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Pacifica Real Estate Group Returns to East Carrillo Street

Commercial real estate firm leases space formerly occupied by Santa Barbara Asset Management, which has relocated to State Street

Pacifica Real Estate Group has returned home.

The company moved to the corner of Santa Barbara and East Carrillo streets into 200 E. Carrillo St., where it got its start about 40 years ago.

“It’s quality Class-A office space,” said Jerry Beaver, Pacifica Real Estate founder and CEO. “There are not a lot of vacancies in that type of space from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet — (the vacancy rate) is probably less than 3 percent.”

The 3,500-square-foot location was previously occupied by Santa Barbara Asset Management. SBAM recently expanded to the historic 6,500-square-foot El Paseo office space at 820 State St.

“It’s in the heart of the downtown Santa Barbara financial district,” Pacifica executive vice president Mark Mattingly said. “It has great parking and prominent ground-floor visibility.”

Beaver and Jim Free started their brokerage and development company, Beaver-Free Corp., in 1969. Beaver-Free developed the building and moved in with tenants, including the Price, Postel & Parma law firm in 1970. Beaver has managed the building for the Freitas family ever since.

In 1992, Invest West Financial and Beaver-Free Development Corp., which changed its name after Free retired, merged to become Pacifica Real Estate Group. They were considered two of the largest real estate groups in the region, Beaver said.

“Beaver-Free was a household name and was very strong in the commercial brokerage division,” he said.

Invest West Financial founder Dale Marquis later branched off and became Pacifica Hotel Co., which now owns 28 hotel properties from San Diego to San Francisco.

Pacifica Real Estate Group has offices in Paso Robles, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Newport Beach. But the company was lucky to find a suitable location in downtown Santa Barbara, Beaver said.

“If we hadn’t moved here, I’m not sure where we could have gone,” he said.

According to Pacifica’s second-quarter market report, the office market vacancy rate decreased to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent, and the average lease asking rate increased to $2.35 from $2.25 gross per square foot.

Beaver said there’s low supply and high demand for premium office space in Santa Barbara.

“Part of the reason for the scarcity is because the development process in Santa Barbara is less than easy,” he said.

In addition to Price, Postel & Parma, Investec and Damitz Brooks Nightingale Turner & Morrisset share the building with Pacifica, which moved in Aug. 16.

“I’ve been in the business 51 years in Santa Barbara,” Beaver said. “It has been a great run.”

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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