December 2, 2022
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Orfalea Foundation office building available for lease


Alex Kacik

Alex Kacik

An Orfalea Foundation office building is on the market as the nonprofit prepares to close by the end of the year.

About 3,000 square feet of office space is available for lease at $5.75 per square foot. The two-story building has 11 parking spaces and three restrooms. Rob Hambleton and Steve Golis of Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments are handling the lease.

Hambleton said the space would work for a stock brokerage company, a wealth management firm or a professional services business.

The quaint Victorian house looks like it’s better suited for a family rather than workers, desks and computers. It was built in 1925 and the total value was assessed in 2015 for just less than $3 million, according to property records.

For the first time in history, the average Santa Barbara office market gross lease rate reached $3 per square foot as vacancy dipped to 3.4 percent, according to the Radius Group. The vacancy rate is down from 4.7 percent in the third quarter last year.

“We continue to see numerous upstarts dominate smaller spaces in addition to larger expansions with the likes of heavy hitters Sonos and AppFolio,” a recent report reads.

The Orfalea Foundation is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit predominantly focused on early childhood education, proper nutrition, reforming school food and better coordinating emergency response.

The foundation was created with an end in sight. The board approved a timeline in 2009 that outlined six years of additional funding. When the 22 employees at the foundation heard in late 2013 they’d be out of a job by 2016, it didn’t come as a surprise.

“Knowing that we couldn’t fund something forever, we used a tool that outlined the progressive phases of an initiative so we were thinking about phasing down and completion at the same time we were launching,” Vice President Catherine Brozowski said.

Industrial market improves

The Ventura County industrial market’s vacancy rate has dipped, according to DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services’ third-quarter report.

The vacancy rate has decreased to 5.2 percent, down from 5.6 percent in the third-quarter of 2014. Simi Valley led the pack, dropping from 4.9 percent to 3.4 percent, but Ventura, Camarillo and Moorpark ticked slightly up.

While the report is largely positive, several companies have left their large owner-occupied facilities, first vice president George Eales said in the report.

“Historically, they have been absorbed by growing Ventura County companies, but the change in the economics of logistics over the past 10 years seems to have curtailed this tendency,” he said.

These larger facilities are being divided into smaller spaces, such as the former 514,000-square-foot Nabisco property in Oxnard and the old 456,000-square-foot Technicolor facility in Camarillo.

Firestone Walker to expand

Firestone Walker Brewing Company plans to expand its brewhouse in Paso Robles.

“Eighty percent of our beer is consumed in California, which makes us perfectly located here on the Central Coast to meet demand, and demand continues to climb,” co-founder David Walker said in a news release. “It’s satisfying to reinvest in this place. This is home.”

The plan calls for an extension of the existing brew house into the parking lot.

Lull in Santa Barbara retail activity

The increasing presence of discount retailers coupled with the Funk Zone’s popularity have hurt retailers in downtown Santa Barbara, according to Hayes Commercial Group’s third-quarter report.

There is the highest retail vacancy along Santa Barbara’s retail corridor since 2011. There’s nearly 30,000 square feet of space available from the 600 to 1000 blocks of State Street after American Apparel and Panera Bread both left. Retailers like Marshalls and H&M have diminished the image of State Street as a boutique shopping destination, the report stated.

“Tourists who might have bought clothes and accessories as gifts on State Street five years ago seem just as happy to take home bottles of wine from the Funk Zone now,” Hayes partner Michael Martz said.

• Contact Alex Kacik at

1 Comment

  1. Sam Fullerton says:

    Is the street address of the Orfalea Foundation building being withheld from the public for some reason? Is it a trade secret or a security risk to disclose the location of this property?