VIA hosts commercial real estate panel

Business leaders and community members attend the Valley Industry Association luncheon Tuesday. Sarah Sikandar/The Signal
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The Valley Industry Association hosted a luncheon meeting and panel discussion Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, focusing on the commercial real estate market, economic conditions and the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The event was attended by local dignitaries, business owners, real estate developers and representatives from financial services, insurance organizations as well as local nonprofits. Also present were representatives of Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, as well as City Council members.  

Speakers included Craig Peters, vice chairman of CBRE, Jim Backer, president of JSB Development, and Dale Donohoe, owner of Intertex Properties.  

Donohoe said he appreciated VIA and what the organization has done for the community, especially its ability to build relationships for businesses.  

“Our tagline is building relationships because that’s really what it comes down to,” Peters said as he spoke about the various industries and areas the organization works with.  

The speakers discussed industry trends in the post-COVID-19 environment.  

“The moral of the story right now for industrial is you’ve got a lot of companies competing for very, very few opportunities,” Peters said. The bigger picture, he added, is e-commerce.  

Entertainment professionals, particularly content creators, have ample distribution and immense competition. “I think we’re going to continue to have this insatiable desire for more and more content that’s going to lead to more and more stages.”  

Donohoe spoke about the relationships he has developed over the years working in the valley and the various partners in the community, including nonprofits and educational organizations. 

He discussed new and ongoing projects, as well as housing prices, and analyzed interest rates and vacancy trends.   

The panel also discussed the office space market, which is still finding ways to come back from the COVID-19 inertia as everybody is trying to figure out what it means going forward for the office market. Activity, they concluded, is slowly coming back with a general sense of hope that it will return, but it’s going to return in a very different fashion. 

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