This corner site on Coast Village Road was the home of a beloved retail nursery that for over 40 years occupied the heart of Montecito’s charming shopping street. After the nurseryman’s passing, the business closed & the property sold. The challenge for any developer was enormous! How do you replace a treasured nursery with a new piece of architecture?

We began the process by talking with community organizations & merchants about what would be appropriate; what would work. From the beginning the consensus was clear. Whatever was to be built here must fit in. The corner should be a focal point, probably a restaurant. The streetscape should reflect the diminutive character & historic charm of Coast Village Road.

Fortunately, the side street sloped down in grade, allowing access to underground parking, essential to creating a viable & vibrant place. The corner, with its modest tower among outdoor seating & fireplace is comfortable & inviting. Modulated facades, with white Monterey balconies, native sandstone walls, classic wrought iron and hand painted tiles, blend with the overall ‘vibe’ of the neighborhood.

Behind the new shops, through a courtyard, two small residences, each with their own one-car garage, fit handsomely. South facing ground floor living space, second floor two bedroom suites and roof decks with ocean & mountain views all connected by small private elevators make these particularly livable urban units. Remarkably, considering its predecessor, the Montecito community has embraced this project. It simply works, successfully replacing the nursery, not in kind, but in the spirit of place.

Coast Village Road designed by Cearnal Andrulaitis Architects