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Alma Del Pueblo Development in Downtown Santa Barbara Plans April Opening

Construction crews are putting the final touches on the State Street project, which will include residential units and a multi-vendor market

Crews work to finish landscaping and other touches on the Alma del Pueblo development in downtown Santa Barbara, which is slated to open sometime in April.
Crews work to finish landscaping and other touches on the Alma del Pueblo development in downtown Santa Barbara, which is slated to open sometime in April.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Those who have been keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the Alma del Pueblo project in downtown Santa Barbara won’t have to wait much longer.

Locals can expect an April opening for the mixed-use development, including a neighborhood market — all on a half-block from Chapala Street to the property’s eastern edge at the Christian Science Reading Room at 1301 State St.

Construction crews worked in the shadow of the historic Arlington Theatre this week, catering to landscaping and other finishing touches to the Spanish-themed design.

The handpicked artisan purveyors set to occupy 19,400 square feet under the Santa Barbara Public Market were still hiring, now that all 15 slots have been spoken for.

Culture Counter Co. was the last missing piece, filling the market’s cheese gap, said Marge Cafarelli, president of the Urban Developments real estate investment company in charge of the project.

She said an exact opening date hadn’t yet been determined, along with which retailer would occupy the space beside Full of Life Flatbread restaurant on Victoria Street.

April was also when Cafarelli said the 37 new residential units built on the second and third stories of the project would be ready for move-in.

“It’s construction, so it’s always a little bit of a moving target,” Cafarelli said.

San Francisco-based Urban Developments has been working to complete the development since buying the property, a former Vons, in 2008.

The project was originally slated for completion last October, at which time planners estimated a delay until March.

Cafarelli has taken great care in choosing the right specialty vendors for the new market, envisioned as offering residents and shoppers a grocery experience, complete with an open layout and room for seating.

In addition to cheese, the market lineup includes Santa Monica Seafood, Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, Crazy Good Bread, Foragers Pantry, Belcampo Meat Co., Enjoy Cupcakes, Flagstone Pantry, Green Star Coffee, il Fustino oils and vinegars, JuiceWell, The Pasta Shoppe, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, WINE + BEER and The Kitchen.

Developers have offered less information about how many residential units were claimed, or by whom, and underground parking is planned for the site.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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