With construction on Pardall Road wrapping up, the Santa Barbara County Redevelopment Agency is turning to new improvement projects for UCSB’s beachside community.
The Pardall Road streetscape — the flagship project of the long-ranging Isla Vista Master Plan — celebrated its grand opening last Spring Quarter after extensive construction. In the upcoming months, I.V. residents can expect to witness more changes to the area with plans for new restaurants, parking spaces, sidewalks and street lighting.
According to Jeff Lindgren of the Redevelopment Agency, El Embarcadero will be the next road to undergo renovations.
“The next thing we’re designing right now is El Embarcadero, the two block street at the bottom of the loop that takes you down to the beach,” Lindgren said. “That section through there doesn’t have sidewalks all along it, so we’re going to reconstruct that whole section down to the beach and put sidewalks on both sides, some trees and some street lighting.”
There will also be more changes coming to Pardall. The two empty lots on the corner of Pardall and Embarcadero Del Mar across the street from Silvergreens and Java Jones will provide the finishing touches to I.V.’s downtown area with a parking lot and mixed-use complex.
“The spot that used to be a karate studio a long time ago, they tore down the building there and are going to build a mixed-use complex,” Lindgren said. “The ground floor will be commercial space, restaurants with studio apartments above. Across the street is an old dirty site from a previous gas station. So in the short term it is still being mediated and cleaned up, but we are going to turn the empty lot into a parking lot to serve visitors and residents of Isla Vista.”
Lindgren said the parking lot will contain 45 spaces with trellises to provide shade for the cars. The most forward aspect of the project is its green design, he said.
“The coolest thing about it all is that it is going to be what’s called a rain garden, which basically means it captures rain that is then used to landscape the project,” Lindgren said. “There are some nice green components to that project.”
Among these green aspects are solar panels that will collect energy to light the parking lot and Pardall.
Although Lindgren said several new restaurants can be expected to open in the next few months, he would not reveal any names until contracts are finalized.
Meanwhile, construction will continue on El Colegio Road. Although the first section of roadwork — stretching from Campus West Gate to just past Los Carneros Road — has been completed, the project will not be finished for some time, according to Lindgren.
“Phase two, which includes the stretch of road from Los Carneros to roughly the entrance to the Santa Ynez apartments almost to Camino Corto, is probably going to go to bid for a contractor to start construction in maybe six months,” he said.
However, bus shelters and benches for the new MTD stops along the road will be installed soon. Additionally, Lindgren said MTD began operating a new shuttle route through Isla Vista and out to Camino Real Marketplace this summer. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes and picks up in front of the I.V. Food Co-op.
The Isla Vista Master Plan began as a joint venture by the Isla Vista Project Area Committee, the General Plan Advisory Committee, the University and Isla Vista Recreation and Parks Dept. to address infrastructure, traffic and zoning problems in I.V.
The next planning area committee meeting will be held Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the I.V. Medical Clinic.