January 29, 2023
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PB Cos. sets sights on building out SLO’s Marsh Street corridor


Elijah Brumback

Elijah Brumback

PB Companies is not slowing down in its quest to bring new residential and commercial development to San Luis Obispo.

The company’s redevelopment plans for the former Foster’s Freeze location at the northwest corner of Marsh and Nipomo streets in San Luis Obispo are rolling ahead, according to several sources. Initial plans call for a mixed-use project with 10,800 square feet of commercial space and up to 22 one- and two-bedroom units on the second through fourth floors.

A similar project was approved for the site in 2008, but never came to fruition. PB Cos. also plans to include the lot at 578 Marsh St. where Feather’s Salon is currently located into the development. Both Feather’s Salon and Foster’s Freeze are expected to be demolished to make way for the project.

“I think it’s going to be a really important project as well as the others coming forward that are like it,” San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill said in an interview. “This is how the city needs to evolve.”

PB Cos., which is also behind a planned public market on Higuera Street, declined to comment.

PB Cos. may need to make minor tweaks to the project to gain final approvals, Hill said, but the potential addition of more housing to downtown San Luis Obispo makes it appealing.

Initial designs for the Marsh Street project call for a contemporary building with varied roof heights and balconies, according to a newsletter from San Luis Obispo Chamber of of Commerce.

Projects such as the PB Cos. development and earlier projects, including Mangano Homes’ Marsh Street Commons, are creating a new San Luis Obispo neighborhood that’s affordable for young professionals, Hill said.

PB Cos. is also in escrow on the former Heritage Oaks Bank building at 581 Higuera St. and early plans there call for another mixed-use building, according to tips from several Business Times sources.


• South Coast real estate investor Victor Schaff has purchased a 120,000-square-foot-property in Goleta for $26.4 million. The property, which includes two 60,000-square-foot office buildings on a 10-acre parcel at 75 Coromar Drive in the Raytheon Business Park, was sold by Santa Barbara-based Towbes Capital Partners, the private-equity real estate affiliate of The Towbes Group. The buildings are occupied by a Raytheon business unit.

Along with being an investor in commercial properties, Schaff is also the founder and owner of Carpinteria-based S&S Seeds, the only commercial grower of drought-resistant plants native to California.
Schaff adds the Goleta property to his already hefty portfolio of South Coast real estate, which also includes a 51,000-square-foot building on the Carpinteria bluffs that is leased to Venoco for its regional headquarters.

Towbes said it originally purchased the Goleta property in 2003 and Raytheon has been the sole tenant since the one-story office property was built in 1963. Raytheon’s lease runs through April 2019.

“The purchase of the property came to us through shared connections and we are thrilled to add the asset to the buyer’s portfolio,” Robin Storey, who assisted Schaff in acquiring the property, said in a statement.
The transaction was a direct sale between the buyer and seller and no outside agents were involved, according to Towbes.

• After the sale of Tuscana Apartments in Ventura, which the Business Times reported last week, Ventura Investment Co. has rolled the proceeds into the purchase of a Santa Barbara student housing property. Located at 203 Ladera St., the 28-unit complex traded hands for $7 million.

“The property is well-located, near Santa Barbara City College. It will become part of the Ivy brand of premium apartment communities operated by Ventura Investment Co.,” company President Bart Stern said in a statement.

Steve Golis of Radius Group Real Estate & Investments represented the buyer and seller. Stern and partners purchased the property at a 5.1 percent cap rate with the goal of expansion existing apartment holdings in Santa Barbara.

• The Channel Group recently negotiated the sale of a 12-unit apartment building located at 4930 & 4940 Nautilus St. in Oxnard to the tune of $2.3 million as part of a 1031 exchange. The property sold at 4.5 percent capitalization rate.  Nick Henry represented the seller Horn 1985 Trust and the buyer Morice & Rita Family.

• There’s a bowling monopoly afoot in Ventura County. Harley’s Bowling Center, which currently owns two joints in the region, recently purchase the Brunswick Bowling Center at the east end of Simi Valley, according to a reliable source.

• Contact Elijah Brumback at ebrumback@pacbiztimes.com.