Santa Barbara accounting firm makes a move downtown

As one of the oldest full-service public accounting firms on California’s Central Coast, McGowan Guntermann has witnessed the transformation of downtown Santa Barbara over the decades. Later this summer, the firm will move from its current location at 509 E. Montecito Street to the second floor of 111 E. Victoria Street, where it has leased 4,600 square feet of office space from Penfield & Smith. In terms of square footage, the lease is one of the ten largest new office leases in downtown Santa Barbara this year.

“With our lease expiring on Montecito Street, we were fortunate with Hayes Commercial Group’s assistance to find a great fit for our firm on Victoria Street,” said David Larson, McGowan Guntermann’s managing partner.

“It’s fitting that a Santa Barbara institution like McGowan Guntermann should have offices in one of the most beautiful office buildings downtown,” said Francois DeJohn of Hayes Commercial Group, who – along with Steve Hayes – represented the firm in the lease. “111 E. Victoria is an excellent location for their business and met all of their needs for size, parking and convenience.”

Office leasing in Santa Barbara really picked up steam in the second quarter with 34 transactions completed, which represents a 35% increase compared to the same period last year and the highest total in over five years. “A number of factors have contributed to the activity we are seeing in Santa Barbara,” DeJohn noted. “Some companies, such as RightScale and Sonos, have leased additional space to accommodate their growth, while others are ‘right-sizing’ to more efficient spaces as they adapt to the current economic climate. In addition, many of the leases signed during the recession were short-term arrangements because both landlords and tenants were hesitant to make longer commitments. As those leases reach term we are seeing more tenants out looking at office space, and the vacancy rate has been holding steady despite the healthy number of leases signed.”

McGowan Guntermann will open its new offices at 111 E. Victoria Street on August 1.