BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing email@example.com.
The once-prominent Saks Fifth Avenue building on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara is getting a facelift in anticipation of its new tenant — likely Amazon — set to move in later this year.
Construction crews recently set up scaffolding around the building as they prepare to widen the windows to create more sunlight for the second floor. The bottom level will include some yet-to-be-disclosed retail component.
The building has also been gutted — gone are the escalator and other interior features.
“They are getting the building ready to deliver to the tenant,” said Austin Herlihy, executive vice president at Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments. “The tenant will take possession and then make its tenant improvements.”
In what is the worst-kept secret in town, sources have told Noozhawk that tech giant Amazon has leased the building for software engineers, along with a retail component on the bottom floor.
A strong retail presence for Amazon would rattle the retail landscape downtown. The arrival of the company itself would add a layer of prestige to a city that has struggled to keep its downtown vibrant and relevant, amid a slow but sure exodus of large retailers and independently owned restaurants.
Sources have estimated that Amazon will pay more than $2 million in annual rent for the building, the most of any tenant in Santa Barbara history.
The tenant is expected to take over the building in May, with employees likely to occupy the site no later than October.
Another business giant, Target, is set to open in Santa Barbara, at 3891 State St., on April 3.
The small-scale store will feature traditional Target items, but shoppers are encouraged to order products online and then pick them up at the store.
India House closing on State Street
One of the most colorful and unique nooks on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara is closing its doors.
The India House USA, which sold a variety of items, such as rugs, clothes, jewelry and incense, will have its last day at the end of April, after more than 15 years in business.
The location at 518 State St. reportedly is being eyed for use as a beer garden.
PathPoint hires new vice president
Mark Maynard has been appointed vice president of Human Resources for PathPoint, which provides housing and employment support for the disadvantaged and disabled.
He will oversee nearly 500 full- and part-time employees at 24 sites across five counties: Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
“We welcome Mark’s leadership in human resources and experience acquired through a variety of organizational settings,” said Harry Bruell, PathPoint’s president and CEO. “We look forward to his expertise around leadership development and organizational culture.”
He recently managed human resources for Santa Barbara-based MedBridge Development,. He worked for nearly 25 years in senior human resources positions, including as vice president, at the University of Virginia Community Credit Union, Wintergreen Resort, and Crutchfield Corp.
Maynard received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and holds a number of certifications from the Society of Human Resource Management. He is active in the local community, including serving on the Human Resources Committee of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara.