THOUSAND OAKS, CA—Conejo Merchant Ltd. has purchased an 7.8-acre industrial site from the City of Thousand Oaks with plans to build a 75,000-square-foot industrial facility for a mix of small industrial users. The property will offer only for-sale condominiums with no leasing options. The price of the land sale was not disclosed.
“This development will really fill a need for that smaller industrial product, and it is the smaller type of product that really satisfies the needs of today’s industrial user,” Grant Fulkerson, principal at Lee & Associates L.A. North-Ventura office, tells GlobeSt.com. Fulkerson represented the both the buyer and the seller in the transaction along with Lee & Associates L.A. North-Ventura office president Mike Tingus. The property will offer several condominiums ranging in size from 1,800 to 8,000 square feet with seven freestanding buildings ranging in size from 4,000 to 8,000 square feet.
Conejo Merchant Ltd., a joint venture between developer Martin Teitelbaum and entrepreneur Hugh Cassar, managed to snag some of the last remaining developable industrial space in this market, which, according to Fulkerson, remains tight. “This is a well-established industrial market in the Conejo Valley,” he says. “The industrial vacancy rates in this market have been pretty low, and there really hasn’t been any new industrial development in the market for about 15 years. So, there is a little pent-up demand, and there is a lack of developable industrial land remaining.”
Early on in the recession, big-box facilities really seemed to be driving the industrial market, but in Thousand Oaks, smaller spaces have always seen high demand. “There has always been a need for the smaller industrial product, and it is often that is the product that is harder to find. It has had very healthy vacancy rates,” says Fulkerson. “Some of the larger buildings, especially some of the larger, obsolete buildings with heavily developed mezzanine, really inflate the vacancy rates. A larger building in our market is about 50,000 square feet, versus the Inland Empire where that is as small as you can find.”
Other markets are showing a trend toward smaller industrial facilities as well. GlobeSt.com recently reported two Santa Fe Springs industrial properties traded hands for $14 million. The properties were each around 50,000 square feet, which although is large in the Thousand Oaks market, is considered small on the greater industrial scale. In Thousand Oaks, Fulkerson maintains that facilities under 10,000 square feet are in the highest demand.