The Alternative Digital Printing — a recently renamed copy shop that has been an Isla Vista favorite for 35 years — is moving from its Pardall Road location to the University Center (UCen) on UCSB’s campus. The new UCen location will open on September 1, three weeks before the start of fall quarter.
The shop is moving to the UCen “to be closer to the action,” said store manager Daniel Corbin. “Being closer to the students and the departments will help our customers and hopefully help our business.”
UCen administrators are equally excited about the new Alternative location, which will move into the space on the main level across from the food pavilion that had been previously filled by FedEx. “I feel confident that The Alternative is positioned to offer excellent service to the campus community,” UCen director Alan Kirby wrote in a statement. Kirby added that he has received a number of emails from faculty praising the decision to bring The Alternative onto campus.
Although FedEx moved out of the UCen just last week after the expiration of its tenancy contract, The Alternative’s move has been in the works for several months. In late June, UCen administrators began soliciting local copy shops to submit proposals outlining a business plan for the vacant location. The UCen received two proposals, which they evaluated with a point scale that measured the company’s appeal on campus, customer service track record, references, and proposed financial contribution back to UCSB. With high scores in each of these categories, The Alternative was selected to become a tenant.
Corbin said he thinks the deciding factor in The Alternative’s selection was its reputation as a local copy shop. “We’ve been around and helpful for the community for so long now,” Corbin said. “Everybody wants to help the local businesses.” The Alternative has three locations in the tri-county area, including the Isla Vista location and stores in downtown Santa Barbara and Ventura.
During the transitional move-in process next week, The Alternative will continue to offer all of its existing services, including a pickup and delivery service to departments on campus. The copy shop’s products and services will remain essentially unchanged in its new location.
The new Alternative location is just one of several additions to the UCen planned for the upcoming quarter. Subway plans to open a new sandwich shop in mid September, and UCSB Dining Services is slated to open a new health food restaurant in October. UCEN administrators are also currently soliciting proposals for a new Mexican restaurant to replace the recently departed Chilitos.