For businesses leasing office space, Goleta is the new destination, according to Hayes Commercial real estate. For the first time since Hayes has been keeping track, Goleta has fewer offices vacant than Santa Barbara, which is at an all-time high of 6.8 percent. More than 235,000 square feet in 55 office spaces are available within five blocks of State Street, Hayes’s mid-year report states. Hayes cites higher rent in Santa Barbara, as much as 40 percent more expensive per square foot over Goleta, as well as housing and State Street’s problems as among the reasons businesses have chosen Goleta.
Along with Carpinteria, Goleta is ahead of their photogenic neighbor in industrial leases. Cannabis has taken the lion’s share of new industrial leases in Goleta, with about 51,000 square feet going to HERBL Inc. at three addresses on Ward Drive. Interestingly, Goleta’s new cannabis ordinances limit distributors to 30,000 square feet per parcel, but only one of the three HERBL leases, described as a cannabis distributor based in Santa Rosa at its website, is known to be a distribution site, said city planner Lisa Prasse.
A “surprising number of leases” were noted by Hayes in Carpinteria, which as of July 28 has zero vacant spaces for industrial leases, where before it had “practically no marketed inventory.” Neither of Carp’s two largest leases — to Studiomarks and Gigavac, according to Hayes — appear related to cannabis.
In total square footage, Goleta’s 75,000sf leased and Carpinteria’s 59,000sf are in stark contrast to Santa Barbara’s 17,500 square feet. The five transactions in S.B. are “the lowest midyear activity in at least 10 years,” Hayes reports. The smaller cities’ exuberance, however, is expected to diminish in the second half of 2019, according to Hayes.