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California commercial real estate shortage most acute in Pasadena

A shortage of available office and retail space is impacting prices in several California markets, and rents in areas like Pasadena have increased by as much as 25 percent over the last 12 months as a result. Much has been written by industry experts in recent years about the struggling and sluggish retail sector, but brokers report that vacant stores in Pasadena are rarely available for long. The vacancy rate for Class A office space in the city sits at 12 percent, but a lack of new construction has caused Class B and Class C vacancies to fall to just 6 percent.

Major commercial construction projects can take years to complete, and most observers believe that vacancy rates in Pasadena will continue to fall during the next few years. Local business leaders have worked closely with city planners to ensure that Pasadena remains an attractive destination for visitors and investors alike, and this may explain why the city's retailers have bucked national trends and continue to fare well.

Much of the money flowing into commercial projects in the San Gabriel Valley has been coming from Asia, and the competition for properties in areas like Pasadena can be fierce when investors have deep pockets and demand the best. Even smaller properties like warehouses and stores are now in short supply, and the legalization of marijuana in California has added to this strain.

Gauging future demand can be difficult for commercial property developers. Completing projects in a timely manner could reduce this risk, and attorneys with real estate litigation experience may be able to help them avoid preventable and costly delays. Attorneys could also seek to ensure that construction is not brought to a halt by missing permits, zoning disputes or land-use issues.

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