The 17-room Haley Hotel opened three weeks ago in downtown Santa Barbara.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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Downtown Santa Barbara has a new hotel a block off State Street.

The Haley Hotel opened about three weeks ago. 

“We wanted to have a hotel run by locals,” said John DeWilde, general partner. “We thought there was a need in Santa Barbara for more hotel rooms.”

The property at 26 East Haley St. used to be a motel, then a dormitory for a language school. DeWilde and his partners purchased the building in 2014.

The hotel has 17 rooms with prices ranging from $165 to $250 on a busy Saturday night. 

“We’re proud of our team,” DeWilde said, adding that the hotel wants to promote local businesses — like serving Handlebar Coffee at the hotel.

They rented every room this past weekend and after the hotel was added to Expedia, they were able to book 40 rooms over the next few weeks, he said.

DeWilde said the area is developing and shows great promise.

“There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” DeWilde said.

The rents on Haley Street are also cheaper, he said, which allows new businesses to come in. 

“It’s kind of a creative area,” he said. 

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday added the first block of East Haley Street, where the hotel is located, to its State Street sit-lie ordinance.

Commercial real estate sag

Commercial real estate sales stayed flat in the second quarter of 2018, but dropped significantly from a year ago at the same time, according to Radius Group.

After the second quarter of 2017, there were 49 commercial real estate sales. After the first half this year, there were 29 sales.

In terms of dollars, the total Q2 sales volume was approximately $50.2 million compared to $69.5 million last year, according to the quarterly Radius Group report.

The largest transaction of the quarter was at 3045 De La Vina St, an 18,000-square-foot office building that shares a parking lot with Trader Joe’s that sold for $9.5 million. 

Radius says that willing investors are on the sidelines with plenty of cash to invest, but politics, rising interest rates and the current bull market has made them more cautious.

“We are seeing an influx of LA buyers looking for shelter in Santa Barbara real estate,” Radius’ Q2 report states. “This should continue as long as prime, long-term investments are sold and the sellers are faced with the decision to pay their substantial capital gains taxes or exchange and face the music another day. We also are still seeing prime, well located, trophy properties trading to long term holders paying cash for these properties.”

HomeGoods opening 

Home décor store HomeGoods will open a 30,167-square-foot store in Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace, 7035 Market Place Dr., on Sunday, Aug. 19.

HomeGoods prices are less than department or specialty stores, the company said in an opening announcement..

“Our amazing values, brand names, and vast assortment make HomeGoods an exciting destination for shoppers,” said John Ricciuti, president of HomeGoods, in a statement. “With a large variety of special merchandise from around the world, customers will always find something thrilling in our treasure hunt environment at great values. We are happy to provide Goleta with a local HomeGoods.”

Merchandise includes furniture, rugs, lighting, decorative accessories, kitchen and dining, bedding, bath, kids’ décor and toys, pet accessories, storage, workspace, outdoor, gourmet, wellness and more. HomeGoods plans to hire about 65 full- and part-time employees.

Regular store hours are Monday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Planet Fitness expands in Lompoc

Planet Fitness is opening a new location at 1009 North H St. in Lompoc.

The company will celebrate the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 15, where staff will hand out free T-shirts, a one-year membership and raffle prizes.

The new location will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bed tax revenues down in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara’s transient occupancy tax revenues dropped by 2 percent in June of 2018 compared to the previous year.  

The city received $1.76 million in transient occupancy taxes in June.

Total TOT revenue collected in fiscal year 2018 so far is approximately $18.8 million, resulting in a 1.5 percent decline from the prior year, according to the city.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at