkable pedetrian courtyard area with two-story portions that include more nonresidential space, outdoor decks, and restaurant with an ocean view. It will also include 190 parking spaces, with 29 on the surface and the rest below grade or subterranean.

The project received a lot of praise from the Historic Lands Commission last month, although there were some issues with design modifications, but it will next head to the Planning Commission.

Proposed development in yellow with the Garden Street Hotel area in blue (Photo courtesy of the 2021 real estate listing)

Platform Santa Barbara renderings (courtesy of Cearnal Collective)

35 Anacapa Street

While this project doesn’t have a catchy name, yet, it has an ambitious plan for the corner of Anacapa and E. Mason Streets.

The half-acre vacant lot could soon consist of two small six-room hotels (for a total of 12 rooms at 300 sqft each) with space for a lobby/amenities area, a corner market/bodega, restaurant/bar, and two tasting rooms.

A total of two residential manager’s units (600 SF each) will be provided for the two hotels. The project proposes a total of 15 parking spaces, including 2 ADA spaces, for the required 12 spaces for the hotel rooms, 

The long-time empty lot across from Channel Islands Surfboards and next to SB Biergarten was listed for sale in 2019 for just under $3.7 million

The Architectural Board of Review held a concept review of the project in March with mostly favorable comments and suggestions. It will continue on to the Planning Commission.

35 Anacapa Street (Photo from 2019 real estate listing)

35 Anacapa project renderings (courtesy of DesignARC)


Last but certainly not least (especially in size and scale) is the behemoth four-story, mixed-use project that has created quite the stir, SOMOFunk.

It’s aiming to demolish and rebuild the entire block cornered by Santa Barbara Street, E. Mason Street, Gray Avenue, and E. Yanonali Street. No more grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting in the Dart Garden or walking through artist studios for open house nights if this project gets approved.

The 199,519-square-foot development on 2.1-acres will include 155 residential units, 13 of which will be condominiums and 29 would be designated as “affordable.” Additionally, a total of 228 parking spaces are proposed, 116 residential and 112 commercial, using a combination of standard spaces, mechanical lifts, and valet service.

Last July we posted about the Architectural Board of Review meeting that drew hundreds of public comments disapproving of the project. Nonetheless, it went through and will eventually head to the Planning Commission.

The project’s site map (Source: Architectural Board of Review Proposal) 


SOMOfunk rendering from the corner of Gray and Mason Streets, keeping the existing silo structure (Courtesy)


SOMOfunk rendering of the corner of Yanonali and Santa Barbara Streets (courtesy image)


Mia Groeninger contributed to this article.


Written by lauren

Lauren is the Publisher of She enjoys short walks on the beach, interesting facts about bees, and any kind of homemade cookie.

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  1. Why not? The SB run airport is running 40-50 flights a day out of SBA and plan on increasing flights with total disregard to area residents. Let’s turn Santa Barbara into LA! traffic, pollution be damned.
    The area above 154 and foothill could use a 10,000 new homes to accommodate the lack of public housing. Heck, maybe a new casino in Dos Pueblos Canyon would be awesome!

    • SACJON:
      Unless private airlines are flying under the names of American Airlines, United Airlines, SouthWest Airlines and Alaska Airlines you are mis-informed, to no ones surprised.
      I did not even include the flights after 9PM – check it out – you may be surprised.
      Departures 4/28/23
      Americanto DWF5:01am
      Unitedto Denver5:15am
      Unitedto LAX6:40am
      SouthwestTo Las Vegas6:40am
      Unitedto SF10:42am
      SouthWest to Denver11:15am
      Alaskato Portland, OR12:00pm
      SouthWestto Las Vegas12:10pm
      American Airlinesto Phoenix12:24pm
      Unitedto Denver1:05pm
      SouthWestto SAC1:15pm
      Americanto Dallas FW2:10 pm
      Unitedto SF2:21 pm
      SouthWestto Las Vegas4:05 pm
      Alaskato Seattle4:10 pm
      Americanto Phoenix4:34 pm
      SouthWestto Oakland5:35 pm
      Unitedto SF6:12 pm
      List continues . ..
      Arrivals 4/28/23
      UnitedFrom SF9:57am
      SouthWestFrom Las Vegas10:40am
      AlaskaFrom Portland11:19am
      SouthWestFrom Denver11:35am
      AmericanFrom Dallas FW11:44am
      UnitedFrom SF12:08pm
      SouthWestFrom Oakland12:30pm
      AmericanFrom Phoenix12:36pm
      UnitedFrom Denver1:24pm
      AlaskaFrom Seattle3:14pm
      SouthWestFrom Las Vegas3:30pm
      AmericanFrom Phoenix4:04pm
      SouthWestFrom SAC4:55pm
      UnitedFrom SF5:27pm
      AmericanFrom Dallas FW8:40pm
      UnitedFrom Denver9:05pm
      List continues

