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Get ready for revival of the zombies

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POSTED November 18, 2011 12:53 a.m.

Manteca has plenty of “zombies.”

You can find them everywhere: Moffat Boulevard, West Yosemite Avenue, Spreckels Avenue, South Main Street, and downtown.

The zombies are the living dead in real estate - commercial property that has sat vacant for the past three to five years - that are now coming back to life.

 The Wall Street Journal chronicled the trend earlier this month using an example of a Manteca dentist who had been paying $6,000 a month to rent 1,600 square feet in a commercial strip center in Spreckels Park. The property went into foreclosure. The dentist bought the 25,000-square-foot building for a fifth of what the previous owner paid for the property. Now with rent income his net debt service is $2,000 less than his previous rent.

While this sounds like bad news for the lender and the property owner who goes into foreclosure, it is great news for commercial tenants who are now in a position to become owners at essentially bargain pricing.

That means in the long-term the financial feasibility of doing business for small concerns can be strengthened significantly.

Of course, you have to be in a position to take advantage of the market.

There is little doubt, though with Manteca’s continued growth - 300 homes a year have been built in Manteca for the past three years while foreclosures are being reabsorbed into the market at a clip of 1,000 plus annually - that the future is brighter for those who take advantage  of the situation and bring zombies back to life.

In short, commercial property is doing what residential property has been doing for the past four years - adjusting to the new economic realities.

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