With the 2020 elections fast approaching, the debate about online shopping and retail store automation has been a hot topic in the news. You probably won’t be surprised to read that many of the stores on Montana Ave are suffering.
According to a recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press, total taxable sales have finally recovered (in some parts of Santa Monica), after taking a hit in 2015. Unfortunately, Montana Avenue has reported a 3% drop in sales. It seems that on a local level, tech companies have been a double-edged sword. On one hand, Westside “Silicon Beach” continues to bring various tech professionals into the area, which has boosted some of the real estate market. However, Montana Avenue commercial tenants are not benefitting much, if at all. It’s clear that with some of the Montana Avenue store closures, retail storefronts have really felt the pain. Many of the vacant stores these past few years have been leased to medical spas, bakeries, high-end coffee bars and restaurants – the stuff you can’t get online.
Downtown and the Third Street Promenade have fared better in the taxable sales report and have seen a nice increase in sales. Third Street enjoys (or curses) far more tourists than Montana Ave. If you look closely at the people walking down Montana Ave, very few are holding shopping bags. On Third Street, Main Street and Abbot Kinney in Venice, people are actually spending money. Third Street’s new restaurants, interactive art/experience concepts and the reopening of the Apple Store have gone a long way towards weathering the storm of automation for the promenade.
Obviously, retail automation and on-line shopping are here to stay and even though the alternative often comes with a premium price, I try to buy local.
If you want to keep Montana Avenue store diversity alive and vibrant, you will need to shop and dine and spend money on Montana Avenue. (Support your local Montana Ave realtor too!)
For more details on Montana Ave retail, check-out the Montana Moves section of Santa Monica Dirt Magazine for updates on which stores are leaving and which stores are coming to Montana Avenue.
In Real Estate News…
Two new listings came on the market this week-
808 San Vicente Blvd– Listed at $7,695,000. This 2018 new construction came on the market last January for $8,500,000 and has not yet found the right Buyer. With a new price and the creation of an entertaining deck, on top of the garage, it should see a sale in the very near future.
1607 Carlyle Avenue– Fully priced at $4,995,000. This is a beautiful 1920s Spanish home with beautiful detailing. Just over 3,000 square feet and updated in some areas. This little house will appeal to the emotional buyers – the ones willing to spend $1640 per square foot.
Two properties went into escrow-
631 15th Street– Listed at $3,295,000. Lot value, 50-foot-wide lot. Was on the “off market” for many months but only on the MLS for 26 days. It was purchased in late 2017 for $3.1M with plans for a new home but the owner has decided not to build it.
332 25th Street– Listed at $4,299,000. Tudor style, nearly 4,000 sqft and ready for updating on an 8,700 sqft lot with pool. Was on the market 61 days.
Three properties sold-
721 23rd Street– Sold over asking for $6,500,000, more than a half million over list price!
443 Euclid Street– Sold for $3,200,000. Originally listed for $3,598,000. The seller paid $3.4M for this in late 2016. Could the new building codes be the reason for the price fall here?
470 18th Street– Sold for $4,400,000. Originally listed for $4,495,000.