One of Santa Barbara’s most well-known neighborhood markets could soon become rental housing.
Cantwell’s Market & Deli — at 1533 State St. at the Arrellaga Street intersection — is at the center of a proposed 27-unit housing project that will go before the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission on Wednesday.
But don’t worry: The market would remain on the ground floor although it will need to close during construction.
“This is truly going to be a neighborhood market,” said architect Jay Blatter, a principal at Hochhauser Blatter Associates Architecture & Planning who added that he eats at Cantwell’s three times a week.
“The whole area is becoming more vitalized. This goes hand in hand with what the city wants.”
HBA and the owner of the property will take their project to the commission for a pre-consultation review.
Commission members will review the pre-application and provide feedback, and based on that, the developers will submit a formal proposal.
The property owner is listed as Pradeep Shastri and the applicant is McGeever LLC.
“The owner of the Cantwell’s wants to stay in the community and stay in the market but at the same time develop much-needed housing,” Blatter said.
Project plans call for 15 one- and 12 two-bedroom units, with an average unit size of 811 square feet. Three of the residences will be leased at below-market rents.
The building would be 48 feet tall, the maximum height allowed by the city.
The site would include 34 parking spaces, 26 in the basement and eight on the first floor.
“I am really proud of the building,” Blatter said. “The owners are really nice people.”
The new building will feature an arcade and outdoor dining on State Street.
The proposal is in City Councilwoman Meagan Harmon’s district. She said she has not seen the specific details of the project, but supports more housing.
“I’m happy to see our AUD (average unit size density) program working to bring additional residential units to our downtown core and, with the input of HLC, we can be sure it will be in keeping with our El Pueblo Viejo design standards,” she said.
“When residents can work, play and live downtown — in developments that respect Santa Barbara’s historic character and beauty — our whole city wins.”
The Historic Landmarks Commission meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room at 630 Garden St.