Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 5:22 am | Overcast 58º


Local News


City of Goleta Makes Play for Direct Relief Warehouse

City officials are looking at buying the property when the nonprofit organizations leaves for its new building in a few years

Goleta is interested in purchasing the Direct Relief warehouse property next to the Amtrak station on La Patera Lane.
Goleta is interested in purchasing the Direct Relief warehouse property next to the Amtrak station on La Patera Lane. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Goleta is in initial discussions with Direct Relief to buy the nonprofit’s warehouse when it eventually vacates the property near Goleta’s La Patera Amtrak Station — a move that likely won’t happen for a couple years.

Goleta City Council met in closed session Tuesday to discuss possible terms and a price, with nothing reported out in open session.

“The city is in discussions with DRI about the purchase of the property,” city spokeswoman Valerie Kushnerov said.

“Because negotiations are confidential, we cannot comment on the status or a timeframe.” 

City Manager Michelle Greene hinted at the possible purchase last week during a Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce policy roundtable luncheon.

The warehouse at 27 S. Patera Lane is adjacent to the Amtrak station, which could become more relevant once a commuter rail program kicks off in fall 2016.

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments is working with Union Pacific Railroad, who owns the tracks, and Amtrak to iron out details to better time a passenger train into Santa Barbara and Goleta from Ventura County.

That could double the number of folks using the Goleta Amtrak station each day, which is 100, and help alleviate freeway congestion for the 15,000 people driving up from Ventura County — hence the city’s interest in acquiring nearby property.

Direct Relief, a humanitarian organization founded locally in 1948, plans to move from its current overflowing facility to a new storage and distribution warehouse it builds at 6100 Hollister Ave.

The nonprofit purchased that 6-plus acre Santa Barbara Airport property from the city of Santa Barbara this year, with construction plans still going through the review process.

Direct Relief spokesman Tony Morain confirmed the nonprofit and the city are in “very preliminary” ongoing talks, also contingent on its project approval and funding.

At best-case scenario, the new buildings would be complete in 2017, he said.

In addition to possibly buying the Direct Relief property, Goleta expects to spend $1.3 million to upgrade Amtrak station sidewalks and to add bike lanes, more bathrooms and lighting, according to public works director Rosemarie Gaglione.

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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >