Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file)

The building that housed Nordstrom in Paseo Nuevo has sat dormant since closing last summer, and now three investment firms have partnered to acquire the three-story, 175,000-square-foot building, hoping for a future bigger than big-box retail.

Dune Real Estate Partners out of New York, and two Orange County–based firms — Shopoff Realty Investments and Praelium Commercial Real Estate — have partnered to acquire the space for an undisclosed price.

Shopoff and Praelium led the charge in the purchase, and representatives from Shopoff have expressed interest in using the space as a mix between smaller-scale retail and flexible offices.

On the other side of Paseo Nuevo — which is on property with a long-term lease from the city — the Macy’s space has stood without a permanent tenant since 2017, but earlier this year, Santa Barbara–based Hayes Commercial Group announced plans to transition to mixed-use office space as well.

“Our team has a high level of respect for, and is very much looking forward to, working with the city,” said Scott San Filippo, founding principal of Praelium, in a statement about the purchase of the Nordstrom building. “Through smart redevelopment, we believe we are poised to aid in the revival of this end of State Street.”

Before closing its Santa Barbara store in 2020, Nordstrom had occupied the location at the north end of Paseo Nuevo for 30 years, and the acquisition is just the latest in a trend that strays away from traditional big-name retailers in favor of mixed-use retail, pop-up, and shared-space options.

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