One of Santa Barbara's most prominent accounting firms has found a new location downtown. Nasif Hicks Harris & Co., a firm which has served over a thousand local businesses since it was established in 1976, leased 10,507 sf of office space in the La Torre building at 104 W. Anapamu Street. This is the second largest office lease on the South Coast in 2010. Francois DeJohn and Greg Bartholomew of Hayes Commercial Group represented Nasif Hicks Harris & Co., and Paul Gamberdella and Bob Tuler of Radius Group represented the lessor.
Nasif, Hicks, Harris & Co. is a full service accounting firm with approximately 35 employees providing tax, audit attestation, estate planning, consulting services and litigation support to over 2,000 clients. Firm specialties include serving the high tech industry, construction and real estate clients, other professional firms, and a variety of high net worth individuals. The firm serves as its clients' chief financial officer, striving to minimize taxes and maximize wealth accumulation for clients and their families.
In the end, the move was years in the making. For the past 30 years, Nasif Hicks Harris & Co. has been located at 1111 Garden Street, a 4,500 sf building owned by the firm. About five years ago, identifying a need for more space for their rapidly growing business, they approached Francois DeJohn to begin looking for a new location. They were looking for 7,000 to 10,000 sf of office space with better parking for employees and better access for clients, all in a downtown location. However, spaces meeting that requirement rarely come on the market in downtown Santa Barbara. In the past five years, only 14 office spaces larger than 7,000 sf have been leased in downtown Santa Barbara, none of which were a good fit for Nasif Hicks Harris & Co.
Early this year, conditions in the market finally created an opportunity for the firm. First, the recession brought lease rates down, which made moving into a larger space more cost effective. Second, the consolidation in the financial services industry caused a shuffling of larger office spaces downtown. When Wachovia Securities vacated their 10,507 sf space at 104 W. Anapamu Street, Hayes Commercial Group negotiated a new home for Nasif Hicks Harris & Co. The new location offers room to expand through client referrals and acquisitions, more ability to attract and retain talented CPAs, ample parking and access for clients, and better proximity to State Street. The firm is excited to have this opportunity to invest in its long-term future.