SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Local economic leaders have been watching both sweeping development projects and personal finances in the South Coast area for months as the country shifts to a new President in the next three weeks.
A the gateway to Santa Barbara, the La Entrada de Santa Barbara hotel and retail project will be ready in 2017 after years of community debate, design, challenges, and construction. It is next to three bridge project improvements, the groundbreaking of a smaller boutique hotel on Mason Street, and the new MOXI Children's Museum. MOXI (Museum of Exploration + Innovation) is schedule to open January 28 on a parcel adjacent to the train tracks at State Street.
That area between Cabrillo Boulevard and the State Street underpass is also flanked by the ever evolving Funk Zone and several new parcels that have changed hands in the area of lower Anacapa, and Helena Streets.
At a recent economic analysis meeting , Brian Robinson, General Manager with the Radius Group said, “you are going to have some new retail there and they are going to work hard to make that something that is not a chain. You are not going to see a Starbucks show up there. The owners are going to try to keep that exciting, boutique and local."
The projects will all be job creators at different levels from front line service industry positions to management.
Looking ahead to 2017 for some of the higher paid jobs, and areas where workers will be needed, Mark Schniepp with the California Economic Forecast said, "science, technology, engineering, mathematics, biotechnology and health care. That is what is going to be important going forward."