Liquor Licenses Have Become Gold in Pacific Beach, Causing Fights Among Tenants and Landlords
This article was originally posted on VoicesofSanDiego.com
In Pacific Beach, businesses are struggling to get new liquor licenses – and that has turned preexisting liquor licenses into pure gold.
If a business has a preexisting liquor license, the value of the property increases, creating contention between tenants that hold the licenses and landlords looking to cash in on the rising value. And the supply squeeze has led many Pacific Beach businesses to convert from family restaurants to bars as they try to satisfy the demand of San Diegans and tourists that come to the area to drink.
A preexisting liquor license in Pacific Beach can sell for between $100,000 to $300,000, said Sara Berns, the executive director of Discover PB, the local business improvement district.
Tony Franco, a ubiquitous commercial broker whose face is found on bus stop benches and whose real estate footprint is etched into the major commercial hub of Garnet Avenue, told me he has seen a liquor license sell for as much as $1 million.
There is no single reason that explains why it became so difficult to obtain a new liquor license in Pacific Beach. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulates the application process, and among the many things regulators look at is crime.