CRE Survey: Retail and Office Space in Del Mar, California

If any place is immune from the consumer downturn, it ought to be Del Mar, California, one of the wealthiest cities in San Diego County, and a perennially popular tourist location. So I took a walk down the 6 short blocks that constitute its prime retail district.


This place apparently sold English phone booths, office furniture, cases of bottled water, and wires hanging out of walls.

Space available. I know someone that can fill some space.

I think this refers to the vacant parking lot where they have the weekly farmer's market.

Booth for rent. Is that only for stylists, or could I set up a lap dance booth?

This one didn't have a For Lease sign. I guess they like it vacant.

You've got a few slots open, I see.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

A realtor trying to get out of a lease?

Three suites. Sweet!

The building at 221 15th Street got an emergency waiver to allow office use even though it was zoned for retail, because they couldn't find any retail tenants. As I recall, they had some financial advisors in there until recently. Also Del Mar Jet. How's the jet business these days? Now it's vacant, repainted, and apparently still going to be used as an office.

Another booth. This one looks like it might have a little more privacy.

On vacation for a month? Does that cause a noticeable drop in sales?

Now the high-end Del Mar Plaza uses mirrored windows to make it look like it's not really vacant (it is).

Or even more clever, paint the windows with some arty stuff to make it look like there's not even supposed to be a store there.

Another one here.

I haven't bothered to check out this web site yet, and I couldn't tell what they were trying to sale-lease. Better do it soon, though, or it will be 4closure.

This place doesn't have any sign. Maybe it's some secret, exclusive club.


Not out of business yet, but planning on it!

Wow. Things are really flying off the shelves at the Village Consignment.

With any luck, Three Dog Bakery (not yet open) will be the next to go. For the record, they don't bake dogs; they bake cookies for dogs.

As you can tell, the one thing Del Mar needs is more retail space. So Proposition G is to build a new strip mall. Because "Yes on The Strip Mall -- Yes on G" didn't do well in focus groups, they're calling it "The Garden."

That's all in six short blocks. Most, if not all, of these shops and offices were vacant before the recent credit crunch. We've only just begun.

And just a half mile up the road, the Southfair complex has a heck of a lot of vacancies. "$2.95 + Utilities." I'm not sure if that's $2.95 for each office, or for all six.

UPDATE 11/2/08: A couple more vacancies.

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