Downtown Blight Flight
The decline of business and the growing vacancies in downtown and State Street, is it caused by unattractive businesses, poor tenant mix, high rents, Internet shopping, demographic factors, or investor and shopper turnoff?
Many Santa Barbara residents and mamy visitors, have no desire to visit, shop, and spend funds in the area. They find it congested, smelly, dirty, filthy, unsafe, and a major turnoff. The area has been allowed by city leaders and its present social-worker police force to be taken over by the so called homeless, the drunk, the addicted, the mentally ill, and professional extorting beggars and criminals. It’s an undesirable and unsafe environment, especially at night with bar-produced problems, and auto break-ins, thefts, assaults, drug dealing, gangs, and other criminal activities.
It needs a reputation that is positive, desirable and safe. What knowledgeable and serious investor, business, tenant, would desire to locate in the area? Consultation with city leaders, the police, business leaders, tenants, investors, and commercial real estate experts is needed to stop the decline and exodus of lower State Street businesses or, for that matter, the City of Santa Barbara.