La Entrada Project Takes Toll on Other Businesses in Area

Release Date: July 8,2016

The La Entrada off lower State Street expects occupancy by the summer of 2017.

The La Entrada off lower State Street expects occupancy by the summer of 2017.

By Alex Kacik  / Friday, July 8th, 2016 / Pacific Coast Business Times

The La Entrada mixed-use development on lower State Street is poised to reshape the downtown Santa Barbara retail landscape, but the massive construction project has left some businesses in its dust.

The northbound lane reopened on July 1 on the State Street section that bridges downtown and the waterfront, but the relief came too late for businesses like Mermaid’s Chest and Nuance.

The Mermaid’s Chest was a mom-and-pop antique store at 16 Helena Ave. that closed in April of last year predominantly due to a decrease in foot traffic. The owners said that the construction was largely to blame.

The Lighthouse Skateshop took over that space about three months ago. While it has helped fill the void left by the closure of the Church of Skatan, the Lighthouse and the surrounding businesses have been held back by the construction, co-owner Naren Porter-Kasbati said.

“Between La Entrada and other city projects, they have hurt business,” he said. “The other surf shops around us are feeling it a lot, too. But when it’s all done, it’s going to be nuts down here.”
The restaurant at Hotel Indigo, Nuance, closed in January after less than a year in business at 119 State St. It opened last May after the Blue Tavern moved out in December 2014. It was the Anchor prior.

The estimated $130 million La Entrada project will feature a 123-room luxury hotel, shops, restaurants and open green spaces spanning about 250,000 square feet. But businesses will have to endure another year of construction until it’s completed, officials estimate.

“La Entrada will bring more vibrancy to lower State Street, it will be big,” Jim Turner of Radius Group previously told the Business Times.

Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.

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