NoozHawk: Sonoma Fit to Move In; Vacant Storefronts Still Plague Santa Barbara’s State Street

Santa Barbara’s State Street continues its struggles.

Between the 400 and 1300 blocks, the rate of vacant storefronts inched up to 14.1% from the prior year, according to Hayes Commercial Group.

The biggest news to hit State Street was Sonoma Fit moving into the former Samy’s Camera space at 530 State St. Samy’s Camera closed in 2019.

“The vision is now on paper,” the company posted Wednesday on Instagram. “Permit is next. We’re not a gym. We are a FIT club.”

The northern California gym will be open 24/7.

Also according to Hayes, Vuori, a women’s clothing store, renewed its 2,900-square-foot space at 833 State St. early in the second quarter.

Rooms & Gardens vacated its storefront on State and moved to Montecito’s Upper Village. Restoration Hardware is also planning to move to Montecito.

“(This) demonstrates that some retailers are deciding to move where the high-end clientele are more likely to be,” according to Hayes. “It’s been a tough stretch for food-use businesses as seven restaurant and beverage spaces on State Street have become vacant and/or available during the past 12 months.”

Also, The Black Sheep restaurant moved from 28 E. Ortega St. to 18 E. Cota St.

It’s a different scenario in Montecito.

“Montecito’s commercial areas continue to thrive, and available retail space there has all but dried up,” the report states.

Rooms & Gardens moved into an 1,800-square-foot home at 1482 East Valley Road.

In the Goodland, Goleta’s commercial vacancy rate is 1.9% — the lowest rate in three years.

As first reported in Noozhawk, the owners of the Calle Real center plan a major remodel, with new facades and converting some existing parking to outdoor dining and gathering space.

“The center has the mixed blessing of a five-lane thoroughfare running through the middle of it, and the planned updates may help mitigate the inherent strip-mall character of the project,” according to Hayes.

At 700 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria, Bettina, Old Town Coffee and Corazon Comedor owner Ramon Velasquez have signed leases for the adaptive reuse project at the site. About 14,000 square feet is left for retail lease, according to Hayes.