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<b>LATEST WRINKLE: </b> Rick Caruso, the third developer to promise to rebuild the Miramar Hotel, is now unveiling his third plan for public review.

Paul Wellman

LATEST WRINKLE: Rick Caruso, the third developer to promise to rebuild the Miramar Hotel, is now unveiling his third plan for public review.


Third Time the Charm for Miramar?

Developer Rick Caruso Presenting Smaller Plans for Rebuilt Hotel


Thursday, August 7, 2014
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Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso has announced his intentions to submit a new set of plans for “reimagining” Montecito’s long-storied but long-dormant Miramar Hotel, which would make it his third go-around since acquiring the property in 2007. The new plans, which will have to run the gauntlet of Montecito’s design review process, promise “an intimate, smaller design,” reducing the number of rooms from 186 to 170. While Montecitans have been clamoring to have the hotel rebuilt, Caruso has not escaped the curse that seems to have afflicted the property since being shut down 14 years ago. Not only is he now on his third set of plans, but he’s also the third developer to attempt resurrecting what was once the first posh hotel on the coast.

Early on, Caruso unleashed a formidable charm offensive, winning the fickle hearts and minds of Montecitans. But since securing the first county approval in 2008, nothing has been built. Hotel financing was in notably short supply in the wake of the recession. Two years ago, Caruso asked for and got a controversial tax break from the county as an incentive to deliver, but the two sides could not come to terms when it got to the fine print of the deal.

Caruso’s announcement comes at a time when county planners are exploring plans with Caltrans to build a roundabout by San Ysidro and Coast Village roads to help address traffic issues there. Such a roundabout would impinge on a parcel that was to feature a new spa, but the parcel now calls for a parking lot. The new plans are slated to go before the Montecito Board of Architectural Review later this month and after that to the Montecito Planning Commission.

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Maybe he can just turn it into an overpriced campground.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 1:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Caruso has lost weight in the years he's been trying to do this. Correlation or causality?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 9:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe Caruso is moving forward with putting a Target store on this site. At least the taxpayers will not have to subsidize hotel rooms for the mega-rich via the decreased bed taxes he says he needs to make the project work. You guys screwed-the-pooch when you dissed Ty's ideas. Oh well...

loganwc (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 12:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The county should take this property under eminent domain law and turn it into an encampment for the homeless.

buckwheat (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 8:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

^I'm against eminent domain, but that would be really funny. Plus it would be fun to camp there in the winter.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 8:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sure. Just what we need; Another incentive for more bums to come here.

waz (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bums > People who hate bums

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Slick tongue BS'er.
No way to polish that turd.

How about an affordable housing project for the working class service workers in Montecito?
Imagine this guy running for Mayor of Los Angeles.
Imagine something simple for the Miramar
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors are to blame. $$$

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There is affordable housing for the workers. It is called Oxnard and Ventura, or even Carpinteria. And it is fee simple, not subsidized. If you want to live here, you need to come up with the skill package that let's you live in coastal California. Millions of other people already have, so you are already behind the curve if all you still complaining no one has handed you a free home. Your complaints fall on dead ears.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Then ignore implementing adequate public transit and voila, the freeway gets widened through Montecito.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

He will never get the loan to build it. The numbers do not add up. File the Miramar under white elephant and Caruso under biggest fool.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 11:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Affordable housing project, sarcasm, but not too sure of the Oxnard / Ventura comment.
But really, look at Wellman's capture of the worry lines on Caruso's face.

easternpacific (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 1:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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