New State Street Hotel to Take Over Scientology Building

By the edhat staff

A new hotel, with a coffee shop and restaurant, is slated to take over a State Street building that formerly housed a Scientology center.

The 524 State Street building used to hock science fiction materials under the name “Dianetics Foundation Hubbard,” but the location moved to its newly built tax-free mega building on the coast of Ventura leaving the space empty for renovation the past few years.

Car-free promenade with fire pits outside the new State Street hotel (TMC Hospitality photo)

Now that the space has “gone clear,” California-based TMC Hospitality and Anacapa Architecture are adding the final touches on the second boutique hotel under the Drift moniker. Their first Drift hotel is located in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico with another location in Palm Springs scheduled to open early next year and a fourth in Nashville this Spring.

The building, situated next to Institution Ale, was constructed in 1901 and remodeled in 1925 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The remodeling aimed to preserve the building’s unique charm while including floor to ceiling windows, oak and brass embellishments, and artwork by local artisans including Will Adler and Anacapa Ceramics.

Dawn and Dusk on the hotel’s State Street ground level (TMC Hospitality photo)

It now includes 45 hotel rooms and a “car free promenade” that features fire pits and outdoor dining on State Street, and around the building’s corner leading to the public parking lot.

The first floor will incorporate a coffee shop named “Dawn” that plans to serve up cups from Good Citizen Coffee Company and baked goods. A restaurant, aptly named “Dusk,” is described as a moody agave and tapas bar featuring craft cocktails and seasonal takes on fresh ceviche, aguachile and crudo.

An exact opening date has yet to be announced, although reservations are now being accepted starting December 1st with rates ranging from $191 to $335 per night.

Learn more at

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. I think that VOR is saying, correctly, that every requirement, regulation layered over a project has a cost associated with it and high costs mean less affordable units. Developers pay a lot of fees, put in a lot of work and fees to lawyers,architects, land use planners (Don’t forget donations to politicians or nothing will ever get built) just to get approval to build. Years of paying fees and bills before the first shovelful of dirt is lifted. Then the developer has to coordinate and pay the architects, lawyers, construction management, loan fees, property taxes, plumbers electricians etc etc. I’ve done some very small development here in SB 2-4 units developing properties with very old poor condition wood homes.
    VOR is right about all the requirements like all storm water up to an inch has to remain onsite which can mean very elaborate engineered underground work. Some of those drainage basins cost tens of thousands of dollars.. There are regulations that say that any wall 24″ or above must be engineered even out in the garden. So you pay an architect to draw it, an engineer to engineer and to provide oversight, signatures. Then you write a huge check for a knee high wall.
    So a project for low income might only pencil out if you are allowed to build lots of small spaces like efficiency studios marketed as condos.
    Here’s where the edscolds show up and call people liars without directly refuting points

    • Please read up on AB 2011 which Newsom just signed yesterday. Along with other housing bills he’s signed, it removes a lot of the local red-tape and restrictions Edney and I have mentioned that discourages the creation of new housing units. So before you all go on the attack with your insults and dismissals based on who is commenting and how well they to the line of your preferred narrative rather than the actual comment they’re making, you may want to take a pause and make sure you understand the topic and what you’re talking about first.

    • “Neither of you has provided any evidence that actually breaks down the costs as compared to costs in other cities”
      Well, you can look up it online and see that Santa Barbara costs to build are #6 in CA, and costs per square footage are more expensive here than in Austin, TX
      Breaking some of it out is difficult. I’ve done drainage retention basins that were $5000 and others that were $20,000. It depends on the slope/ soil type etc etc. The engineering fees are co-measurate with the building costs of the detention basin.
      I can build a safe knee high wall without an engineer, but the engineering fees triggered by regulation does make the wall more expensive and the engineers tend to protect themselves from liability by over-engineering the foundation detail.
      I can’t break that out for you because the engineers don’t break it out and I don’t want to have to pay them more time to do that.
      I understand and agree to fire fees based on square footage and location, school fees based on # of bedrooms, sewer fees based on # of bathrooms, city inspection fees, city staff fee etc. Those are probably higher here because wages here are higher. I could argue that SB living wage laws make a difference. I’ve always paid much higher wages than required and realize that paying people well is generally good for everyone, but I cannot deny the obvious fact that once labor is at a certain level of competency and quality, building affordable homes with high wage entry labor drives the cost higher. If minimum wage is… lets just say $21 for entry level work, then the quality people won’t take $22-23… they will want at least $25-35 and up. Applying simple logic tells you wages effect final costs but fact is minimum wage in CA is $14, TX $7.25 , Santa Barbara $20.77,
      Santa Barbara HA built Johnsson Court, The Gardens.
      They had $21,300,00 grant money to do so. They did a lot with the money, but in terms of living units, they delivered 95 Studio efficiency units about the size of a one car garage 320-332 square feet of living space per unit, total living area square footage of 34,688. $614 per square foot. These units are for rent but if you were to be able to buy then, you’d be paying $200,164 for a small one car garage sized unit.
      You can build a mid range home in San Antonio area for $150-250 per sf

