Proponents of Chapala One-a large mixed-use building that combines 7,700 square feet of commercial space, 1,200 square feet of office space, and 46 housing units into one structure located at 401 Chapala Street-celebrated its completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 9. Six years in the making, the project has drawn criticism from community members who fear that such large-scale projects would ruin the character of downtown Santa Barbara and praise from others who feel the mix of housing and retail space so close to the city’s center typifies the direction future city development should take. Of the housing units, 35 are market rate (between $1.15 and $3.5 million) and between 1,241 and 2,800 square feet in size, and 11 are affordable that will sell for between $160,000 to $350,000. The concept and preliminary design of Chapala One was created by Barry Berkus, but the design was redefined and the construction overseen by architecture firm Design Arc. Chapala One spokesperson Jonatha King declined to give an exact number for the cost of construction. Mayor Marty Blum herself snipped the ribbon, though she did not describe it as an endorsement of the controversial structure. “It is not a statement on anything that I am cutting this ribbon,” she said.
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Caitlin Crandell is an Independent intern.