Artistic rendering of Paseo Nuevo upgrades (courtesy photos)
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara’s downtown Paseo Nuevo shopping mall broke ground on Tuesday for a $20 million renovation.
Local officials and community members attended the event and learned about the plans to reinvigorate the shopping center. Updates will include entertainment space, community areas with group games including a bocce ball and giant chess pieces, charging stations, increased al-fresco dining, art installations with enhanced lighting and water/fire features, an updated logo, refreshed Spanish tile steps near the Arts Terrace, drought-tolerant landscaping, and new “shopping experiences.” The project is expected to be finished by early 2020.
The LEED-certified shopping center is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara on State Street between Ortega and Canon Perdido. It opened in 1990 as part of a private-public partnership with the Santa Barbara’s Redevelopment Agency and features 154,900 square feet of retailers and restaurants.
Paseo Nuevo Management, Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) and J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPM), announced the renovations this past February. In November, the City of Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) voted unanimously to approve Paseo Nuevo’s renovation plans, allowing PRCP to launch an exterior refresh of the 458,000 square foot property.
The improvements to Paseo Nuevo will provide upgrades to exterior facades, walkways, and landscapes, which are described to “enhance the Santa Barbara experience while maintaining the unique authenticity of the city’s culture, lifestyle, and Spanish heritage,” according to a Paseo Nuevo press release.
“Paseo Nuevo’s location in the heart of downtown, its beautiful architectural representation of Santa Barbara and the outdoor lifestyle it reflects of its community, is why Paseo Nuevo is the crown jewel of the Pacific Retail portfolio.” said Najla Kayyem, Senior Vice President, Pacific Retail Capital Partners.
This first phase of redevelopment will include revamping specific areas of the center, creating districts within the Paseo Nuevo footprint, and working closely with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture to implement a dynamic art program. This art program will commission local artists through permanent installation opportunities, with $200,000 being allocated toward the initiative.
Paseo Nuevo Management has also committed an additional $200,000 to identify supportive solutions for Santa Barbara’s homeless population.
The newly appointed Ortega Building, previously home to Macy’s, will be repurposed in the next phase of the ongoing reinvestment into the larger Paseo Nuevo property by its ownership, according to the press release.
Planning for the integration of the Ortega Building will happen over time with consideration from community input and policymakers, starting with an online survey available at surveymonkey.com/r/PaseoNuevo. The plan is to transform the former department store into a vibrant complex supporting community and commerce.
“Representing 1/3 of the retail and restaurant gross leasable area of downtown, Paseo Nuevo is the city’s top destination for commerce, community and culture,” said Brian Okrent, Executive Director, Real Estate Americas, at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “The acquisition of the former Macy’s building last year and the announcement of this renovation further solidifies our commitment to this community.”