The recent sale of a prominent commercial property located at 734 State St. has set a new record for retail buildings in the downtown Santa Barbara area, fetching over $1,160 per square foot. The building houses French restaurant Relais de Paris which holds a long term lease on their space.
Despite the monumental price tag and any implications for the state of the commercial real estate market in Santa Barbara, the real winner is not the seller of the property but the charities that will benefit from the sale.
The deal marks the final sale of a six-property portfolio amassed by the late Dr. Stephen E. Stevens over the course of his long career. One hundred percent of the proceeds from those transactions—totaling just under $9.4 Million in combined value—are to be donated to nonprofits according to the doctor’s wishes.
The names of the beneficiaries are not available at this time.
Stevens, who passed away a few years ago, lived and worked in Santa Barbara before retiring to Hawaii some time ago.
Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments was called upon to find buyers for the properties on behalf of Stevens’ estate.
“Dr. Stevens’ decision to donate all of the funds to charities will undoubtedly impact the lives of many,” said Radius agent Gene Deering, who partnered with teammates Paul Gamberdella and Bob Tuler to handle the project.
In addition to retail buildings, the portfolio included a multi-tenant medical office, industrial property in Goleta and a single family house near Leadbetter Beach. The full list of properties sold includes: 734 State St., $2,619,250; 1532 Anacapa St., $2,800,000; 102 W. Mission St., $990,000; 4441 Hollister Ave., $800,000; 135 Nogal Dr., $1,395,450; and 1111 Luneta Plaza, $765,000.
According to Deering, each transaction carried with it a unique set of challenges, but the trio was ultimately able to complete the assignment well above projected sale prices.
“Throughout this whole process it was incredibly rewarding to know that with each close of escrow, a significant amount of money was going to great causes,” he said.
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