L.A.-based developer Rick Caruso has submitted a revised plan for his Miramar Hotel project, a revision that will save him money and, he hopes, make his neighbors happier. The ballroom building and tennis courts have been removed from the eastern part of the project, with the ballroom being incorporated into the main building. Caruso plans to reduce the number of rooms from 192 to 186 and to move some parking from an underground lot to the main level, but at a lower grade and surrounded by lush landscaping to enhance views. The rest of the hotel, however, remains mostly untouched.
Caruso’s previous iteration of the Miramar was approved in December 2008 after much discussion and deliberation throughout the community. But the economy took a turn for the worse and didn’t present the ideal scenario for building a luxury hotel. So Caruso, who has a few years before his county permits expire, went back to the drawing board to make some changes. And the result is one he is apparently happy with. “We feel strongly that it’s an even better project than the one that had been approved,” he told supporters in a letter last week.
While the Miramar property has sat in disrepair for more than a decade and through three different owners, Caruso is the closest of the three to getting a new hotel built on the property. Caruso is hoping to bring the revised project to the Montecito Planning Commission on February 23.