Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

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Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara
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1025 Chapala Street, current home of Invoca (Photo: Steve Galbreath)

By edhat staff

Two technology companies are the latest to expand into open downtown Santa Barbara buildings.

Local software company Invoca and another software company, Well Health Inc, join the ranks of Amazon, Sonos, LogicMonitor, and RightScale leasing space.

Amazon is primed to set up shop in the former Saks Off 5th store at 1001 State Street with plans to grow its Alexa research team in the 46,813 square foot space. A variety of jobs are posted online looking for candidates in Santa Barbara. 

Last month Invoca leased the 27,773 square foot building at 419 State Street, quite a jump from their former 14,746 square foot office at 1025 Chapala Street. Since starting in 2008, Invoca has provided artificial intelligence-powered call tracking and analytics for marketers. The tech company received $60.8 million in funding from various investors, including Santa Barbara-based Rincon Venture Partners.

“We are excited about this move for two reasons,” Dave Coburn, SVP, Finance & Operations with Invoca said. “First, with our employees working, shopping, and eating on State Street, Invoca hopes to contribute to the ‘revival’ of this area. Also, our Santa Barbara team looks forward to being able to walk to everything, including the beach and the Funk Zone.”

419 State Street, current home of Sonos (Photo: Steve Galbreath)

Sonos has occupied 419 State Street since 2013, but no longer needs the space as it shifts employees to other offices downtown. Invoca will sublease the building from Sonos for about a year and then commence a five-year direct lease with the property owner, reports Hayes Commercial Group.

Well Health Inc will be taking over Invoca's former space at 1025 Chapala Street, moving from their 5,708 square feet at 12 E Carrillo Street. The company provides a platform for patients to communicate with healthcare organizations in an effort to transform everyday interactions between patients and doctors. They have been headquartered in Santa Barbara since its founding in 2015.

"Well Health has already outgrown two office spaces since moving their headquarters here in late 2017,” said Caitlin McCahill Hensel with Hayes Commercial Group. "This shuffle of downtown office tenants proves that there is demand to be downtown and walkable to the amenities of State Street."

Throughout the past 15 years, tech companies have eyed downtown Santa Barbara for offices off State Street. Hayes Commercial Group reports the rents are a bit higher than other South Coast locations, but companies cite the walkability and energy of downtown as a “lifestyle benefit” for employees.

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SantaBarbaraObserver Mar 07, 2019 03:38 PM
Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

Ahh Invoca. These are the people who turn your innocent phone call to some service or supplier into years of unwanted calls, ads, junk mail and of course spam. In case you were wondering what they do... They tie phone calls to digital ads in order to allow the spammer better target more ads at the people who call. Perhaps the last thing anyone wants, well, ever... Unless of course you're a spammer. But hey, they're paying rent on State St, so its good what they do, right?

ParvoPup Mar 07, 2019 03:50 PM
Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

Isn't that pretty much the goal of the Internet Disrupters these days? Create a compelling app that lures you in for the sole purpose of targeting you with advertisements? The company I work for just spent the last 4 years buying up content for the sole purpose of developing targeted ads. We exist to be sold to - that is our only purpose in this Brave New World.

James805 Mar 07, 2019 03:53 PM
Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

Getting locals back on "main street" will benefit our local businesses and add vitality to that area. Yes, there are consequences (parking etc) but there can be solutions for that. I would like to see more residential units on State along with desirable markets for locals. A live/work/shop & walkable city.

a-1552010018 Mar 07, 2019 05:53 PM
Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

I’ve definitely seen an uptick of software engineer types walking packs and hitting the good restaurants and that’s a good thing for state street. We just need to keep up enforcement on the homeless and druggies or it’ll be a mirror image of San Francisco.

Luvaduck Mar 08, 2019 07:36 AM
Tech Companies Move Into Downtown Santa Barbara

As unwanted, time-consuming and annoying as it is to people on the other end of the sale of personal information to third parties, it's a legitimate business model until law-makers stop being bought on the cheap and protect citizens, so don't hold your breath.

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