Historic Lobero office building in Santa Barbara sold to local investor

SANTA BARBARA, CA — The Lobero Building at 924 Anacapa St in downtown Santa Barbara was recently purchased by a local investment group. The 41,000 SF five-story office building is a block from State Street and just off Carrillo Street in the core of the business district. Kristopher Roth and Caitlin Hensel of Hayes Commercial Group represented the buyer in the off-market transaction. The closing price was not disclosed.

“This historic building is an irreplaceable landmark of downtown, and the new owners are excited and proud to be a part of its story,” Hensel said.

The building was designed by Julia Morgan and constructed as the Margaret Baylor Inn, a hotel for businesswomen, in 1926-27. Morgan’s most famous work was the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, but she designed several projects in Santa Barbara as well. The inn closed in the 1940s, and the property has served as a multi-tenant office building for most of the ensuing decades.

“This sale is evidence that despite the pandemic economy, demand for well-located office investments has been robust in the Santa Barbara area,” Hensel said.

In fact, since the pandemic began, deal volume for high-value assets has accelerated. During the past 12 months, seven office properties have sold for more than $10 million on the South Coast, which is roughly double the historical pattern of the past decade.

There are a few available offices and one ground-floor suite with a large private patio available in the Lobero Building. Leasing inquiries should be directed to Caitlin Hensel at 805-898-4374.