Tuesday, January 17 , 2017, 5:46 am | Fair 41º



Mark Mattingly: Is Haley Street the Next Step in Santa Barbara’s Trend Toward Hip Urbanization?

Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone has emerged as the coolest regeneration or urban renewal of our storied City by the Sea. This small area, squeezed between Highway 101 and the waterfront east of State Street, is now the “go-to spot” for fun and cultural experiences — for locals and visitors alike.

Cruise ships seemingly arrive weekly, with loads of tourists eager to explore the back streets of our city. Visitors are no longer content to just stroll State Street; they’re attracted to the off-State discoveries of new restaurants, wine bars, galleries, breweries and other “Funky” retail experiences. What are you doing on Saturday night? “Hitting the funk zone” is the local’s response. It is happening.

With the Funk Zone close to “built-out”, the question is, “Where is next?” My view is that Haley Street, a long neglected area known for seedy bars, flop houses and other activities of dubious distinction will soon gentrify. Not yuppie gentrification, more like the Abbot Kinney-sort of organic transformation.

Over the past five years, that notable area of Venice, similar in size and condition to Haley Street, has emerged as one of Los Angeles’ most-visited local street scenes. Haley Street looks just like Abbot Kinney did five years ago.

There are signs that Haley has begun this metamorphosis. The infamous biker bar Las Conchas has been repurposed as retail and restaurant space, with a juice bar already signed up and various eateries vying for the turn-key restaurant opportunity. “The Mill” has taken over the old stone and tile yard in the 400 block of East Haley Street, and is transforming this significant corner location with new shops and a winery looking at the soon to be refurnished location. Sounds a lot like the Funk Zone to me!

This is just what Santa Barbara needs. No longer the home of the “newly wed and nearly dead,” our city benefits from this organic growth and transformation, providing new experiences tailored to the changing tastes of our rapidly evolving community. Our technology sector is booming, creating the high-paying jobs that resemble that bohemian City by the Bay — San Francisco. This is fun to watch, and even more interesting for the savvy commercial real estate investor looking for a smart play with creativity required. Haley Street. Watch this space!

— Mark Mattingly is executive vice president of Pacifica Commercial Realty. Contact him at [email protected] or call 805.899.2480. The opinions expressed are his own.

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.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

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 >