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Pacific Coast Business Times: Marijuana market boosts industrial space demand in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara, California – Published 11/13/2018
By Annabelle Blair

Demand is growing in Santa Barbara County for industrial spaces and especially facilities for the burgeoning marijuana market.

Industrial space rates are up, almost neck-in-neck with office space rates, an interesting twist for the commercial real estate market, reported the Radius Commercial Real Estate team at the 2019 Real Estate and Economic Forecast in Santa Barbara on Nov. 13.

The increase is driven by emerging millennial workplace trends, especially in the budding tech sector, which embrace open co-working spaces with large windows and roll-up doors. This is accompanied by less demand for office space, which means more workers per square foot and a higher demand for parking.

Tech office rates are rising, while rates for traditional commercial spaces remain solid, said Gene Deering, Radius’s newest partner, whose new role was announced at the event.

Santa Barbara County is a strong player in the marijuana market, with 10 percent of the state’s commercial sales this year related to cannabis farming, production and research and development –— although lack of traditional financing creates a challenge for the industry, reported Radius Partner Brad Frohling.

Commercial real estate transactions and volume are slightly lower for Santa Barbara County this year due to the mudslide disasters, but not by a lot, Radius reports.

Also discussed was the ever-present need for more housing across the state.

“Economic development in California boils down to roofs, roofs and more roofs,” said keynote speaker and economist Chris Thornberg.

His message for the Tri-Counties is that we need more housing.

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