THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER
After an arduous fifteen-year process, the multi-purpose facility at 1298 Coast Village Road finally opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening. The event was held at new development on the patio of the Villas on Olive Mill, five condominiums that take up its upper floors. Commercial tenants occupy the spaces below the residential units and include Heather James Fine Art, Folded Hills Winery, and Village Properties.
Price Management CEO John Price, the local businessman who developed the complex to replace a 76 gas station that he owned at the location, called the project’s completion and opening “unbelievable,” particularly because of the opposition the project received from locals who objected to having a three-story building on Coast Village Road. Now that the project is done, Mr. Price said that some of the development’s detractors have since complimented the end result.
“We have just had many opponents come out and go, ‘You did a great job,'” he said. The positive reaction to the new building now makes him look back on the combative approval process and wonder, “What was all the fighting about?”
As the News-Press observed an empty, 2200 square foot condominium, Mr. Price said was the complex’s smallest residential, with the biggest condos as large as 3500 square feet. Each condo’s amenities include a private garage and for the two penthouses, and elevator.
According to Mr. Price, one of the residential units has been purchased by former NFL quarterback Troy Aikman.
As for the three commercial tenants, Mr. Price said they are “a good fit for the building.” The complex also has a fourth commercial retail space that is currently unoccupied.
The Folded Hills Winery tasting room is not just the first and only tasting room in Montecito, but is also the first tasting room for the Folded Hills Winery located near the Nojoqui Falls. The 800 square foot room will open to the public on March 28 and will be the winery’s smaller room, as a larger one is currently being constructed on Folded Hills Ranch near the winery’s vineyard and is expected to open in June. Kim Busch, who co-owns Folded Hills with her husband Andy Busch, told the News-Press that she expects the tasting room will fulfill the community’s demand for wine.
“I think a lot of people in Montecito… they want to be here to taste wine, so we’re really excited to provide them with that,” she said.
A gallery named after its two owners Heather Sacre and Jim Carona, Heather James Fine Art gallery on Coast Village Road will be pair’s fifth location. Heather James’ other locations are New York, San Francisco, Palm Desert, CA, and Jackson Hole, WY. Ms. Sacre said that after years she and Mr. Carona spent coming to vacation in Santa Barbara, opening a gallery in town was always “in the back of our mind.” She added that they met Mr. Price and found out about his new development, “It was like a little dream that came true.”
Though real estate company Village Properties already has a bigger location further down Coast Village Road, owner Renee Grubb said it has been wanting to open another location.
“It kind of makes sense for real estate today to have smaller spaces in different areas so that you’re not paying a lot of lease payments on larger spaces,” she said.
The new Village Properties location will open on Saturday.