May 22, 2022
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Real Estate: Former Sears in Santa Barbara gets second new tenant

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In the La Cumbre Plaza shopping center in Santa Barbara, near Highway 101, a property that formerly housed a Sears store is getting a new tenant this spring.

JT Real Estate Group recently announced the signing of a long-term lease for 70,000 square feet of the former Sears building. The Illinois retailer closed the Santa Barbara site in 2019.

Jim Turner of JT Real Estate Group represented the tenant, Mattress Mike Furniture Gallery.

The opening is anticipated in April and the lease is 10 years, Turner said.

The landlord is a multi-generation landowner. Both the landlord and tenant do not want financial details disclosed, Turner said.

The tenant will occupy most of the 70,000 square feet of the first floor, with a portion subleased to Moving Miss Daisy, a consignment store set to open its second location at the former Sears building.

Sears closed its Santa Barbara store in La Cumbre Plaza as part of a national restructuring after filing for bankruptcy in 2018.

A local development team purchased most of the La Cumbre Plaza outdoor shopping complex, including the Macy’s anchor building and surrounding parking areas, for $63 million, according to Hayes Commercial Real Estate.

NEW HOUSING IN SANTA YNEZ

The Santa Ynez Valley is getting a 60-unit affordable housing development for low-income seniors, thanks to efforts by the Rona Barrett Foundation in partnership with the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County.

The housing project recently celebrated a milestone. The Rona Barrett Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at providing affordable housing and supportive services for seniors in need, scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 17 at Golden Inn and Village on Highway 246 at Refugio Road in Santa Ynez.

Rona Barrett, a gossip columnist and businesswoman, established the Rona Barrett Foundation. The development of Harry’s House, named after Barrett’s late father, will complete the Golden Inn and Village campus senior housing complex and the vision of the Rona Barrett Foundation “for a community where seniors may access a variety and continuum of care that meets their needs as they age in place,” according to the foundation’s news release.

Harry’s House will feature 60 studio apartments in a two-story building “mirroring the existing Golden Inn and Village style with farmhouse-inspired architecture, porches and outdoor courtyards,” the Rona Barrett Foundation said.

The Golden Inn and Village opened its doors to residents in 2016. The site offers about 150 affordable housing units for low-income seniors.

THE FUTURE OF OFFICE SPACE

A new survey conducted by Georgia-based CoreNet Global, a nonprofit association for corporate real estate professionals, has highlighted the pandemic’s impact on corporate real estate.

The survey, released in February, has found that global companies are using less office space than when the pandemic started in March 2020, but many expect to increase the amount of space they occupy over the next one to five years.

Conducted in January 2022, the survey yielded more than 300 responses from several regions, including North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, CoreNet said.

According to the survey, when respondents were asked whether their companies were currently using less space than in March 2020, 45% said they were using up to 10% less space than in March 2020, and 15% said they had increased the amount of space they are using, compared with March 2020.

“Notably, many corporate real estate managers expect their portfolios to grow over the next five years,” the CoreNet news release said. “Forty-one percent said they would, in fact, increase the amount of space they are using, while 60% predicted a net decrease.”

In the same survey, respondents also were asked: “How do you anticipate your company’s portfolio to change in the next one to five years, when compared with the amount of office space your company currently uses?”

Of the survey respondents, 17% said space would climb by up to 10%, while 22% said space would decrease by up to 10%. About 7% said space would rise by more than 30%, and 8% said space would drop by more than 30%.
CoreNet Global represents nearly 10,000 executives in 50 countries with strategic responsibility for the real estate assets of large corporations.

• Brooke Holland covers commercial real estate for the Pacific Coast Business Times. She can be reached at bholland@pacbiztimes.com.