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BizHawk: Saks Fifth Avenue Reopens as Saks OFF 5TH on State Street

Lure Fish House hoping for 2015 opening, Ice in Paradise scheduled to open in Goleta this weekend and Hardy Diagnostics becomes entirely employee owned

The Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH discount outlet opened this week on State Street to much fanfare.
The Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH discount outlet opened this week on State Street to much fanfare.    (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

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Customers flocked to the new Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH store Thursday for its grand opening in downtown Santa Barbara, complete with free pink balloons, signs and a deejay out front.

The re-branded Saks Fifth Avenue, which closed at 1001 State St. in August to make way for the switch, offers up to 70 percent off name brand clothing and accessories and caters to a much different crowd than its predecessor.

Saks OFF 5TH is more discounted fashion outlet than posh department store.

“It’s not your average Saks,” store director Jim Toscano told Noozhawk. “It’s been received well.”

When Hudson’s Bay Company made the conversion announcement, the company said the store’s 55 associates would either be offered transfer opportunities or receive appropriate employment separation packages.

Tons of associates were on hand Thursday to greet customers, showing them around the two-story store.

Lure Fish House Aims for 2015 Opening

The Lure Fish House seafood restaurant moving into Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza is aiming to open sometime before the end of 2015.

Although the original opening was supposed to happen over the summer, restaurant representatives said it all depends on completing construction.

The regional restaurant chain, founded in Camarillo in 2010, will occupy the front 7,200 square feet of the former Ruth's Chris Steak House at 3815 State St.

What remains of the 10,000-square-foot space will be divided up and leased out to retail tenants, opening out onto the center of the outdoor mall walkway.

Anyone passing by the location would have seen crews working on the interior of the building.

Lure Fish House, which also has locations in Ventura and Westlake Village, specializes in providing locally caught seafood and organically grown local produce, with an oyster bar that serves a variety of fresh items that vary daily.

Ice Rink Set to Open in Goleta

Goleta’s Ice in Paradise is scheduled to open this Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and other activities kicking off at 1:15 p.m.

A grand opening is set for November, but the long-awaited rink is opening this week and offering public skating sessions — $10 to skate plus skate rental — and an ice skating exhibition, among other things.

Ice in Paradise is more than a decade in the making, located at 6985 Santa Felicia Dr. near Stork Road and behind Home Depot.

Hardy Diagnostics Now Employee Owned

Santa Maria's Hardy Diagnostics was 100 percent employee-owned as of this week, with the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan purchasing the remaining 30 percent of company shares.

“I have wanted to do this for a long time,” Hardy Diagnostics co-founder and president Jay Hardy said in a statement.

“By selling the company to the employees, who built it into what it is today, they get to share in the rewards of ownership, just as I have. They get to influence the future of the company — the better they perform the more they will benefit.”

Hardy Diagnostics, which manufactures medical devices at its Santa Maria headquarters, employs more than 300 people and maintains nine distribution centers in the U.S., including a recently opened facility in Springboro, Ohio. 

Hardy plans to remain as president, and the current board of directors will continue to serve the company as well.

Community West Bank Redeems Stock

Community West Bancshares, parent company of Santa Barbara’s Community West Bank, announced this month that the Federal Reserve Bank has approved its request for permission to redeem the remaining $5,574,000 of its 9-percent Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A.

The company finalized a $10 million line at a rate of one-month Libor plus 3.75 percent to assist in paying for this final redemption and use for other future corporate purposes.

“We are pleased to be able to announce this final redemption," President and CEO Martin Plourd said in a statement.

“We believe this redemption is further confirmation of the company’s continued operating improvement, financial strength and appropriate capital management.”

The company originally issued 15,600 shares of Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Stock, Series A, to Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Capital Purchase Program.

The Bank will continue to be considered well-capitalized under all regulatory guidelines.

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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