September 23, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Column: Adapting to Westside Vacancies

By Avi Sinai

We all see the vacant storefronts around the Westside and it begs the question – why are they empty for so long? Despite a sizzling real estate market on the westside we continually see:

  • Vacant storefronts on Wilshire Blvd
  • Empty car lots of failed dealerships on Santa Monica Blvd
  • And Santa Monica Place, designed as the city’s flagship retail hub, has rows and rows of empty stores just a few years removed from a major multi-million-dollar rebuild.

The e-commerce effect on brick and mortar establishments are well documented, even in strong markets such as West LA and Manhattan. New retailers often forgo brick and mortar strategy to sell their products online through organic marketing and social media. A good local example is Ring – a local startup in Santa Monica, selling a home security system operates with almost no retail presence of their own.

A new trend emerged in recent years – shared office space and creative retail structures. They’ve proven to be a boon for the local community – they generate jobs, incubate new startups, and are an efficient use of real estate spaces. Creative office space companies are expanding, and private real estate lenders are shelling out capital to developers to build even more spaces of this kind.

Old retail spaces have little use for today’s new businesses. A traditional casual dining restaurant requires 4000 square feet to operate but new restaurants have no use for that much space. Larger stores require a bigger initial investment and demand much higher rents. To name one example – the iconic Penguin Coffee shop in Santa Monica stayed vacant for years before a viable tenant showed up, and was recently remodeled as a diner.

Closure of retail giants such as Toys “R” Us have taken their toll in secondary markets, as rents stagnated and retail real estate’s future is openly questioned. But some opportunistic entrepreneurs started taking advantage of the vacancies. Companies offering shared office space like WeWork are gobbling up office and retail space in high-demand locations. There are at least a dozen different shared office locations working in Santa Monica alone. The old Westside Pavilion, a retail graveyard that eventually died a few years back – will be converted into high-end offices as a new campus for Google. Sears flagship store in downtown Santa Monica will be also converted into creative office space in the coming years.

It is important to foster and encourage this growth organically – and resist regulatory urges to tax and limit this trend. It is true that traditional retail spaces (car dealerships in particular) generate tax revenue for the city, but vacant storefronts don’t generate anything. The retail real estate market is eager for a lifeline – regulators should take advantage of the Westside’s status as a premium location and encourage more businesses of that nature. New startups and businesses are more likely to stay local, hire locally, and contribute to the local community.

About the author: Avi Sinai is the principal of HM Capital, a Los Angeles company specializes in hard money real estate loan and private lending. To contact HM Capital you can call (530) 436-5630, or email all inquiries to avi@hardmoola.com

Related Posts

Comedian Fuquan Johnson One of 1 of 3 Dead Following Suspected Overdose at Venice Party

September 7, 2021

September 7, 2021

Early Saturday morning incident remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro Comedian Fuquan Johnson was among one of three people who...

Gambling and Mental Health: Tips For The Casino

August 31, 2021

August 31, 2021

With the advent of online casinos, gambling has become a more popular pastime than ever before. It’s estimated that a...

Final Weekend of Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series With New Movies Added

August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

WHERE: Marina del Rey Boat Launch Ramp, 13477 Fiji Way at Parking Lot #2 COST: $20 per vehicle, per movie...

Market Report: What is the Difference Between a Peach and a Nectarine?

August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

Today at the Santa Monica farmers market Murray Farms answers all of our stone fruit questions in this video brought...

Main Street Traffic Closures Return This Weekend

August 20, 2021

August 20, 2021

Sharing an Open Main Street back for second time this summer August 21 – 22 By Sam Catanzaro  The summer’s...

Venice Restaurants Vie for Michelin Stars

August 19, 2021

August 19, 2021

Prestigious guide returning to California next month By Kerry Slater The Michelin Guide is returning to California next month after...

Venice Outdoor Venues Offer Maskless Event Experience

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

When mask mandates were lifted across California last month, the citizens of Los Angeles County breathed a collective sigh of...

Calico Yacht Charter Provides Luxury Water Experience For All Ages

August 6, 2021

August 6, 2021

By Toi Creel Everyone goes to the beach on the Westside. It’s part of the culture. But imagine experiencing the...

What Health Conditions can be treated with marijuana?

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Marijuana has become more popular over recent years due to continuous legalization efforts across the world. This has been majorly...

Critical Questions to Ask a Contractor Before They Remodel Your House

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Hiring a contractor can be a terrifying venture. You’ve probably heard the horror stories. Maybe you’ve heard rumors about half-done...

Choosing the Ideal Jewelry Piece

August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Jewelry is a crucial element for any outfit as well as for the overall appearance. The right rings, watches, bracelets,...

Millions of Gallons of Partially Treated Sewage Continue to be Discharged From Hyperion Plant

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant still not operating at full efficiency following July spill  By Sam Catanzaro Three weeks after a...

Update on $870M UCLA Student Housing Expansion Project

August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

UCLA is expanding student housing with 3 buildings currently in development. Video brought to you by Hillside Memorial.

Tips for Planning the Perfect Venice Beach Wedding

August 1, 2021

August 1, 2021

When it comes to destination weddings, few surpass the beauty and majesty of ceremonies set on a beautiful beach. For...

4 Foods That Will Make Your Skin Glow

August 1, 2021

August 1, 2021

There are a lot of things that can affect the health of your skin. We all desire beautiful skin that...