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Sonos sets tone for tech firms as it snaps up downtown space

By   /   Friday, November 8th, 2013  /   Comments Off on Sonos sets tone for tech firms as it snaps up downtown space

Music equipment maker Sonos markets some of the highest-quality audio equipment around, but the company is being very quiet as it snaps up thousands of square feet of space in downtown Santa Barbara. According to the brokers at Radius Group’s economic and commercial real estate forecast on Oct. 31, Sonos has now leased about 100,000 square feet of new space over the last year, and is looking for more.

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Music equipment maker Sonos markets some of the highest-quality audio equipment around, but the company is being very quiet as it snaps up thousands of square feet of space in downtown Santa Barbara. According to the brokers at Radius Group’s economic and commercial real estate forecast on Oct. 31, Sonos has now leased about 100,000 square feet of new space over the last year, and is looking for more.

Most significantly, the company is moving in to the 22,000-square-foot building at 614 Chapala St. in downtown Santa Barbara, where Samy’s Camera is currently located, sometime next year. Sonos is a tenant in the building, put in place by new building owners. Speaking at the Radius forecast, economist Mark Schniepp of the California Economic Forecast noted that  Sonos has added 200-plus new jobs over the past four years, which makes the notoriously media-shy firm one of the South Coast’s largest private employers.

Many tech firms, including Sonos, Logicmonitor, RingRevenue and Tempest Telecom Solutions are opting to maintain their offices downtown, rather than in business parks in Goleta, even if rents are higher, brokers said, because downtown amenities are a major workplace perk.

On a different note, Radius brokers put the chances of a proposed 160,000-square-foot Target actually being built in Goleta at 50/50. Given the extra-long environmental review process, if the project is approved it would be at least three to five years before the store opens, Radius partner Paul Gamberdella mused. Target is hoping to build on 11 acres on the northeast corner of Hollister Avenue and Los Carneros Way.

Let the bids begin

A sealed-bid offering process has kicked off for the sale of the University of California’s Hansen Trust property in Ventura. The 35.8-acre property is fully entitled for residential development. Bids are due Dec. 12 and must be submitted on forms provided by the UC and available from Dyer Sheehan Group in Ventura.

The property was gifted to the UC system in 1992, when Thelma Hensen, the last member of a long-established Ventura County farming family, died and left most of her estate to the university. All net proceeds from the sale of the property will go toward the Thelma Hansen Fund, which is earmarked to support the UC’s agricultural efforts.

Ventura-based Dyer Sheehan Group has been working with the UC for more than a decade to secure entitlements and position the property for sale. “Now that we have seen several months of improvement in the local housing market, the university determined it was time to offer the property for sale,” principal Paul Sheehan said in a statement.

The property is located at the southeast corner of Saticoy Avenue and Telegraph Road. Approvals include 131 market-rate homes, about 31 market-rate attached row house condos and six acres of public park and open space.

DEALS OF THE WEEK:

• Santa Barbara-based LoganView Capital has purchased the 165-room Carmel Mission Inn in Carmel. Sources close to the deal said pricing was about $20.3 million, with $1.5 million planned for improvements on the property.
The purchase and pending renovation work for the hotel were capitalized via an acquisition financing package provided by the Los Angeles office of Deutsche Bank, together with equity contributed by LoganView and its investment partners.
LoganView described the hotel as a mid-market boutique hotel located just outside the the village of Carmel-By-The-Sea and with easy access to Big Sur, Carmel area wine country, beaches, golf courses and tourist attractions in nearby Monterey. In a news release, LoganView chief Craig Stevenson said the Carmel market is characterized by extremely high barriers to entry — driven by strict zoning and water-rights rules — making it an ideal investment for the firm.
The San Francisco office of CBRE and Eaton Hotel Investments brokered the deal.

• Mike Wax and Doug Wax of Industrial Park Associates represented both buyer and seller in the recent sale of the 15,519-square-foot industrial building at 2075 Knoll Drive in Ventura. The building is situated on an acre of land, Mike Wax said. He and his father represented buyer JTR Properties and  seller Knoll Drive Investors in the $1.7 million deal.

• The Casitas Plaza shopping center in Carpinteria is fully leased, following several recent retail deals. Gold Coast Fabrics signed up for 2,300 square feet of space in the center. Herbalife moved in to 1,400 square feet, and Little Caesars Pizza  signed up for 1,300 square feet.  Clarice Clarke and Natalie Wagner of Lee & Associates Central Coast were the listings brokers for all the spaces.

• Contact Marlize van Romburgh at [email protected]

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About the author

Managing Editor

Marlize van Romburgh covers banking, finance, agricultural and viticulture. She writes a weekly column on commercial real estate and a monthly column on the restaurant industry. Follow her at @marlizevr

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