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Headquarter hunting: Ventura covets a big corporate employer

By   /   Monday, August 23rd, 2010  /   Comments Off on Headquarter hunting: Ventura covets a big corporate employer

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The city of Ventura seems to have it all: beaches, a burgeoning arts scene, a revitalized downtown, some of the region’s largest retail centers and relatively affordable housing. But if there’s one thing the city lacks, it’s corporate headquarters.

The Camarillo-Oxnard corridor hosts publicly traded firms such as Semtech, Power-One and CalAmp. From Carpinteria to Goleta, companies as diverse as Carl’s Jr. parent CKE Restaurants and network infrastructure designer Occam Networks make their homes. With the addition of Limoneira Co. to the Nasdaq, even Santa Paula has a corporate headquarters.

But Ventura is what city leaders call a “hole in the donut” for corporate centers along Highway 101. Eco-clothing retailer Patagonia and RV club and niche media publisher Affinity Group are the only two sizable companies with headquarters in the city. Kinko’s headquarters were disbanded after the firm was sold to FedEx for $2.4 billion in 2004. The site on North Ventura Avenue now houses the city’s school district headquarters.

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