Friday, March 19, 2010

Nearly a Ghost Town

Yesterday I spent some time driving around the industrial area in the town in Southern California where I live. There are about 150,000 people in the city and it abuts other cities on three sides and the national forrest on the fourth.  The area I'm blogging about is past the In-N-Out Burger, past the closed car dealerships (real estate also for sale).

A company I work with from time to time may be in the market to purchase commercial real estate in the near future and am looking for about 10,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space on their behalf. I simply drove through the industrial area and was SHOCKED to find that at least 25-30% of the industrial space is empty and FOR SALE. Not for lease, FOR SALE. This in what once was a thriving Southern California community. I came away with the feeling that if I walked into nearly any business there, open or closed, with a rock bottom price, that they'd sell me the real estate.

While it may be the opportunity of a lifetime for a buyer, it is a stark indicator of how bad things have become here. You almost NEVER see commercial real estate like that for sale. There is always a sign here and there for a leasing opportunity but that's not what I'm blogging about.

My sense is that things will get worse before they get better. For every business that completely folds, there are jobs lost that aren't coming back anytime soon. With the US Congress threatening national healthcare that will be born on the backs of businesses and the California Legislature poised to raise taxes significantly, there really is scant cause for factories to exist HERE. California is not a business friendly state, the taxes are high and because fully 1/3 of the people on welfare in America live here, they have to be high to support the lay-abouts.


Teresa said...

It sounds like you may have come upon a good opportunity to buy property for the business your helping out. It did look like a ghost town. I, also, fear that this economy is going to worsen with Obama in office because he is clueless as to how an economy becomes a thriving economy.

Opus #6 said...

Obama has wrough quite a bit of destruction already.

Coffeypot said...

California and NYC are loosing people and jobs at an alarming rate because of taxes. And the economy doesn't help either. It's a gamble, but now is the time to be investing in property and buildings. Econ 101 tells you that things run in cycles and what is down now WILL come back. The problem is - how long before it rebounds.

WoFat said...

I'm sure Bush will be blamed. obama will no doubt point that out.

Anonymous said...

The same can be said of Phoenix. I was doing an investigation there and found the company's headquarters; 90,000 square feet of warehouse and maufacturing with 10 employees left as they were closing down...every single building in this area of Scottsdale was empty and for sale.

Azra said...

Wow, I guess all that optimistic talk about economies on the rise again could have been a tad over-exaggerated. Same thing here... businesses reported scant growth in the last quarter and people were ready to sing Halleluja... but sadly, it's not what they made it out to be. Things will definitely get worse before they get better me thinks.

Word veri: admin (is that a sign that I've been unemployed for too long?)

LL said...

Barack Hussein Obama doubled the US National Debt in one year of foolish spending and the run-away Congress wants to exceed that record in the coming year. All that delays any prayer of recovery.

Most people who I speak to are hoping things get back to normal in four to five years. It's difficult to say whether or not that's optimistic or realistic.

California is the most highly taxed state in the Union and the only remedy the legislature seems to have come up with is to raise taxes because the state is bankrupt. All it will do is drive us further into the hole because they won't curtail spending.

darlin said...

LL is there any truth that they are thinking of legalizing marijuana in California? I'm too lazy to do anymore research then I have to right now, but rumor here has it that this is what is being talked about.

It is a sad state of affairs, this recession here is also taking it's toll. From the sounds of things, not nearly as bad as there yet the price of real estate here has barely budged. I don't know how people are able to buy when we're in the middle of a recession. I wonder when the market will bottom out or if it will.

(I'm finally about halfway through your book and it's fantastic! It's not that I'm a slow reader, I just have way to many text books and essays on the go! Thank you for bringing some pleasure reading back into my life, I didn't realize just how much I've missed it).

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