Amid Ash, Commercial Real Estate Forges Ahead

Natalie Wagner specializes in properties on State Street, Funk Zone and around Cottage Hospital.

As expected, late-year Santa Barbara commercial real estate sales have been quiet during the last months of 2017. The Thomas fire probably had something to do with it, but late-year sales are usually slow anyway. 

The most significant downtown sale was at 225 E. Carrillo St. In less than two years, this 7,704-suare-foot office building has sold twice, according to commercial real estate broker Natalie V. Wagner. 

“Some new local gems that have recently popped up in the lower State St./Funk Zone area,” Wagner wrote in her monthly newsletter. “Adjacent to Test Pilot Lounge, Paradise Springs Winery has finally opened its tasting room, with a gorgeous interior space and outdoor patio,” 

On the same block, Corazon Cocina and Captain Fatty’s Brewery have leased equal parts of the 5,000-square-foot space previously occupied by Rebar Coffee and American Ale 2, at 214 State St., Wagner wrote. 

Wheel Fun Bike Rentals has a spiffy new set-up at their new 24 E. Mason St. home,” Wagner said. “Buellton-based Skyenna Wines has opened a darling second-floor tasting room with a view of the ocean at 12 Helena Ave.”

Downtown, consistent subtle movement continues, as always. 

The long vacant 1,560 square-foot space at 935 State St. has been leased to Creamistry, which should open around spring 2018. OAT Bakery has established at 5 W. Haley St.; and once-high-end Somerset restaurant has reopened as Smithy Kitchen + Bar at 7 E. Anapamu St. with a much more down-to-earth menu. 

It remains to be seen how much the fire and its residual smoke and ash will affect 2018 commercial real estate sales, if at all. Important to note: Santa Barbara County has been hit by six major wildfires in the past decade along with a real estate crunch during the recession. 

It is important to watch how the business community will work with all levels of government and other agencies on the South Coast to recover from this situation. 

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