January 31, 2023
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$10M State Street Borders deal is a bright spot in a dull market


The $10 million sale of 900 State St. in Santa Barbara makes for the largest retail real estate deal in the city in more than two years, but the outlook for the South Coast’s commercial real estate market remains shaky.

The 38,000-square-foot retail space where Borders bookstore is housed was sold on April 5 to an affiliate of Santa Barbara-based SIMA Corp. The bookstore maintains a long-term lease on the three-story building.

“Prominent buildings in AAA locations such as 900 State rarely trade in Santa Barbara,” Brad Frohling of Radius Group, an agent on the deal, said in a release.

But the sale — while a bright spot —  doesn’t necessarily signal a turnaround in the downtown commercial real estate market, says California Lutheran University economist Kirk Lesh.

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