The intersection of Goleta’s Hollister Avenue and Storke Road is characterized by its wide span of shopping centers, which locals and university students alike depend on. Generally, the parking lots in front of Costco, Albertsons, and the now-closed Kmart are consistently full. But this has not visibly been the case for the parking lot at the newest set of shops, Hollister Village Plaza. The plaza, which had its grand opening in late 2015, was built in conjunction with Hollister Village, a 266-apartment complex within walking distance that has a vacancy rate of only one percent, according to its builder, Westar.
Similarly, the Village Plaza is full but for two shops. Managers of the center’s businesses, including PetSmart, Smart & Final, and the pizza joint Pieology, told reporters that sales have slowly been following an upward trajectory since opening. Ally Ellison, vice president of marketing at Westar, confirmed that “overall sales in the project have increased every year since opening.” Foot traffic has also increased as a result of the center filling up, especially with completion of the CVS drive-thru and excitement building around the upcoming opening of a new Jeannine’s Bakery.
The City of Goleta could not confirm or deny any sales tax rise or fall because it does not compile such information for specific businesses. City Manager Michelle Greene said that state projections for sales tax are relatively flat.