Tech companies are on the move in downtown Santa Barbara as Invoca and Well Health Inc expand

SANTA BARBARA – Software company Invoca recently leased the 27,773 square foot building at 419 State St in downtown Santa Barbara. The move marks significant expansion from the firm’s former 14,746 square foot office at 1025 Chapala St. Francois DeJohn, Steve Hayes, and Kristopher Roth of Hayes Commercial Group represented Invoca in the transaction.

Sonos has occupied 419 State St since 2013, but no longer needs the space as it shifts employees to other offices downtown. Invoca will be subleasing the building from Sonos for about a year and then commence a five-year direct lease with the property owner. Greg Bartholomew, also of Hayes Commercial, represented the property owned along with DeJohn and Hayes. Bartholomew also represented Sonos in the sublease deal.

“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.”

Since its founding in 2008, Invoca has provided artificial intelligence-powered call tracking and analytics for marketers. The tech company has received $60.8 million in funding from various investors, including Santa Barbara-based Rincon Venture Partners.

“We have been working with Invoca since the early days, and it’s been exciting to see their growth and success,” DeJohn said. “This is a remarkable company and a great tenant for State Street.”

Meanwhile, Well Health Inc is also growing and has been looking for a larger office in downtown Santa Barbara. Invoca’s former space at 1025 Chapala St fit the bill, so the company leased the building. They will be moving from 5,708 square feet at 12 E Carrillo St, more than doubling their footprint. Hayes Commercial’s Caitlin McCahill Hensel and Kristopher Roth represented Well Health Inc, while DeJohn and Hayes represented the landlord at 1025 Chapala St.

“Well Health has already outgrown two office spaces since moving their headquarters here in late 2017,” Hensel said. “1025 Chapala St gives them ample space to grow for a while.”

“This shuffle of downtown office tenants proves that there is demand to be downtown and walkable to the amenities of State Street,” Hensel added.

Downtown Santa Barbara has become a hotspot for tech companies during the past 15 years. Dozens of tech companies – including Sonos, LogicMonitor, RightScale, and Invoca – have set up creative office space near State Street. In the most recent exclamation point on this trend, Amazon will move into 46,813 square feet at 1001 State St (using almost all of it for office space) later this year. Rents are a bit higher downtown than in other office locations on the South Coast, but companies cite the walkability and energy of downtown as a “lifestyle benefit” for employees.