City holds luncheon for brokers, bankers to highlight opportunities for commerce in Santa Clarita.
Commercial real estate brokers and bankers met with staff
from the city’s Economic Development department last week in an empty suite
near the industrial park and talked about the challenges and opportunities of
bringing more commercial endeavors to Santa Clarita.
Actually, the lunch was a fact-finding mission from both the
city’s perspective as well as the real estate professionals. City officials
were hoping to get the word from the street about vacancies, incentives and the
city’s business-friendliness and the brokers were interested in hearing what
the city could do for them.
“The city understands the economy is in an economic slowdown,
it’s in a downturn, we understand that,” said Laura Biery, an administrative
assistant who specializes in the Enterprise Zone. “We’ve obviously noticed an increase
in vacancy rates . We wanted to talk with the commercial brokers and bankers
and hear what they’re hearing from the community, the marketplace, the tenants
and the existing and future businesses who are out there and not in Santa
“We have a business friendly City Council and government
that does not require a business license fee, does not assess a utility user
tax, and offers an Enterprise Zone for even more tax savings incentives to
businesses,” Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar said. “Santa Clarita is one of the
few places in LA County where there is available space and let me clarify that
with ‘attractive’ available space, not just some large plot of land out in the
middle of the desert but real opportunities for infill projects, or with
freeway frontage, and more.”
The mayor outlined a variety of ways the city was prepared
to work with businesses to facilitate their investment in the community, noting
that the city’s goal was to establish two jobs in the city for every household.
He identified four targeted industries in which the city is actively recruiting:
entertainment/Film, aerospace, biomedical and technology.
Biery said that the brokers and bankers in attendance were
asked if clients thought Santa Clarita was too far to travel for their
employees or customers; if they knew about the benefits of working in the Santa
Clarita valley with its high median income and if they were aware of the
enterprise zone designation, which allows businesses to pay 50 percent less on
their income taxes.
“The enterprise zone is a great marketing tool with benefits
and we found many of our commercial brokers and bankers didn’t know how to
market the zone,” Biery said. “Ninety-seven percent of all the commercial-,
industrial- and retail-zoned land in Santa Clarita is located in the enterprise
What the city discovered was that their guests were unaware
of the zone designation or were unable to promote it properly. On the up side,
Beiry said they have heard from businesses in the San Fernando Valley that will
only locate to other enterprise zones, a plus for their economic development
The city has a website www.locatesantaclarita.com that
includes available commercial properties for marketing purposes, as well as
featuring information as incentives to consider locating in Santa Clarita.
“Some of the brokers wanted us to make it exclusive only to
them, but we wanted to make sure it stayed available to everyone,” Biery said. “We
wanted that business owner who might get an idea in the middle of the night to
be able to log on and see what’s available and maybe consider moving their
business up here.”