January 29, 2023
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Santa Barbara’s shortage of housing takes center stage


Elijah Brumback

Elijah Brumback

This year’s Santa Barbara Housing Conference theme is Housing Needs & Opportunities Revealed. With housing out of reach for many individuals and families, the Coastal Housing Coalition, which is sponsoring the event, aims to educate the public on the impacts of having almost no housing accessible to the local workforce.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Santa Barbara County is the one of the least affordable housing markets in the nation. Exorbitant homes prices are forcing many people out of the market and skyrocketing rents, due to a vacancy rate of less than one percent, are straining many households.

The CHC is also pushing for policies and projects that produce more affordable housing for local workers and their families.

Central to this year’s conference are the findings of a recent housing study that was commissioned from Encinitas-based True North Research. True North’s president, Timothy McLarney, will present the key findings of the two-part study, which collected detailed data from 124 local employers and more than 2,500 employees on the South Coast earlier this year. Break-out workshops and panel discussions on housing topics are are planned for the conference. The daylong event includes breakfast, lunch and a post-conference wine reception.

Tri-Counties runs on Dunkin’

Jim Rafferty, director of franchising at Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., tells the Business Times that the hunt is on for a few good entrepreneurs who have a thirst for adventure with an established brand.

“Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo continue to be areas of interest for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand due to the demand for great coffee and donuts. As we move forward with our California expansion, we plan to open approximately 15 new restaurants throughout these areas in the next few years,” he said.

The company is planning at least 200 stores in California.

More real estate data on the way

A data-sharing project from the nation’s largest multiple listing service is growing.

California Regional MLS, which services more than 73,000 real estate professionals, and the Ventura County Regional Data Share, which has about 4,500 subscribers, have signed an agreement to import listing data directly from each other’s systems, according to a report from Inman, an Emeryville-based real estate news outlet.

VCRDS is the latest MLS to participate in an initiative CRMLS launched last year to ink data-share deals directly with MLS throughout California with the goal of building a statewide MLS in mind.

“CRMLS is making great strides in proactively delivering data throughout the state of California via our own technology in a well-organized and cost-effective manner,” Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS, said in a statement. “The addition of VCRDS’ data will definitely strengthen this initiative and bring us closer to completing the aggregation of listings in Southern California, allowing real estate professionals to advance their business.”

VCRDS previously declined California Regional MLS’ offer to share data. Dennis Goldstein, President of the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors, one of the two associations that operates VCRDS, told Inman that VCRDS had polled its subscribers and found “very limited interest in areas served by” California Regional MLS.

“However, after a period of time we met with our brokers and participants who were interested in greater listing and market information provided by developing a data share agreement with CRMLS,” Goldstein said in an email to Inman.

$13M sale in Thousand Oaks

NAI Capital’s Dan Spell, Timothy Foutz, and Mickey Belt represented the seller, DMC Investment Group, in the sale of Townsgate Business Center at 2637-2649 Townsgate Road in Thousand Oaks. The buyer is listed as Townsgate Business Park LLC. Outside brokerage representation was done by Delphi Business Properties. According to a release from NAI, the value of the sale was $13 million.

The Townsgate Business Center is comprised of a four building complex on five acres of with 14 units totaling nearly 74,000 square feet. The complex is completely leased with units varying in size from approximately 2,500 square feet to 11,100 square feet. The tenant mix is a blend of warehouse, flex and office applications.

The Townsgate Business Park is located just off of the Highway 101 and the Westlake Boulevard off-ramp. According to NAI, it’s rare that a project like this business park becomes available.