Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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266 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Interview by Randall Shearin Often overlooked for larger markets, California's Southern Central Coast is seeing retail development and expansion. Hidden Market: California's Southern Central Coast F abulous weather, beautiful coastal geography, an educated and afflu- ent population that is growing and a thriving tourist market have put Califor- nia's Southern Central Coast high on the list for new retail development. Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco along the Pacific Coast is the tri-county region which includes Ventura, Santa Bar- bara and San Luis Obispo counties. While you don't hear about retail de- velopment in the area much, millions of tourists visit the region each year for its beaches, vibrant wine industry and outdoor recreation. It's also home to a population of almost 1.6 million people. Retailers have also set their sights on the Central Coast looking to expand their concepts in the market to serve both the residents and tourists. Cardiff Development Partners special- izes in development in the region and Shopping Center Business recently chatted with Tom Davies, managing principal, about the opportunities and some of the unique challenges of developing on Cali- fornia's Southern Central Coast. SCB: What makes California's South- ern Central Coast attractive for new development? Davies: There are a variety of reasons re- tail developers and retailers are attracted to the region. The area is home to an edu- cated and affluent population, a booming tourism market, low vacancy — less than 5 percent — and rising demand for space. All of these factors have made the area desirable for new development for those developers and retailers nimble enough to find the opportunities and understand the communities. In many of the areas there are significant barriers to entry and 'managed-growth' is the mantra. SCB: How much new ground-up retail development and/or expansions are hap- pening in the region? Please describe a few projects that are representative of the market. Davies: There are almost 2 million square feet of new retail developments/ expansions in the pipeline on the South- ern Central Coast with projects ranging from smaller 5,000 square feet infill or mixed-use developments to new ground up centers that are approximately 350,000 square feet. The majority of the projects are neighborhood, downtown, mixed-use or lifestyle developments with a mix of independent, regional and national retail- ers. Scale is a challenge due to develop- ment constraints so there are very few new large retail development opportunities greater than 500,000 square-feet. On the other hand, mixed-use projects of all shapes, sizes and configura- tions with a residen- tial, civic or hospitality component are very popular in the region and driving a lot of the new activity. For example, Cardiff is devel- oping Trinity Plaza, which is a mixed-use project in Oxnard that includes a conve- nience retail center and a church adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Hollister Village in Goleta, being developed by Westar, is a horizontal mixed-use project with 76,000 square feet of retail anchored by Smart & Final Extra and 266 adjacent residential units. Copeland Properties is breaking ground on its Chinatown proj- ect in downtown San Luis Obispo. The project includes 50,310 square feet of re- tail that will be anchored by the county's first H&M store, 37 residential units, 2780 square feet of office and an 80-room ho- tel. Lifestyle and specialty centers with a strong component of dining and entertain- ment are also popular. Shea Properties' new freeway adjacent The Collection at RiverPark, anchored by Target, Whole Foods and Century Theaters, recently opened and continues to grow with the next phase of 108,000 square feet un- derway. At build-out, The Collection will include over 700,000 square feet. The 350,000-square-foot Amara center in Camarillo is a joint venture between Selleck Development and Primestor De- velopment. The open-air lifestyle center is slated to come online later this year. Santa Barbara's Funk Zone continues to expand and thrive. It is an eclectic mix of winery tasting rooms, art galleries and restaurants sprawling over several blocks between State and Garden Streets west of Starbucks Coffee is one tenant who has opened infill sites along California's Southern Central Coast. Tom Davies

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