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Arlington Village

Renderings and description from Peikert Group Architects website.

Arlington Village
The Arlington Theater is often described as the “jewel of Santa Barbara”. The original vision for the site was to create a building that was to be surrounded by small shops like a cathedral in the middle of a village.  That vision was never realized. This proposal takes an adjacent open parking lot and transforms it into a mixed use village consisting of public open spaces, courtyards, 10,000 square feet of commercial space and 33 housing units in an effort to bring the original vision to fruition.

15 Responses to “Arlington Village”

  1. John Vasi

    If it’s done right, it could be attractive. It would be hard to imagine anything uglier than the Safeway and the parking lots that were there. The biggest risk is probably allowing the developer to cram too much into the space. The renderings shown above complement the Arlington. Let’s hope they are realistic.

    • It was Vons and that area already is being constructed into high end condos with associated shops.

      To see what this will probably look like, although a different color, look at the Peikert firm’s development of the corner by Montecito Street and Salsipuedes. The drawings look very similar to that development, a faux village with narrow little walkways and looming buildings. The difference is that the Arlington is a pleasure to look at. Instead, all that will be visible at ground level, and unlike the viewer sight of the drawing, most of us are at ground level, will be unimaginative stucco, broken by faux Spanish windows and easy upkeep/replaceable greenery. Wonder what Jeff Shelton would have designed for there!?!

  2. Anonymous

    Looks good but why do they have to do this to the Arlington? What’s next : putting condos around the Mission or in the sunken gardens at the Courthouse?

  3. William Munny

    Clearly the editor of this website is voting in his own poll given the number of No votes. It seems ironic to prefer this space remain as a parking lot given how much grief this Site has given the city over the building of a public parking lot just around the corner for the Granada.

    Yes, it will have the feel of a faux village look when it is first built. After a few years when things have grown in it will hopefully look like its been there much longer. All in all, I’m in favor of the changes being undertaken in that area.

    My one request is the developer needs to be honest. Open space tucked away inside the Court yard that will be almost exclusively accessed by the “housing units” is not really a “public open space”. Of course, if they located the open space on the street side of the buildings, it would simply turn into luxury homeless camp sites.

  4. John Vasi

    Sorry–Von’s. It used to be a Safeway, and I never forgot the Safeway architecture when I looked at it. I’ll still wait for the final project to be done before I pass judgment. The Arlington is never going to be the cathedral in the middle of small shops. It already isn’t, and there’s the issue of State Street in front of it. As far as views from ground level, any view will be much better than what was there. Let me take issue with anomymous and anon: The Arlington is a pleasure to look at, but the back of it isn’t and never was. The “faux” Spanish architecture of the proposed development is what fits into the downtown district, and clearly the architects designed it to complement the architecture of the Arlington. And, most likely, you will still see the Arlinton tower from street level from almost anywhere behind the development
    I’m not saying the development will be perfect, but it looks like it might be a decent design for the space. I hope it is, and I’ll wait to see.

  5. Bill Carson

    Here we go again. Of course, the parking lot and Vons was an eyesore. But by the same token, the big-and-gaudy, high-density, limited parking, monstrosity that is being proposed will be a different kind of eyesore. Why can’t you pro-development types find moderation in your proposals? Most people would accept moderation. It’s the over-the-top, jam-it-in mentality that makes most of these projects so objectionable. Duh!

  6. Anonymous

    Might want to work on filling on the vacant commercial space all over town before building more.

  7. Barbara

    I don’t understand what people have against this. It is development into useful space from what previously was not. It is Spanish style, to blend into downtown. They are betting that people want to live or work there, and if they don’t then prices will drop. It means JOBS. (For those who use that noun in complaints of almost any political nature…)

    • Anonymous

      Barbara, Just take a drive down Chapala for your answer. Bob Dole is too old to be President and this is too dense.

  8. What I have against it is that it could be so much better. Obviously, the Corwins, the owner of the Metropolitan Theatres, own that space and they can do what they want. What they want and have chosen is pedestrian.

    As for the construction jobs resulting, I wonder how many will be filled by Santa Barbarans? Indeed, providing that work is good….. As for the jobs once the development is finished, those jobs, housecleaning, landscape (basically weeding), etc. will be the usual low wage jobs of which SB has many. It’s not likely that the workers will be able to afford to live there where they are cleaning.

  9. Yesterday’s agenda for the City Historic Landmarks Commission meeting listed this new development as proposing 36 apartments and no commercial space, not 33 units. The plan also proposes only one parking space for each apartment, and some of them are large. It was a new presentation.

  10. Bad-planning Gate

    They will need to gate this project, because most doorways in this area are already full of sleeping vagrants at night. Did the developers do their due diligence on this area walking the streets after dark? I suspect not. The condo fees will need to include private security services, if the residents want any sense of personal safety in the evening hours walking to and from their condos.

    When close-by Trinity Episcopal offered their ill-advised free night time camping on their church lawns, this whole area became the latest city dumping grounds with stored shopping carts, left-over articles and daytime loitering.

    No problem bringing in high-end residences into this area where you can, because there are already too many low-income dedicated housing already units clustered in this prime downtown area. It would be an economic shot in the arm to make this a more lively urban activity center because of its excellent State Street location in the center of Historic Arts District.

    Unfortunately, years of past city planning has overwhelmingly created an economic dead zone in this area, which should have been one of city’s most vibrant. Maybe this project can rescue it. But if it cannot and voters keep putting in the city council majorities that continue their ill-advised agenda making Santa Barbara a welcoming vagrant magnet, this project will need some nice Spanish-style locked iron gates.

    This could be a good project. But it won’t work with another string of bad city councils who keep opening the city’s door wide to more and more vagrants and fewer and fewer police who are empowered to take action against the vagrant blight.

    Just like all the other city inclusionary-housing behemoths on this Chapala corridor, this can also become one more failed progressive white elephant, proving when you let the city build it, the intended population actually don’t come. Stop this train wreck and get some serious people back on city council who want this city to thrive and be safe for all residents and not just coddle a few who bring it down for everyone.

  11. el_smurfo

    Has anyone been watching this thing go up?

    First of all, the setbacks on Chapala are nonexistent. I had to pay 2 Grand and go to a hearing just to keep my 5 foot side setback as originally built for my tiny addition but these guys seem to be allowed to build a 2-3 story wall right on the sidewalk?

    Second, every time I pass, there is a different supply truck, all from way out of town. I thought we were all about “sustainable” and “local”…why are we allowing out of town contractors to build people hives using out of town materials. The El Encanto is the same…out of town workers using exclusively out of town suppliers. Heck, Hayward has their lumber come in to a freaking train yard…I thought trains made these nannies all hot and bothered. At the end of the day, all of the talk is just window dressing for the fact that they want you crammed together, yardless, carless and under their thumbs.

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