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SANTA BARBARA, CA-The TynanGroup Inc. and developer-owner Richard W. Sanders Investments LLC have broken ground on a $31-million, 96-room boutique business hotel in the heart of Santa Barbara’s downtown business district that will replace the former Hotel Carrillo.

The new five-story hotel will occupy the site at Chapala and Carrillo streets, formerly occupied by the Hotel Carrillo. Because it could not meet local seismic regulations, the old hotel, built in 1923, was condemned and demolished in 1998.

Richard Sanders, a Santa Barbara real estate investor, is in partnership with TynanGroup in the venture as owner of the property. John Tynan, president of Santa Barbara-based TynanGroup, says this is the first hospitality project his company will own after 10 years of managing more than $3 billion dollars in hospitality industry developments. The new hotel’s exterior was designed by Santa Barbara architect Brian Cearnal of Cearnal Architects, with construction drawings by JG Johnson Associates and interior design by Isabel Griswold.

The contractor is a joint venture between Matt Construction of Santa Fe Springs and Melchiori Construction of Santa Barbara. First Bank of Newport Beach is the lead bank in the project financing, with San Joaquin Bank of Bakersfield as a participating lender.

Because the Carrillo replaces the old five-story structure, it has certain “grandfathered” rights to be rebuilt to the height set by its predecessor. This will make the new hotel–which has yet to be named–one of the tallest buildings in Santa Barbara, with panoramic views of the entire city of Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It will feature a swimming pool atop the terrace, with more than 5,000 sf of meeting space in Santa Barbara’s downtown core commercial district.

The hotel will be operated by Edward Thomas Cos. of Beverly Hills, which also operates the Casa Del Mar and Shutters hotels, both in Santa Monica and both five-star hotels. Sanders says room rates will be at $275 to $300 per night when the hotel opens in fall 2004.

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