    • Goleta Local, Perhaps you misunderstand how airports operate. “The Airport” doesn’t schedule the flights, the airlines do. Thus “The Airport” can’t “plan on increasing flights.” The airlines base their schedules on customer demand so if more flights are planned for SBA it is only because the airlines have noted a demand for them.

    • I’m not sure why the airport came into this…but I know lots of people who fly in/out of the airport regularly, and it’s all for business. My spouse travels for business, and several of my coworkers fly in weekly or every 2 weeks from where they live because they work remotely. Like it or not, COVID and WFH increased this kind of activity.

    • GOLETA – I know this is WAY off topic (and somehow it’s all been allowed to stay up), but what do you really think is going to happen with the airport? Do you think the airlines will decide to stop coming here? Do you think tourists will no longer want to visit Santa Barbara? Do you think the ultra wealthy will decide to fly their jets into LAX and then rent a car to get to their mansions in your neighborhood? None of that will happen. The airport is here to stay. Santa Barbara is and has always been a desirable location. If the airplanes bug you so much, just move man. As long as SB looks like it does and has a LAX where it is, the airport is not slowing down or moving. You will have to.

    • GOLETA – Do you really believe that 18,000 people live in 55 households? I’ve heard conservatives complain about illegal immigrants living multiple people per room, but 327 people per house? WOWZERS! Here, take a look at how many people are actually complaining per month:
      Looks like the Hope Ranch folks, that’s you “Goleta Local,” are the most noisy of the bunch! But yeah, only 55 households in March. That’s a LONG way from 18,000 people. Good try though!

    • GOLETAPOSER – what are you talking about? You really think the airport will shut down or slow down or move for YOU and LOL not even close to 18,000. I’ve looked at the complaint logs. It’s you in your Hope Ranch (not Goleta) home and a few other households entering the majority of the complaints. Give it a rest.

    • It’s the American way. We do not have to bow down to the airlines demand, you are allowing others to dictate our way of life – do yo not get that?
      I do not want the noise or pollution in my area – are you disagreeing with that?
      your LOL is disturbing to me, it is the LA way of thinking – if we can build it why not?
      Sorry, but I would like see our area to be without excessive pollution both noise and air for our future.

    • “any Goleta or SB local would have issues with SBA” – NOPE, not at all. In fact, the ones who complain the loudest are the ones who moved here and expected paradise and peace and quiet but never bothered to look at a map of the city before buying their homes in hope ranch. Locals KNOW there airport is here and have adapted. Just stop with your silly local stuff. Facts are facts.

    • “We do not have to bow down to the airlines demand,” – OK, what are you going to do? Complain to United? Southwest? What’s your plan?
      “if we can build it why not?” – No one is building anything on the airport. What are you even talking about? The only building is the subject of the article which I vehemently opposed and you belittle me for it with your “NIMBY” comment that you then backpedaled and called “sarcasm.”
      And speaking of NIMBYs —– READ ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE AIRPORT. Haha man, you’re off the walls!

    • Goletalocal – 80% of the work is done by zoom, in fact. But not 100%. SB is so expensive, we just cannot hire people to work here who can afford to live here. So, they work remotely and fly in every 2 weeks, sometimes weekly. I’m sure some of them would prefer to take a train if it were a high speed train. Some occasionally drive if it’s anywhere between SD and SF.
      I wonder how many of the business flights are actually people who decided they wanted to leave the Bay Area to live in sunny SB, and fly up there instead?

