In the 1980s, the land was being marketed as an auto park, however, the remaining parcel, this land, was too small for auto-dealer consideration, so the lot was unusable, says a source.

SANTA BARBARA, CA—GlobeSt.com has exclusively learned that the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has purchased a 1.76-acre site from a car dealership. The sole purpose of the purchase is to build affordable senior housing.

Stephen Leider and Clarice Clarke, both with the Santa Barbara office of Lee & Associates, represented the buyer and seller in the $2.25-million transaction at 251 South Hope Ave.

Leider tells GlobeSt.com that in the 1980s, the land was being marketed as an auto park, however, the remaining parcel, this land, was too small for auto-dealer consideration, so the lot was unusable.

“It was determined that the only alternative for this land was housing,” he says. “After some attempts by the multifamily brokers to get it through the city, it stalled.”

But now, he says, the housing authority pushed it through, with the deal closing in 35 days. “Because this is one of the last vacant land lots in this area that permits ground up development,” Leider explains.

“The plans are to build senior affordable housing for those who qualify in the Santa Barbara area.” According to Leider, Santa Barbara is virtually built out with no vacant land available within the city limits.

Leider tells GlobeSt.com that the housing will consist of 90 studio units with an expected groundbreaking of 2015.

Leider did not have a cost of the project or who will be developing it, but we will update this story as we learn more.