I am surprised to read that we’re comparing State Street to Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. I moved here from Boulder in 2007 and have been going back and forth ever since. I worked for Hotel Boulderado for 10 years on Pearl. Quoting the CEO Sean Maher from Downtown Boulder is not the voice of the locals. To say no to chain stores in downtown is suicidal for Santa Barbara. Sean Maher first owned Ben and Jerry’s on Pearl. Having some chains stores stay stable here in S.B. is a good sign. We have lost too many.
It’s a totally different demographic here, and Boulder has changed drastically to cater to Google and the like with tremendous development changing much of the natural landscape and beauty there. Not many in Boulder would agree it’s for the better.
What concerns me is the lack of courage to make policies that protect the greater good of downtown. If ownership of buildings means landlords can do what ever they want because of money, that sends a big message to the community. I know there are many issues involved, but frankly, I would love to see more courage in doing what’s better for the community by the people being paid to care about the greater good.