Caruso to Manage Santa Barbara Mall

Retail

As of Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Caruso Affiliated, developer, owner and manager of prominent Los Angeles County malls The Grove and The Americana at Brand, is taking its show to Santa Barbara, Calif.

Caruso took over the management of Paseo Nuevo, an outdoor retail center in downtown Santa Barbara, on July 1. According to Liz Jaeger, Caruso’s vice president of public relations, the invitation was extended by Paseo Nuevo’s owners, institutional investors who are advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The only other property Caruso Affiliated manages, operates and leases is The Linq, an open-air shopping, dining and retail district in Las Vegas, which is a partnership with Caesars Entertainment Group.

The outdoor mall features Spanish-style architecture and includes retailers Kitson, Bettie Page, Bebe, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pacific Sunwear and Macy’s. Caruso currently is meeting with retailers, Santa Barbara residents and city officials to figure out how to deliver the best shopping, dining and entertainment experience, said Rick J. Caruso, founder and chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated.

“Santa Barbara is a wonderful community, with a rich history and unique style. We’ve had a great deal of interest in the Santa Barbara retail market, and we are pleased to be involved with Paseo Nuevo. We believe Paseo Nuevo is a beautiful property that has served the community of Santa Barbara well,” Caruso said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working closely with existing tenants, while we seek potential opportunities to ultimately deliver a high-quality experience for guests.”

Paseo Nuevo is not Caruso’s only Santa Barbara–area venture. Caruso Affiliated has owned the Miramar Hotel in Montecito, an exclusive unincorporated part of Santa Barbara County, since 2007. While the Miramar was a swank place in the early 20th century, it fell on hard times and its last guests left in 2000. During the recession, Caruso held off on renovating the hotel. Since then, the company has demolished the site’s pre-existing buildings. “We have all of our entitlements and are waiting for the right time to build,” Jaeger said.