Heart House Ready for New Life

Downtown Cottage with A Red Front Door

Credit: Will McGowan

Address: 212 West Figueroa Street
Status: On the Market
Price: $1,450,000

As we inch closer to the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, we each have our list of things we miss. In addition to family, friends, and travel, I’ve missed the opportunities to bump into acquaintances and visit with “work friends” at meetings and networking events.

One of the last fundraisers I attended before the shutdown was the annual Go Red for Women luncheon. Held on Valentine’s Day 2020 by the American Heart Association (AHA), it was an especially inspiring occasion full of friends, learning, and laughter.

If you’ve volunteered with the local chapter of AHA, you’re probably familiar with its headquarters on West Figueroa Street. Over the years, I have attended board meetings, planned fundraising events, and stuffed gift bags galore on the huge conference table in its main room. Affectionately known as “The Heart House,” this cozy cottage has been the central hub of the organizations efforts to educate our community on the risks of heart disease and stroke.

Credit: Will McGowan

Like many others, the heart association has had to pivot this year. The Central Coast chapter has been folded into a larger regional effort. The local work will continue, but the office was closed in 2020.

The end of this era means an opportunity for someone new. The 1,400-square-foot downtown cottage is now available for either lease or for purchase. Zoned commercial, it can be used in the current configuration as an office or be converted back into a residence.

Sitting above the street, surrounded by a sandstone wall and a white picket fence, it’s obvious that this charming building was originally constructed as a family home. Built in the 1930sin the craftsman style typical of many of the houses in the area, its raised porch, arched entryway, and signature red front door welcome visitors inside. 

Converted to office space in 1982,the house now boasts enclosed offices around the perimeter of the building, with a large central open space in the middle and a bathroom and kitchen toward the back. Wood-beamed cathedral ceilings soar overhead, a huge skylight lets in sunlight, and an enviable amount of storage has been worked into the design. The layout and features leave flexibility for a variety of future uses.

Credit: Will McGowan

The house sits on a deep lot with a cute, compact yard in the front and a private patio in the rear. A long driveway leads back to a generous parking lot surrounded by a tall fence, with a storage shed on the far side of the lot. This substantial parcel offers potential for expansion or ADU possibilities.

The surrounding neighborhood is mostly residential, with a sprinkling of commercial buildings that become more plentiful as one moves closer to State Street. Either use will be right at home on this block, with the legacy of “The Heart House” and its years of good works and camaraderie echoing through the walls.

February is designated as American Heart Month, and the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 5. Learn more at goredforwomen.org.

212 West Figueroa Street in Santa Barbara is listed for sale or lease by Mitch Stark of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Mitch at (805) 689-2429 or mitchell.s.stark@gmail.com.


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