The owner of Del Playa Rentals, James Gelb, is selling all of his Isla Vista properties for nearly $80 million after accumulating the real estate for more than 23 years.
The portfolio includes 37 properties on Del Playa Drive, El Nido Lane, Pasado Road and Sueno Road, which have 66 living units with room for 564 students. The asking price is $79,024,950 and each unit is listed at $1,197,347.73.
Steve Golis, Gelb’s real estate agent for Radius Group, said Gelb is selling the properties to simplify his portfolio, which he manages himself.
“It’s a good time to sell the properties he’s acquired over several years,” Golis said.
Gelb said it is “not unusual” to be selling several properties in I.V., and that he doesn’t plan on making future investments in UC Santa Barbara’s college town.
Asked if the sale was related to cliff erosion and January’s damage to his property in I.V., Gelb said, “they’re not related at all.”
According to Santa Barbara County tax rolls from 2015, Gelb had a property value of $39.3 million. The Santa Barbara Independent’s analysis of the Isla Vista Recreation & Park District bedroom tax ranked him as the 5th wealthiest property owner in Isla Vista.
In January, Gelb’s property on 6653 Del Playa Drive suffered from a major bluff collapse due to cliff erosion.
Gelb purchased the building from Ed St. George in 1992, and it was built in the early ‘70s, like many of the other properties offered by Del Playa Rentals.
After the house sustained the damage, Gelb filed an emergency demolition permit with Santa Barbara County to adjust the property.
Massoud Abolhoda, Santa Barbara County building and safety manager, said on Tuesday that he would confirm if the project was completed. Gelb said the construction has been completed.
Only one other property needed adjustments due to erosion, and Gelb completed the construction before the storm caused the bluff collapse at 6653 Del Playa.
Gelb doesn’t have any adjustments to make on his other properties, according to Abolhoda.
Gelb told the Nexus in January that he cut back 15 of his residences to prevent damage and injury from future cliff erosion in 2016.
“I’ve done everything proactively,” he said, adding that other landlords in I.V. have also begun replacing oceanside units farther back from the cliff.