Hidden Downtown Townhome

Secluded in the Middle of it All

Exterior at 111-B East Ortega Street | Credit: Rafael Bautista

Address: 111-B East Ortega Street
Status: On the market
Price: $959,000

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s getting pretty skilled at limited-contact handoffs these days. I left a birthday gift on a friend’s porch last Friday with my gloved hands and dashed away without so much as a knock on the door. The next day, gorgeous flowers from another friend magically appeared, hanging on my front fence in a COVID-19-compliant wrapper. While keeping our distance, we’re using creative pick-ups, drop-offs, and hiding places to help us stay connected.

When I was invited to walk through the townhouse for sale at 111 East Ortega Street by myself, I welcomed the low-contact opportunity to see the house in person. 

Just a couple of doors down from the iconic Paradise Café, this home is hidden behind a Craftsman-style house near the corner of Anacapa and Ortega. I know the neighborhood well and have often admired the roses peeking through the white picket fence of the front house. As many times as I’ve walked past, I had no idea there was another home tucked behind it.

Built in 1999, the two-bedroom, two-bath, two-story townhouse has a fun, open floorplan; great mountain views; and the enviable advantage of being right in the middle of town ​— ​within walking distance of just about everything downtown has to offer.

Photo: Rafael BautistaLiving Room at 111-B East Ortega Street

A driveway leads discreetly to the front entrance. As a downtown resident, I can attest to the value of off-street parking. This home is blessed with both a garage and an additional parking space. I was impressed already.

A gate opens onto a brick patio shaded by orange trees and birds of paradise. Two sets of French doors and a traditional front door stand ready to welcome visitors.

The home enjoys an inversion of most two-story layouts, with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the main living space up above. 

Downstairs, the bedrooms lie down a main hallway, with the master suite at the far end. The French doors provide a breezy, open feeling, enhanced by the greenery on the adjacent patio. 

Photo: Rafael BautistaDining and kitchen at 111-B East Ortega Street

The master bedroom is large, with a Franklin stove in one corner and windows along two walls that let in light but maintain privacy. The master bath has a dual-sink vanity and a deep soaking bathtub. A big walk-in closet beyond the master bathroom doubles as the laundry room and provides extra storage as well.

A hardwood staircase leads from the front foyer to the living area above. The top floor is one expansive space broken into living, dining, and kitchen areas, with a corner alcove housing a full bathroom. Outside a row of windows are a stand of bamboo and a treetop view of downtown, which gives it a tropical treehouse feel. 

A balcony off the kitchen offers an even closer view of some of Santa Barbara’s quintessential red-tiled roofs, with palm trees peeking up above it all. Oriented toward the beach and harbor, the balcony seems like a perfect spot to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, or to sip a glass of wine just about any evening.

Photo: Rafael BautistaMaster Bedroom at 111-B East Ortega Street

Walking around by myself, the living area felt solid and welcoming. I could imagine kids playing in a comfortable clubhouse setup, or a more refined penthouse vibe. 

This home combines elements that we all love about Santa Barbara: indoor-outdoor living, vacation-worthy views, and a sense of seclusion set in the middle of the downtown corridor. As I headed home, I was happy to have visited this charming space and glad that someone would soon be able to make it their own shelter-in-place haven.


111 East Ortega Street #B is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by the Calcagno & Hamilton team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Calcagno & Hamilton at (805) 565-4000 or info@homesinsantabarbara.com.


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