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City Chooses Design Team for Downtown

March 09, 1986

The San Francisco team of Reininga Corp., Field/Gruzen Associated Architects and Keyser Marston Associates has been chosen by Santa Barbara's redevelopment agency to develop a 400,000-square-foot downtown retail and performing-arts center.

Called El Paseo Nuevo, the $98-million project will have two major department stores as anchors, as well as 96,000 square feet of additional retail space. Construction is expected to begin late next year, with the first stores scheduled to open in 1989 on a site bounded by Chapala, Canon Perdido, Ortega and State streets, according to a spokesman for the city.

"Of all the plans, this one probably conformed the closest to the historic landmarks district of downtown Santa Barbara and, therefore, requires the least changes," according to Hal Conklin, a city councilman and member of the redevelopment selection committee. The winning plan, the only one that included a performing-arts center and a visual-arts center, was endorsed by the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The two other finalists were Melvin Simon & Associates, Indianapolis, and Ernest W. Hahn Inc., San Diego.

Reininga Corp. is building two other regional-sized projects, the Corte Madera Town Center in Marin County and the Town Center in downtown Napa.

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