GOLETA, CA – CenCal Health, the publicly-sponsored health plan that provides comprehensive health coverage to Medi-Cal beneficiaries, recently purchased the 60,225 square foot office building at 4050 Calle Real in Santa Barbara. CenCal Health had been leasing space in the building since 2009. Francois DeJohn and Steve Hayes of Hayes Commercial Group represented both parties in the transaction, which represents the largest Santa Barbara office building sale on record.
“CenCal Health had been interested in buying the building for several years,” DeJohn said. “The timing finally came together as the ownership decided to sell.”
DeJohn and Hayes also represented both parties in CenCal Health’s lease of an additional 22,392 square feet of office space at 5540 Ekwill St in December 2018. The space is located in the Santa Barbara Technology Center, just off Hollister Avenue and near Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.
“This a growing organization serving a large area on the Central Coast,” DeJohn said. “By leasing space in the Santa Barbara Technology Center, CenCal Health added necessary capacity for expansion.”
CenCal Health is a publicly-funded, community-accountable health plan that serves more than 125,000 Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county residents. CenCal Health administers the Medi-Cal program in both counties, creating access to high-quality health care for its members through contracts with local physicians and providers. The program first found its footing 35 years ago with the Santa Barbara Health Initiative, and is considered the oldest Medicaid managed program of its kind in the country.
“CenCal Health takes pride in effectively managing the resources entrusted to us,” said Bob Freeman, CenCal Health CEO. “Purchasing the building that we’ve been leasing for a decade makes sound financial sense. It also translates into a permanence of commitment to the communities we serve and to our employees.”
CenCal Health is one of the South Coast’s largest employers with more than 230 full-time employees in Santa Barbara and Goleta.
With the purchase of 4050 Calle Real, CenCal Health becomes one of the largest owner-users on the South Coast. Defined as entities that buy real estate for their own user, owner-users played an unprecedented role in South Coast commercial real estate in 2018. More than half of the commercial sales last year were purchased by owner-users.
“There was a level of owner-user activity we’ve never seen,” Hayes said. “Major corporations such as Target, ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses, government entities – users of all different types and sizes have been buying property.”