Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anchor Blue Files Bankruptcy

Anchor Blue, which has a location at 820 State Street, has filed for bankruptcy protection. It has approximately 177 stores nationwide. The chain originated as Miller's Outpost in the 1970's but changed its named to Anchor Blue in the 1990's.

The fate of the stores is up in the air. Levi Strauss is the largest unsecured creditor and they are taking over Anchor Blue's chain of outlet stores called MOST. It is unsure if they will follow suit with the Anchor Blue locations.

The location at 820 State Street is approximately 5,800 SF and was opened in late 2003. Vacancy rates in the prime blocks of State, 700 to 900, are still very low. There should be a number of national tenants that would be willing to back fill the Anchor Blue space as it is a very desirable location. It is situated on the ground floor of a five story building that houses 24 Hour Fitness and a number of office tenants. It is also at the entrance to El Paseo and across the street from one of the entrances to Paseo Nuevo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Gym Coming to State Street

A lease was recently inked for a new gym in the 500 block of State Street, taking over where such tenants as Santa Barbara Consignment and the RADD Thrift Store used to be.

They are leasing approximately 11,400 SF and it is a good sign that landlords and tenants are willing to work together to fill the holes that currently make up a good portion of State Street. Currently approximately 65% of all retail vacancy in Santa Barbara is located in the downtown blocks of State Street.

Before we get too excited about the return of retail, I do have to note that the empty space at 610 Anacapa Street that was to be a new jazz nightclub is back on the market for lease. This is an additional 10,000 SF of space that will be looking for a new tenant. The asking rate is $2.00/SF NNN but if the gym lease is any indicator, a deal will go down at a much lower price than that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

April CPI Numbers Continue Downward

The Consumer Price Index numbers were released for April and the year over year change from April of 2008 shows a drop of 1.3%. This is the second consecutive month of a reduction in CPI and the third month out of the last four. The good news is that it was there was an actual increase (however modest) in CPI from March to April.

If fuel costs continue to rise, we may see an overall rise in the CPI heading into the later summer months. There is uncertainty over whether the recent increases in oil are due to speculation or a real increase in worldwide consumption.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stateside Restaurant and Bar Now Closed

This is old news from Monday but, Stateside Restaurant and Bar has officially closed. It has been a while coming from what I understand. The place was never really able to make a go of it and the current economic situation didn't help.

If you have an idea for a great retail or restaurant concept, there is a new location now available...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chrysler Announces Dealership Closings

Santa Barbara (and Santa Maria) have escaped the executioner's blade with regards to the closing of dealerships by Chrysler. In the court submitted documents (available here)there is no mention of Santa Barbara or Santa Maria. Nearby dealers in Ventura, Atascadero and San Luis Obispo are mentioned. This may not be the final list.

Also, GM is announcing it may cut as many as 3000 dealerships across the country.

A tip of the hat to the Wall Street Journal for providing the link to the court documents.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Santa Barbara Retail Update

There has been some movement up and down in the retail market here lately. We thought the Apple Store was going to open last week but they were a little behind on construction so the new date is the 16th. 

Additionally, we have learned that several retailers have given up or will be giving up space soon. Most people know that Haywards has shut down their furnishings store on Santa Barbara Street, just below Figueroa. That is about 10,000 SF. Additionally, Thomasville Furnishings will be closing their store at State Street and De la Vina Street in July. Look for some good closeouts there. Finally, Boater's World on Gutierrez is closing soon. That is about 6,000 SF that will be available. None of this is good news for landlords but the bright spot for tenants is that a recent deal that leased in the 500 block of State Street saw a rate of less than $1.50/SF NNN for 11,000 SF of retail space. That is a price that hasn't been seen there in over 10 years.

If you are a retailer and have a business that is weathering this economic storm, you might want to think about throwing your hat into the State Street arena because there are deals to be made right now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Apple Store Opening Delayed Due To Fire

Unfortunately, but it seems like the fire may be behind Apple's delay in opening the State Street store. It was scheduled for this Saturday at 10am but that is off for now. Check their website for more details.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Apple Store Opens May 9th

Woohoo. The new Apple store is opening Saturday, May 9th at 10am. Here is a link to their website confirming.

Let the consumption begin.