Neighboring stores have signs displayed within the 76,000-square-foot retail center at 7000 Hollister Ave., but so far the buildings and parking lot is mostly empty minus grocery shoppers and construction crews finishing up the mixed-use development across from Camino Real Marketplace.
Sit-down and fast casual restaurants Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Sno-Crave Tea House, build-your-own pizza concept Pieology and Pickles & Swiss (offering salads, sandwiches and soup) round out the rest of signed tenants.
Six of 18 total retail spaces were still available for lease this past week, ranging in size from 1,483 square feet to 4,188 square feet.
“Hollister Village Plaza is a key component to our Hollister Village mixed-use project and an exciting addition to the city of Goleta,” said Jud Dutrisac, chief operating officer for developer Westar Associates.
“We’ve created a distinctive neighborhood center where local residents, students and visitors will gather to shop, dine and enjoy convenient services.”
Residents began moving into the project with 266 residential units, five live/work residential units, parks, stores and restaurants last October, and construction is expected to finish this month.
Westar couldn’t provide any occupancy rates because construction was ongoing, director of media Ally Ellison said.
“However, with vacancy rates in the trade area hovering around 1 percent, the demand has been overwhelmingly positive from renters who want to live closer to work, shopping, dining and the recreational activities close by,” Ellison said.
Goleta officials will soon decide whether to approve changes to the original project design, which was approved by the City Council in October 2012.
Post approval, a South Glen Annie Road resident filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s consent for a number of reasons, including the mix of uses and height associated with commercial buildings fronting Hollister Avenue near South Glen Annie Road.
As part of a settlement reached in 2013, Westar agreed to apply for a development change that would include 33 housing units instead of five live/work residential units and two commercial units, City of Goleta spokeswoman Valerie Kushnerov said.
If the city rejected that proposal, the company would submit a second suggestion to include housing units or office space.
Kushnerov said the city was not part of those discussions but would review the application, which Westar submitted this month.
In it, Westar hopes to develop the triangle-portion of the property to feature 33 apartments — 17 one-bedroom units and 16 studio units — within two, two-story buildings.
The tweak would require a change to the zoning to residential uses from commercial, Kushnerov said, involving further environmental review and Planning Commission and City Council consideration at a future date.
“The settlement agreement did not commit the city to approve the change in uses or site design in this portion of Hollister Village,” she said.
“The issues in the lawsuit and settlement will have no bearing on how this request will be processed or decided by the city.”
Ellison said Westar couldn’t comment on terms of the settlement due to confidentiality reasons.