Pacific Coast Business Times: 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.
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.
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