Sonos is about to move 150 employees into Santa Barbara’s lower State Street.
The audio products maker is wrapping renovations to the building formerly occupied by clothing retailer Territory Ahead at 419 State St. and plans to occupy the property in early November.
Company spokesman Eric Nielsen confirmed the head count of employees moving to lower Street.
The new office is the latest in a series of planned moves for Sonos, which employs more than 400 people in downtown Santa Barbara, according to Nielsen. News that company is moving so many employees into the area should be a welcome sign for restaurant and retail businesses on a flagging lower State Street.
“It’s only positive for that area. The tenants, especially [restaurant] tenants, are going to be pleasantly surprised,” said Michael Martz, a broker with Hayes Commercial Group. “I think having that many employees in that neck of the woods is really going to help.”
According to the Business Times’ last count, Sonos is the only firm in downtown Santa Barbara that occupies more than 100,000 square feet of space, making it the largest private-sector employer within the city limits.
In 2013, the company signed leases collectively valued at more than $21 million. The last time Sonos released the number of employees it had in downtown, the total was 270. Just two years ago, the number was approximately 100 employees.
Recently the company rolled out new wireless offerings and is running a high-profile ad campaign on NFL football broadcasts.
“People really enjoy being downtown and enjoy the urban lifestyle that comes with it,” Ingvar Meijers, head of the firm’s global facilities team, previously told the Business Times. “We believe it’s kind of part of our culture.”
When Territory Ahead was in the building and going strong, it was good influence. But it’s been vacant for some time,” Martz said.
Sonos’ wholesale remodel of the building’s interior is nearly complete and it plans to move some customer support and software development operations there in early November.
“I know [Sonos] is investing a lot in fixing up the building and having it occupied will be a benefit to that area of State Street,” Martz said.