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In May, 18 W. Anapamu St. is slated to complete its transition from kids’ toys to grown-up drinks.
Heading up the store will be Bob Wesley, who has known Savoy Café & Deli owners Paul and Kathy Shields since his and Paul’s days at Lazy Acres Market in the Mesa neighborhood.
Wesley said about half his wines will come from California — primarily Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast — and about half imported from abroad, chiefly France, Spain and Italy.
He told Noozhawk he intends his shop to appeal to a broad array of tastes and sensibilities, with bottles running from $8 to $2,000.
Wesley had worked in the restaurant business and discovered a love for wines while running Lazy Acres’ wine department for almost 13 years.
“It was a life-changing experience for me,” he said.
In 2008, he moved on to The Winehound, and left last year after it was sold.
He reconnected with Paul Shields, who he learned had developed his own wine interest.
“I’d been looking for a worthwhile space to do a wine shop since the fall,” Wesley said, and Shields took him up on his wish.
With his staff hired, he expects to open his doors by mid-May.
Though papered-over windows have kept the interior a secret, “I’ve never seen a store with such a dramatic look,” Wesley said.
“It’s almost like walking into the Wizard of Oz.”
Strong commercial real estate sales continue into 2017
Hayes Commercial Group has reported that commercial real estate sales for the first three months of 2017 in the South Coast area have “maintained the momentum of 2016,” with Santa Barbara seeing most of the activity.
The city’s 19 sales made for its busiest quarter in three years, Hayes’ report said. The $78 million in sales was a 48-percent increase in volume compared to 2016’s first quarter.
Sales to investors highlighted Santa Barbara’s Quarter 1: The Trader Joe’s building at 3025 De la Vina St. went for $12.5 million, four floors of the Granada Theatre Tower were sold for $8.6 million and the El Torito building at 29 E. Cabrillo Blvd. went for $7.3 million.
January, February and March also marked the first quarter since the recession that no industrial property was sold on the South Coast, something Hayes concluded was due to limited supply. The industrial space vacancy rate in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria, was, respectively, 0.5 percent, 1.6 percent and 0 percent.
Along the South Coast, half the transactions and more than half the dollar volume involved office property. The office-space vacancy rates in those cities were, respectively, 4.8 percent, 11.8 percent and 3.0 percent.
Retail vacancy rates in Quarter 1 were 3.8 percent, 2.2 percent and 4.4 percent, Hayes reported.
Rabobank re-opens main Santa Barbara branch
Rabobank N.A. re-opened its main Santa Barbara branch last week in a new 5,500-square-foot office at 3757 State St.
Its Santa Barbara Branch & Financial Services Center had previously been located at 33 E. Carrillo St.
Rabobank has two more Santa Barbara branches at 914 Carpinteria St. and 2222 Bath St.
The main branch’s lobby is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Terri Hilliard opens law firm branch in Santa Barbara
Westlake Village-based law firm Terri Hilliard, PC has opened a Santa Barbara branch at 1825 State St., Suite 206.
The firm focuses on estate planning services, elder care and special needs planning services. Hilliard said her practice “has organically moved northward by referral over the years” after it began serving Santa Barbara families and businesses in 2010.