A "free space" offer apparently is paying off for Martin V. Smith & Associates, owner of Oxnard's Financial Plaza and other office, industrial and retail properties in western Ventura County.
The offer, which expires Dec. 31, gives new tenants of the widespread Smith properties three months free rent if they sign leases of one year or longer.
"I'd call it an unusual concession for such a short commitment," said Woody Gardiner, Smith's vice president for property administration. "The idea is to entice people in the hope that they'll like it here and stay a lot longer."
Despite the concession, Gardiner said the Smith holdings, which also include Fisherman's Wharf in Oxnard and Del Norte Plaza in Camarillo, are doing rather well. He reported an 11% vacancy rate for the 21-story Union Bank Tower and the 14-story Ventura County National Bank Building, both of which are in the Financial Plaza near the Ventura Freeway.
"But we have about 40 vacancies throughout the county. With the election behind us, we're hoping things will pick up and people will be looking for new locations."
Already, Gardiner said, one company has accepted the free-rent offer, leasing a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in Mayflower Square, a Smith-owned industrial park in east Oxnard.