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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 10:49 am | Fair 62º


Alex Kacik: Music Gear Retailer Sonos Receives Big Boost from Former Apple Execs

Ramada Santa Barbara will celebrate its three new electric car charging stations, and fashion jewelry designer Swarovski is coming to Paseo Nuevo

Santa Barbara-based high-tech audio retailer Sonos raised nearly $135 million in funding led by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Redpoint Ventures and Elevation Partners also pitched in.

Sonos is known for its music gear that allows users to send multiple music streams throughout home audio systems from their smartphone.

Elevation partners and former Apple executives Avie Tevanian and Fred Anderson were involved in the investment, and KKR’s David Kerko and Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda will join the company’s Board of Directors.

About $45 million will help Sonos expand its home audio business, and $90 million will be used to buy out stock from previous investors and employees.

Charged Up

The Ramada Santa Barbara will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for its three new electric car charging stations at 4770 Calle Real.

Ramada sales director Drew Wakefield said general manager Tom Patton wanted to accommodate visitors.

“We’re trying to bring the entire community together, whether people have an electric car or not, and see what can we all do to help stimulate the economy in Santa Barbara,” Wakefield said.

Wednesday’s event will be attended by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and other local government leaders, the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Community Environmental Council. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

All Dolled Up

One of the world’s leading designers of fashion jewelry is coming to Paseo Nuevo at the former Papyrus location, 819 State St.

Swarovski produces precision-cut crystal for fashion and jewelry and recently expanded into lighting, architecture and interior design. The family-owned company has more than 23,000 employees in 1,900 global retail outlets and turned $3.6 billion in revenue last year.

A Swarovski representative told me the new location will open in about six months. Southern California, New York and Asia are its biggest markets, he added.

Wine and Dine

I received a tip about a Winehound application notice for beer and wine sales and tastings in the vacant space next to the new Chipotle at La Cumbre Plaza.

When I stopped by the Winehound at 1221 Chapala St., an employee told me the business might be relocating. I tried to contact owner Bob Wesley but haven’t heard back yet.

Winehound offers nearly 1,000 different bottles of wine and focuses on Central Coast and California wines.

Montecito’s Movin’

Mike Chenoweth, a senior vice president with Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments in Santa Barbara, told me there has been a flurry of real estate activity along the normally “sleepy” Coast Village Road in Montecito.

Vons Pharmacy will relocate next to the Starbucks that was previously occupied by Read N’ Post, which will move to the new space in the Country Mart. The Chevron station will add a mini-mart and car wash at 1085 Coast Village Road, and its neighbors Hayward’s was recently sold. A major bank is reviewing a lease at 1101 Coast Village Road, while Peabody’s across the street will be remodeled. A mixed-use complex will replace the 46-year-old Turk Hesselund Nursery that was sold just more than a year ago, and the Montecito Pharmacy Upper Village development is almost done.

“People are trying to get into the market in terms of acquisition by owner-user deals because interest rates are so attractive,” said Chenoweth, adding that low rates mean that monthly mortgage payments are similar to rent rates. “I see things going in a positive direction, for the most part there are developers who are buying into our market coming from places like L.A. who see a definite vision for Coast Village Road and bring a new energy to the area.”

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

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