Santa Barbara County Planning & Development plans to build a 10,000 square-foot, 28 single room occupancy facility on 971 Embarcadero del Mar to increase housing availability in the Isla Vista area. 

The building is planned to replace an existing commercial building that has been unused since 1965. Maddy Fangio / Daily Nexus

Dubbed “St. George Residential Building,” owner of St. George & Associates Ed St. George filed the project’s application on Aug. 3, 2022. This is one of many residential housing projects the company has planned in Santa Barbara. The company has been building for over 30 years in Santa Barbara. 

The building is planned to replace a long vacant commercial building via demolition — last utilized in 1965 as a drugstore. 

The building is planned to be three stories, clustered into multi-unit residential use cohorts of five, including 80-square-foot one bedroom groups with a communal restroom, kitchen and living space. The facility will also host an office on the first floor and eight parking spaces. 

“I can gather that it’s to provide housing to students in the I.V. community,” County Planner Veronica King said. “The intent is very obviously to meet housing demands for students.” 

King said the timeline toward this building’s completion is tentative. She anticipates the project to be presented for a hearing with a zoning administrator (ZA) in the next few months following the completion of a reorientation of the building’s design to be accessed through Trigo Road.

“The project recently had its fourth review by the South Board of Architectural Review … and it received positive comments,” King said. “Assuming it gets approved by the ZA, it will need to return to get preliminary and final design review, and then we can officially approve all of the planning related permits required.” 

“That could take another two years before they break ground … or it can be done in the next year if they did a really great job. It’s kind of hard to say.” 

A version of this article appeared on p.1 of the Jan. 25, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at or