A development company which wants to build a new resort at the site of the long shuttered Miramar Hotel in Santa Barbara County has taken some new steps to try to show it’s serious about the project.
Caruso Affiliated says it’s paid off its loans for the Miramar property in Montecito in full, and that it’s made an early $1.4 million dollar payment to Santa Barbara County of a fee the county can use for public beachfront facilities.
The company cited the economic downturn in not proceeding with already approved plans to build the nearly 200 room project, and has been granted multiple extensions.
Developer Rick Caruso is pushing for the county to adopt a hotel incentive plan, which would rebate the county’s hotel bed tax for a designated period of time, to help finance the new construction.
Company officials say the incentive would make it easier to secure investors, or bank loans for the project.
Opponents call the proposal an unfair subsidy, while supporters say the sooner construction starts, the sooner the county will benefit from the jobs, sales tax, and increased property tax revenue it will create.