Rick Caruso is finally ready to build Miramar resort

Well, as soon as he can get the cash. The billionaire developer has been sitting on the Montecito property for years, bogged down by all kinds of community objections and regulatory delays. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors finally signed off on a scaled-back plan, but he's yet to come up with financing. From Pacific Business Times:

Caruso said the smaller project should make things easier. "The costs are now more in line with the hotel financing markets, which improves our chance of getting the project off the ground. We have been working diligently to procure financing with numerous interested parties," Senior Vice President Rick Lemmo said in an email statement. "And while interest in financing the project has significantly increased from last year, the market for new hotel construction remains nearly non-existent both in California and nationwide."

The Montecito Messenger wonders in an editorial whether the money will ever come:

Could it be that the Caruso team may be coming to realize what some people in Montecito suspect to be the real truth ... the project with its $50 million land cost, millions more in design and fees, and probably one hundred plus million in construction costs will never pencil out as a competitive alternative to Bacara and the Biltmore?

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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