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BizHawk: Jersey Mike’s Subs to Open in Downtown Santa Barbara

Texas investment firm buys Goleta’s Hampton Inn, J. Lee Johnson joins Ambrecht & Associates, and Invoca announces new funding

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected].]

Downtown Santa Barbara will get its first Jersey Mike’s Subs location this spring.

The popular sandwich-shop chain is in the permitting process to move into 1213 State St., Suite A, site of the former Quizno’s Subs, which closed up shop last fall.

Company spokesman Kyle Potvin said Jersey Mike’s is anticipating an April opening, pending municipal approval.

The South Coast’s only other Jersey Mike’s Subs is located in Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace at 7034 Marketplace Drive.

“We look forward to joining the Santa Barbara community,” Potvin said.

Goleta’s Hampton Inn Switches Hands

Santa Barbara Hotel Partners LLC, a Santa Barbara-based investment group, has sold its 75 percent interest in Goleta’s Hampton Inn to a Texas investment firm.

Summit Hotel Properties, a real estate investment trust headquartered in Austin, bought the 98-room hotel at 5665 Hollister Ave. to add to a portfolio of more than 93 hotels nationwide.

Escrow closed on the property, which is part of the Hilton Hotels franchise network, on Jan. 10.

The hotel will continue to be managed by Ocean Park Hotels Inc., an operator with several Central Coast properties.

Ambrecht & Associates Adds Partner

J. Lee Johnson
J. Lee Johnson

J. Lee Johnson became a partner at Ambrecht & Associates, a boutique Montecito law firm, effective Jan. 1.

Johnson, an attorney specializing in complex estates and trusts, tax planning for both U.S. and international clients and IRS tax controversy matters, has advised individuals and families in all stages of the estate-planning process.

In his international practice, Johnson represented Americans with assets or family members abroad, Americans living abroad, U.S. residents who are citizens of another country and may have assets abroad, and non-U.S. citizens who are planning to immigrate to the United States or who own property in the United States.

Johnson also previously handled a variety of civil litigation, estate planning, probate and trust cases for 11 years in the Midwest.

Invoca Receives New Funding

Invoca, now the largest provider of cloud-based inbound call marketing technology, this week announced it has closed $20 million in Series C funding.

Accel Partners led the funding — with participation from previous investors Upfront Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners — which will be used to scale operations and further accelerate the annual revenue growth rate of nearly 200 percent.

Invoca was founded in 2008 and has become the standard solution for Fortune 1000 and Inc. 5000 companies, including Liberty Mutual Insurance, OpenTable, Answer Financial and DirecTV. In 2013, more than $1 billion of transactions were completed over Invoca’s platform, and more than 3,000 marketers use Invoca’s inbound call-marketing software.

“There are more than 30 billion inbound sales calls from customers to businesses in the U.S. every year,”  Invoca CEO Jason Spievak said in a news release. “And with the penetration of smart phones and the rapid growth of mobile search, that number will double over the next few years.

“The simple facts are that inbound phone calls drive much higher close rates and higher purchase values than closing on the Internet. The numbers tell the story. Accel’s track record of driving technology companies to the next level will help us make marketing automation and CRM complete.”

Santa Maria Valley Chamber Gets Green Certified

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce has become “Green Business Certified” and will receive official recognition at the annual Santa Barbara County Green Business Program luncheon on Feb. 5 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.

The Santa Maria Valley chamber is the first chamber in Santa Barbara County to receive the recognition, joining a number of businesses that have integrated environmental responsibility into programs and earned “green business” certifications.

To become certified, the chamber had to meet stringent requirements, which include changing a purchasing program to accommodate recycled and environmentally safe products, replacing fixtures for water conservation, installing equipment to promote alternative transportation, providing incentive programs for employees, upgrading energy fixtures and more.

“This shows that we lead by example,” chamber President/CEO Bob Hatch said in a statement. “We want all businesses to become more energy efficient and focused on sustainability.”

Owner Buys Three Goleta Office Buildings

An owner-user has purchased three Goleta office buildings as part of the highest-priced commercial sale of 2013 for southern Santa Barbara County, according to Hayes Commercial Group.

The three buildings are located at 7414, 7416 and 7418 Hollister Ave., totaling 159,965 square feet on the western portion of Hollister Business Park.

The sale price was $19,726,000. Francois DeJohn and Steve Hayes of Hayes Commercial Group represented the buyer in the transaction.

“This deal was years in the making,” DeJohn said in a news release. “Our client is a very successful and growing company, and it’s gratifying to help them secure the space they need as they expand, which also means more good jobs in Goleta.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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