Money and Business

Verizon disconnects from downtown Santa Barbara

Customers surprised at closure after 11 years

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Verizon phone store at 636 State Street in downtown has closed abruptly to the surprise of many customers, some who arrived to pay bills this morning.

A sign on the door directs customers to a location more than 20 streets away in the 2900 block of State near Calle Laureles.  One customer trying to pay her bill was surprised at the closure and was trying to catch a bus to the other location after being met by locked doors.

The location is on the corner of State and Ortega streets where five other sites are for lease.

They include Macy's department store, a former Panera Bread restaurant, the Tonic night club and the Blush restaurant.  Together they create about 130,000 square feet of retail space in the heart of the city.

It's not all gloomy for the downtown corridor. The Hayes commercial group says there are 23 vacant locations between the waterfront and Sola street.  While that is high it is still lower than the count about 18 months ago when business leaders said the number was close to 40.

The Verizon site was once a family owned Italian and Greek Deli, for 36 years. It closed in 2007 and Verizon made interior improvements to convert the market and food counters into a phone store.





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