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Building Outlook Good in '88 for Ventura County : Commercial Brokerage Expects Strong Demand for More Shopping Centers and Office Buildings

February 21, 1988

Ventura County's commercial real estate market is expected to grow even stronger this year, fueled by growing demand for shopping centers and office space, according to the Ventura County office of Grubb & Ellis Commercial Brokerage Services.

Barring any unexpected economic catastrophe, more than 1.5 million square feet of new shopping centers are expected to be built in the county this year, a report by the brokerage firm said. Another 750,000 square feet of office space is expected to be added to the current base of 4.3 million.

"If the economy holds--and we believe all signs point to a positive economic outlook--the county will see possibly its most active year yet in terms of leasing, sales and development of commercial properties," said Thad Seligman, an executive in Grubb & Ellis' Ventura office.

Shopping center construction will be fueled by the development of the county's fourth regional mall, rising in Oxnard, the report said. Several smaller projects will also get under way and many older centers will be rehabilitated.

Office vacancy rates are expected to decline slightly from 17.3% last year, the report said, but will start rising again in mid-1989 as more new buildings open.

The outlook isn't as bright for the county's industrial property market. Construction of new industrial buildings is expected to slip to 2.2 million square feet this year from 2.6 million in 1987, the report said.

The expected slowdown stems from overbuilding and the sluggish computer industry, a big user of industrial properties, the report said.

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