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LAGUNA HILLS, CA-DBN Development LLC has gained final approval for a mixed-use housing and retail development called Radio Square in Downtown Santa Barbara that will involve demolition of an old strip center. The project, which also involves the cleanup of an environmentally impacted site, will blend work force, market-rate and affordable housing and retail space above two levels of below-grade parking at 210 West Carrillo St.

The approval by the Santa Barbara Planning Commission culminated a three-year process, notes Steve Delson, president of DBN. “While most developers would shy away from this town and an environmental problem like this, we identified an opportunity,” Delson says. He adds that the project not only will clean up discharges in the soil from a former dry cleaning plant, but also “will fulfill an important company goal of improving the community’s social and economic fiber by redeveloping the Brownfield site into a mixed-use village.”

Environmental clean up will begin late this year, and the project’s construction is anticipated to be complete in late 2010. The two- and three-story development with subterranean parking will include 32 housing units built over and around 16,000 sf of commercial space. Of the 32 residences, five will be sold as affordable units.

The development site for DBN’s project is two blocks west of Downtown Santa Barbara, at the corner of West Carrillo Street and De la Vina, locally known as Carrillo Plaza. Delson explains that the development will rearrange the retail space around open plazas instead of parking lots, and it will add new housing near jobs and public transportation. The project will also incorporate Santa Barbara’s sustainable design and green building practices with features such as tankless water heaters, accommodations for alternative transportation, renewable energy, water efficient landscaping, storm water management and the storage and collection of recyclables.

The Conceptual Motion Co., a Santa Barbara-based planning and architectural firm, will serve as the architect for the project. DBN, which is active throughout Southern California, is developing a portfolio of retail, mixed-use, residential and office properties on new and infill sites.

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