Every so often, someone will ask me if COVID-19 has harmed my industrial real estate brokerage or the Los Angeles North industry as a whole. To that I say, “Not at all. The pandemic has not increased the supply or lowered the rental or sales value for industrial properties in the L.A. North market; in fact, it has done the opposite. Business was brisk for all the brokers in 2020 due to “hyper-tight” vacancy rates and the lack of available purchase properties.”
Over the past 20+ years that Triniti Partners has been representing the commercial real estate market in North Los Angeles, we have seen a continual tightening of the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley markets. Unlike the retail and service-related industries that were forced to close or go virtual in 2020 and the 1st quarter of 2021, industrial tenants and owners did not close down. In fact, this market has not changed significantly in over two decades and there is no indication that it is going to be changing. The reasons for this are two-fold:
1. The industrial sector was insulated, to a degree, from the pandemic shutdowns.
2. Those businesses that did have to alter their routine found a workaround and continued to operate, status quo.
A prime example of this is the construction trade where supply and service-related businesses like marble cutters, stone cutters and cabinet-makers continued to operate as normal. In fact, they actually got busier during the stay-at-home restrictions as those who were forced to stay at home started embarking on more home improvement projects and remodels that they had been putting off for years.
Then there is the TV and movie industry. During COVID, the rumor mill predicted that production companies would leave California because of our state’s restrictive policies. However, that did not occur. Instead, all the behind-the-camera industries used the shutdown to retool their processes, getting rid of excessive inventory; cleaning, repairing and updating their equipment; and replacing inefficient practices with new processes to deliver their services to the end user. As a result of their preparation, these companies were ready to move, full-steam ahead, when the stages recently reopened.