Downtown Chico commercial real estate struggles to rent

May 14, 2014 5:51 PM

When it comes to real estate, it’s said the three most important selling points are location, location, and location. But when it comes to downtown Chico commercial real estate, the location might actually be a selling deterrent.

“Which is a shame,” said Mike Donnelly, a Coldwell Banker Commercial associate broker. “Because that’s your core; that’s the gem of your city.”

Donnelly represents several properties in downtown Chico including one near the corner of 4th St. and Broadway. It took a couple of years to sell that property and once it did it has sat vacant ever since. And all around the downtown core it's a familiar sight: vacant properties just waiting to be rented.

While Donnelley says the homeless situation at the Chico Plaza is part of the problem, it’s not the only one.

“San Francisco is thriving and has an enormous homeless problem,” he said. “They’re dealing with it and we should continue to deal with it. I’m not trying to put it under the carpet but it’s time to move on.”

Instead of moving on, many renters are choosing to move outside the downtown core—which is exactly what Rob Rasner did with his bar The Winchester Goose.

“It’s a plus and minus down here,” he said. “We have a little more parking available and we stand out more because there’s less around us. But a majority of the people gravitate between 1st and 5th streets.”


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