August 9, 2017    

As the Executive Director of Downtown Santa Barbara, I have the benefit of talking to many people about what is happening on State Street. Our Downtown neighborhood is indeed changing, and in many ways that are not even visible yet. This new communications piece , State Street Scene, will serve to provide real-time information to all of our members and investors about our changing downtown district. 
With anothe r fabulous Fiesta season behind us, I want to recognize and thank our Plaza Crew who works tirelessly to keep our downtown clean. Extra efforts are needed by everyone, so thanks to the City of Santa Barbara, Old Spanish Days, and all our downtown businesses for your support and patience as we clean up the district!

In case you haven't noticed, we just launched a new win dow m arketing campaign , in collaboration with various property owners and our nonprofit Associate members to address vacant spaces in transition. We have been reaching out to owners and brokers to propose installing the displays or graphics wherever we can, to help promote business downtown.
Contact Kate, for more information.  

In the process, I learned of several tenant deals that are now in process! Our staff is working with the Chamber's staff on a grassroots recruitment effort , using our Downtown Retail Study and targeting business prospects that would be a good fit. Kate Schwab , our Marketing and Communications Director, will be taking the lead on our retail recruitment efforts; stay tuned for more announcements. 
Yesterday at the Santa Barbara City Council meeting, Planning and Development staff introduced a new pilot program to streamline the plan-review process and help new State Street businesses to get into business faster. For more information, check out the original Council agenda report here . The City's commitment demonstrates the value of Downtown Santa Barbara. With more than 12,000 employees, this downtown corridor represents an economic imperative for a strong and vital local economy. In fact, Downtown Santa Barbara may be the largest employer in the region. With shopping on State Street identified as one of the top reasons for visiting Santa Barbara, it is critical that we protect the Downtown's economic vitality. 
As I mentioned earlier, exciting new developments are coming soon to downtown, demonstrating a real interest as well as investor confidence in the downtown corridor. The developers of The Waterline in the Funk Zone have staked their claim on State Street, and are redeveloping two properties in the 400 block of State Street, for a similar food/beverage/retail complex. This investor confidence will help bring some of the energy and excitement of the Funk Zone to Lower State Street, reinforcing connections between the two entertainment areas. Special thanks to the Miramar Group for your investor confidence in State Street! There's also a new retail store called Giannetti Home, relocated here from Los Angeles (September 2017).

  Yesterday, I took a tour of the new Hotel Californian - an absolutely amazing new hotel property. Best wishes to the entire team at this newest downtown hotel property, as you head into the homestretch for your Grand Opening. We hear that more than 100 travel writers from around the globe
have been invited to experience this new world-class destination. Room bookings begin mid-September, with the actual opening date yet to be announced. 
So, for everyone who has a storefront or State Street presence, now would be a good time to paint, clean your windows, freshen your merchandise displays, and get ready for the wrap of the summer season. Everyone can work on putting our best face forward, as we work together to reimagine, reinvest and rediscover Downtown Santa Barbara. 
Regards from State Street,
Maggie Campbell
Executive Director