    • Thank you for further articulating my point with specific examples. It’s the reason the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara is the only one building any measurable quantity of affordable units, they don’t have to put any capital at “risk” and returning the capital use to build the project(s) built isn’t an issue. BTW, “edscolds”, nice.

    • Edney, yeah, of course, and do you think that the City of SB has requirements that are so much more onerous than places in Texas for example? What’s the policy mark-up to build here? That’s doesn’t include cost of land or labor or materials, which is all extremely expensive here.
      Is it ten percent? More?
      CRYVOR wants to claim that it’s the Libtards who are making it prohibitively expensive to develop housing in the City.
      Neither of you has provided any evidence that actually breaks down the costs as compared to costs in other cities. Get over the political extremism and start talking about facts.

  2. Hotels vs “Afforadble Housing” ON State St!?! Hah! That’s an absurd non-debate in Santa Barbara, and anywhere else so desirable for that matter. You can argue for affordable housing, but good luck getting it built right there on state st. No frickin way. Nor should it be built there. A couple blocks away, sure go for it, but don’t hold your breath. It’s SB and it’s market, with real estate as a, no THE, primo commodity.
    I agree we need no more hotels here as well, FYI.

    • SacJon: There’s been so much absurdity, gaslighting and projection from the peanut gallery in the past few years that I don’t even bother engaging any of them anymore. As if anyone takes amateur economic theory seriously from some kook posting online anonymously . Hilarious though that the alleged bootstraps and hard work crowd is so quick to defend literal parasites like landlords and hedge fund managers. The cognitive dissonance is baffling.

    • The city is why don’t have more housing. While they certainly talk a lot about needing it, every legislative action they take on housing further discourages developers from building additional units. From the onerous permitting process, every expanding requirements (storm water, affordable/income restrictions, electric only, HLC, etc.), to tenant protections such as rent control and just cause eviction all discourage the development of additional units. For the private sector to build new units they need to put a lot of time and capital at risk, if they can’t see a return on the efforts expended and capital risked, it won’t be built. All the city council’s and building departments actions increase the risk level of the capital invested while reducing the potential returns, thus discouraging the creation of new housing units.

  3. Before Scientology took it over this hotel was a single-room-occupancy for the down-and-out. When I was a market researcher I found willing respondents there many times, people who had a nice safe cubbyhole to live in and still be in the heart of what was once a vibrant downtown. Maybe others also remember the Men’s Club on Carrillo, the warehouse lofts in the 300 bock of State, the flophouse next to the train tracks. All of those are now gentrified and the streets are filled with “unhoused neighbors” in doorways and on benches. No coincidence. We still have the FallDown on Haley, but the humane minimal accommodations that used to support the indigent elderly are mostly gone, and the tax dollars currently thrown to the wages of the bureaucrats of Homeless, Inc. could be better put to taking buildings like this and making them back into $300 a month “safe spaces” instead of $300 a night tourist hotels.

  4. Other thank your comments this hasn’t turned political. Citing the cities red tape that prohibits construction, while pointing out Newsom’s legislation that removes some of that red tape is more government functions than politics. Everything you listed though, would require those specific businesses to provide the high paying jobs, we already have ground floor vacant bank space, plenty of available office space (basically hoping another Sonos moves into town), poor location for a medical clinic and not sure how a museum or massive nightclub would provide any more high paying jobs than a hotel.

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