Nadereh Sugich sells kaleidoscopes at the Yes Store in Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo.
Nadereh Sugich sells kaleidoscopes at the Yes Store in Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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A Santa Barbara tradition is back.

The Yes Store, open during the holiday season since 1968, has returned, this year inside Paseo Nuevo mall across from the old Nordstrom.

It’s the 54th year for the store, which features local artists who come together for a seasonal pop-up gift gallery.

It’s essentially an artists’ cooperative, where the artists are responsible for providing their own displays and handcrafted work. The items include custom fine jewelry, gold and gemstones, fused and blown glass, graphics and photography, ceramics (functional and decorative), woodworking, leather, mixed media and more, according to a news release. 

“It’s almost like a multigenerational effect since we have been here for so long,” manager Kevin Healy told Noozhawk. “People came here as children and now bring their children. It’s the tradition that has kept us going.”

Healy’s spouse, Deborah Healy, the store president, says it is a true co-op in that decisions about are made among everyone and not from the top down.

She said the co-op has an election and members vote for directors, who appoint officers. 

“As far as co-ops go, there aren’t many left in the country, especially artist co-ops,” Deborah Healy said. “I would just like to stress that this was born out of the ’60s, the movement of all kinds of things that were happening in the ’60s — peace, love, environmental, women’s rights.”

The Yes Store will remain open seven days a week throughout the holiday season. The store can be found at the top of the stairs and escalator at the north end of the mall near the former Nordstrom.

“If not for Deborah and Kevin, people would not have the Yes Store,” said Nadereh Sugich, who makes kaleidoscopes with her husband, David. “It’s wonderful. Kevin and Deborah are the backbones of the Yes Store.”

Nordstrom Building Sells

Shopoff Realty Investments and Praelium Commercial Real Estate in partnership with an affiliate of Dune Real Estate Partners has acquired the three-story, 175,000-square-foot former Nordstrom property. The price was not disclosed.

It is unclear what the future holds for the building, which housed Nordstrom until the COVID-19 pandemic hit more than a year ago.

“An amenity-rich and highly walkable location, this property is one of the best located and largest spaces available in downtown Santa Barbara,” Shopoff President/CEO William Shopoff said in a news release. “The property’s strong fundamentals will provide our team a fantastic opportunity to work with the city to determine the highest and best use for this vacant space, with the ultimate goal of a lasting positive impact on the surrounding community and businesses.”

The building is one of the two vacant anchors in Paseo Nuevo. On the other side of the mall is former Broadway and Macy’s Building. Paseo Nuevo does not own the buildings on the anchor buildings. Community housing activists have called for Nordstrom to be converted to housing, while some members of the business community have suggested it as a site for hotels.

Shopoff added: “We are proud to partner once again with Praelium and inaugurally with Dune, and believe our partnership’s combination of best-in-class development experience coupled with extensive real estate expertise will make this a successful project for our respective teams, and most importantly for the city of Santa Barbara.”

South Coast Sales and Leases

The third quarter of 2021 brought the largest sale of a hotel on the South Coast since 2018. Bill Foley purchased the 121-room Hotel Californian for $130 million.

“It represents a prominent vote of confidence in both Santa Barbara tourism and the waterfront trade area,” according to Hayes Commercial Group

Also in the third quarter of 2021, the 87-room Pacifica Suites Hotel in Goleta sold for $27.5 million. 

On State Street in Santa Barbara, there have been seven leases so far in 2021. Most have been local or regional tenants, according to Hayes Commercial Group, accept for Athleta, a lifestyle brand with 200 stores in the United States. It is the first national soft goods retailer to lease a space on State Street in several years years, according to Hayes.

The other third-quarter lease, noted by Hayes, was of the former Closet space at 920 State St., leased by a local sports apparel concept 805 University.

Radius Commercial Real Estate noted in its quarterly report that 32,133-square-foot industrial building The Platform, 126 E. Haley St., sold to a 1031 exchange buyer for $13.9 million. 

In addition, 82 Coromar Drive in Goleta, a 77,900-square-foot industrial building, sold to an owner-user for $12.7 million. A 9,115-square-foot downtown office building at 1002 Anacap St. also sold to an owner-user for $4.5 million.

Radius also reported Validation Ale’s lease of 4,700 square feet at 102 E. Yanonali St. in the Funk Zone, and Hook & Press Donuts’ lease of 3,015 square feet at 15 E. Figueroa St., the former Jeannine’s space.

Sea Glass Festival Pop-Up

The Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival is holding a holiday pop-up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Carpinteria Arts Center, 855 Linden Ave. 

The event will feature 20 sea glass vendors showcasing holiday gift opportunities in an open-air market.

“We think the pop-up will allow us to be hyper-focused on the artists and art that inspired us to launch this festival here in the first place,” said Louise Sciutto, festival board president.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Barbara Sea Glass & Ocean Arts Festival took place at the Earl Warren Showgrounds each fall and included arts, education and vendors in an expanded multiday setting. The event also will feature live music.

The event returns after skipping two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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