    • “Fact is the airport did not have that many flights in the past.” – Exactly. Nor did SB have as many houses, cars, tourists, jobs, industries, etc. Cities grow. There is no way the City of SB (who owns the airport) will decrease in size. This is reality. Complain all you want about the noise level, but it’s not going anywhere. As long as there is an airport, planes will have to take off and land. If you live under the flight path, tough taters. Look at the complaint logs. Residents in Ellwood, which is DIRECTLY under the flight path where planes are coming in low and slow and loud, have a fraction of the complaints as opposed to you folks in Hope Ranch.
      Look, good luck with your efforts to decrease the air traffic, but don’t expect all us other locals are going to support you. You chose to move where you did. That’s really what it all comes down to.
      Now, if you want to complain about building growth, be my guest! I agree, despite you calling me a “NIMBY.” The buildings that are the subject of this article are unnecessary and are indicative of the LA mindset to grow build grow. We don’t need that here. We DO need an airport though.

  2. The best thing about this project is that it will greatly add to the charm and character of the general Funk Zone area. More rooms for tourists to stay means more competition for other hotels, which will definitely lead to lower hotel room prices. More visitors, more spending, more hotel taxes for the city, more jobs for construction and hotel workers. Local students graduating from our local high schools will have an option to working in dead-end jobs that lead to other dead-end jobs. Goleta now has multiple hotels where there were hardly any 10 or 15 years ago, and the City of Goleta is loving it from a pure economic standpoint. I’m all in for this project as it’s a win/win/win for everyone in Santa Barbara.
    For those who oppose this project….at least those who actually live in Santa Barbara (not Goleta), keep in mind that this “bunches” the tourists to that area for the most part. Those tourists most likely are not going to head to The Tiburon, the old JImboz/Freeman’s, Harry’s, and so on. So, yeah, no worries mate!

  3. sacjon
    You will need to enter in a value for every 6 hour window. This is departures. Then do the same for arrivals.
    I’ll save you time and do your work here for departures today 5/02 starting:
    00:00 to 06:05
    (6) Flights
    00:06.05 -11:15
    (15) Flights
    12: 10-17:35
    14 Flights
    18:12 – 19:23
    (3) Pending
    I am assuming that because there is no huge logjam of parked airliners overnight at the airport, arrivals are about equal
    That is 41 departures.
    Please pay attention to the parent airline vs. regional and do not get distracted.
    For example, the last flight out tonight is LH or Lufthansa, which everyone knows is German and that doesn’t fly in and out of SBA except if you look carefully it is Lufthansa, by Skywest on behalf of United

  4. Betting that State Street will have more vacancies than it does now when these projects are developed. It should not be a surprise either. There are only so many tourists and residents to support businesses. So as Santa Barbara develops what was the true Funk Zone State more commercial property on State Street will not be wanted.

  5. This looks like a disaster. The City and a lot of very frequent posters here on Edhat talk and talk about the need for “affordable housing”, complain about landlords and high rents, and support taxpayer-funded consultants tell us how to solve this issue. I don’t support that concept, but sure as hell think this is the exact opposite direction. It’ll be a bunch of expensive stuff for rich locals and Uber-richer non-locals coming up from LA and probably flying in from elsewhere. More traffic, more flights, more more more. Bad call.

  6. Given that the roads and freeways in SB allow never have traffic back-ups, that there is unlimited water for infinite development, and one can go to miles of beaches and hikes without seeing a soul, YES! There is no such thing as max build out, just stack ’em higher and more densely. Human greed always seems to destroy every nice place. “Call someplace Parardise and kiss it goodbye!” (Hotel California) IMHO, Santa Barbara was “built out” by the early 90’s. I miss that place and time and cherish the memories. The old roundhouse was historical and cool while Fess’ mess is contemporary, pseudo Spanish shlock. The trend goes on…

  7. I wonder what will happen to dowtown. I notice that many of the empty buildings are on the market. Hopefully, they will be sold to innovative developers and the City will work to revitalize Sate Street. It’s like the Funk Zone is the shiny new toy… but we can have both.

  8. No they are not including any residential units
    Do your research
    Those 155 “units’ are “select stay” units, similar to air b&b
    Also, to clarify the articles statement about the amenities provided by the hotel, they are for clients of the hotel only
    Also, they literally plan to use out of town contractors, and employ only out of town staff and had no intention of restitution for the MANY displaced small business that run out of the “funk zone” area
    None of this project benefits Santa Barbara residents in any way. That’s why it was stalled out at the planning commission.
    They had no plans to put anything on the table that would include local jobs, housing, or facility usage by Santa Barbarians
    I’m still a hard “hell no” and will be at the next hearing on this matter to voice my discontent and protest
    I encourage more people to show up and fight against these corporate “smash and grab” developers

  9. WTF….just what we need more hotels and tourists; because the city can’t squirrel enough money away to pay for pensions for their over paid city planner types and fire/ police chiefs, me thinks. Forget about the Macy’s and Nordstrom’s and close to derelict downtown. And never mind the already glutted neighbor hoods because all those hotel workers will have to have some place to stay or crowd the highways from Lompoc to Ventura…. Sure, Santa Barbara planning ‘ahead-of-the-curve’ …and behind the fast ball.

  10. Makes no sense that anyone would think that any/all of these projects are a bad idea and/or detrimental to the City of Santa Barbara. The city is in dire need of money, and everyone knows that the reason these projects have been approved and going forward is to….drummmmm rolllll…. generate money!!! Tourists have always been the life blood of our city and always will be forever and ever. It’s simply a fact that you have to accept (of course, you don’t have to LIKE it). Downtown SB is pretty much dead as a big fat two-tailed polecat layin’ in the road stikin’ up to high-heaven.
    Affordability is an issue for some. Well…. let’s look at places I KNOW that I cannot afford to stay: Bacara….San Ysidro Ranch….El Encanto. Motel 6 near East Beach is priced at nearly $200 ($185) if you want to stay there tonight….it’s $686 if you want to stay there this coming Friday/Saturday nights $763 for Fri/Sat Labor Day Weekend). How about that for affordability, eh?
    So, build it up, so long Funk Zone (btw, is was goodbye Funk Zone as soon as the name ‘Funk Zone’ was given to that area….like long gone….LOL). Bring in the tourists, bring in the jobs, but most of all, bring in el dinero de los Touristas!!!

    • Baby, the city is in dire need of money. The city isn’t going to get rich letting some developers bulldoze the snot out of our city. We do NOT need more hotels. We NEED relaxed business laws in town and incentives to bring retail back to SB. Hotels will not do this. I’m sure you will say it will as it will bring more people to SB. Those people are not here to shop at stores we would shop at. They are here to eat, drink, waste money on hotels. The taxes the city could collect won’t even be a realization for close to a decade, so yes, this is not good for SB or our community.

    • GetOffMyLawn: Complainers and babies? Maybe, but please understand that there are downsides to these projects. For example, some of our struggling local artists will have to find other places to ply their art. Not such a big deal to most, but for struggling artists, el-cheapo places are harder and harder to find. Nary a landlord who will take less rent over more rent because higher rent puts more money in their pockets, and they certainly don’t want to be “struggling landlords.” Good chance some of these artists will have to move elsewhere, but that’s life they chose. “Struggling” for most artist IS part of the artistic endeavor (unless you’re actually able to sell your art for a net profit). Possibly they will find more support for their art in Goleta, Buellton, Santa Ynez, or Solvang.
      On the other hand….these projects are really quite good for the vast majority of us who live, work, and thrive in Santa Barbara (the “non-strugglers” as I like to say). Carpinteria and Goleta have both embraced the tourism and business-visitor angle as they have and are following the model set in place by the City of SB.

  11. No one on this board who is against these projects has stated why these projects are not good for the City of Santa Barbara. I’ve heard about bulldozing perfectly good home-made structures on weedy lots, greedy developers, low-paying jobs, ruining a favorite area of town, and so on. Plus, someone is obsessively concerned about how many flights/passengers are arriving for work/tourism All of the reasons against the anti-development crowd are solely based on emotions and feelings. Look, retail as we have known it is completely dead in downtown SB. “Parklettes” (c’mon) are a last gasp of hope for restaurants, but simply take a walk from Sola to Haley and look at all of the empty storefronts….sooooo sad. The more we shop online, the worse it gets.
    Be happy that new development is in our future, which will bring prosperity to all (more for some than others). It benefits those of you who live in other nearby places as well….mainly Goleta.


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