South Coast office space remains at a premium
By DALE RIM
NEWS-PRESS BUSINESS EDITOR
WANTED: Office space
in a Class A building on the South Coast; willing to pay
through the nose.
According to Pacifica Commercial Realty's 4Q
Commercial Market Update, office/R&D rents in Santa Barbara
are substantially higher than in Ventura County and much of
Los Angeles and Orange counties, and the current recession
talk won't have that great an effect on the South Coast.
In Santa Barbara, fourth-quarter asking rents
increased to $2.65 gross, a gain from the previous quarter
of $2.54 gross. While that 11 cents per square foot is a boon
for landlords, it begs the question: Might the increase impede
other businesses from relocating to the area?
"The fact is that Santa Barbara has always
been perceived as expensive," said Mark Mattingly, executive
VP of Pacifica Commercial Realty. "Owners of companies
want the Santa Barbara lifestyle (regardless of the cost).
Rental rates are up all across the nation in the office sector
because of supply and demand. Construction rates are high,
and vacancy rates are low."
The South Coast's most notable new project, the
Cabrillo Business Park, will provide approximately 500,000
square feet of office and research space. The 90-acre development,
located at the entrance to UCSB at Los Carneros Road and Hollister
Avenue, is not being pre-leased at this time, according to
Mr. Mattingly. Phase One -- consisting of two new office buildings
totaling 140,000 square feet -- begins this summer and is scheduled
to be completed at the end of 2009.
In Carpinteria's 525,000-square-foot base in
the office/R&D market, only 26,220 square feet are available,
a 5 percent vacancy rate. The fourth-quarter asking price of
$1.49 gross increased slightly from the previous quarter's
average of $1.46.
The same market in Goleta saw vacancy levels
lowered to 3.3 percent. Of the 4.2 million square feet that
make up the market, 136,424 square feet are available. The
fourth quarter average price of $1.74 gross
increased 7.4 percent from the previous quarter's average of
In Santa Barbara, approximately 5.1 million square
feet make up the market and only 123,698 square feet are
available for rent, a 2.4 percent vacancy rate compared with
a 2.8 percent vacancy rate the previous quarter.
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
announced that Craig Makela, president of Santa Barbara Olive
Co., was named the new president of the board at the Trust's
45th annual Meeting and Community Awards presentation. The
Trust also elected community leaders Rob Rossi and Jack Theimer
to the board of directors and re-elected incumbents Timothy
Aguilar, W. Elliot Brownlee, Suzanne Schomer, Anthony P. Spann
and Mike Stoker.
RESIDENTIAL FRONT: Daniel
Encell, director of
estates division, Prudential California Realty, reports
median home prices along coastal Santa Barbara County climbed
5 percent to $1.049 million and average
prices rose 9 percent to $1.806 million. According to the CORT
Report, Montecito, Hope Ranch and beach properties propped
up the home prices in the county: Hope Ranch's average sales
price from 36 homes sold was $4.32 million, and Montecito's
median sales prices was $3.83 million of the 243 homes sold.
However, Santa Barbara had a decline in the number of sales
(837) and the median price of $1.015 million, and Goleta had
a third consecutive year of declining sales (347) and median
price of $825,000. His conclusion: 2008 will see estate properties
having another solid year because of low inventory, but the
lowest-priced segments of the market have not yet hit bottom.
SIGN OF THE TIMES?: A Mediterranean hilltop villa
in Montecito with drop-dead views has been on the market for
six months at $14 million. A few offers have been made, but
not close enough to close the deal.
TRANSACTION: Elie M. Genadry d/b/a/ Montecito
Frame & Gallery leased 1,550 square feet of retail space
at 2173 Ortega Hill, Summerland, from Diane Norman. Brad Frohling
of Radius Group represented both parties.