Goleta is losing one of its longtime tech firms to Thousand Oaks but accommodating an expanding homegrown company.
Goleta-based BEI Sensors, which creates speed and position sensors for the defense, industrial and aerospace markets, consolidated its workforce to its 1461 Lawrence Drive headquarters in Thousand Oaks. The move made way for Goleta-based Integrated Procurement Technologies, which builds parts and makes repairs for military vehicles and artillery.
BEI is owned by Schneider Electric, the world’s biggest maker of circuit breakers. It built and has operated in the 30,059-square-foot office/industrial building at 7230 Hollister Ave. since 1990.
IPT purchased it for $3.95 million and plans to move in early next year after some renovations. It will use about 22,000 square feet and lease out the remainder, said Francois DeJohn of Hayes Commercial Group.
“Industrial space is really tight, office is definitely improving as we speak. It’s the most active I’ve seen it since 2006,” said DeJohn, who represented IPT along with Steve Hayes. “There has been kind of a lull in the office market for a while but it has picked up the last couple of years, especially this year.”
IPT, which was founded in 1982 in Goleta, is expanding from its roughly 15,000-square-foot office/industrial building at 320 Stork Road. Vice President Ken Krutenat said the business has doubled its capacity in its Goleta and Dayton facilities.
“Our OEM partners and distribution agreements have expanded along with our domestic and international customer base and the military platforms we represent, resulting in our business doubling in the last three years,” Krutenat wrote in an email to the Business Times.
Goleta’s office vacancy is 12.2 percent while industrial is only 2.5 percent. Santa Barbara’s office vacancy is 3.9 percent and, anytime it dips that low, there’s more action in Goleta, DeJohn said.
It’s a good sign to see Goleta companies like IPT, AppFolio, Citrix, Yardi Systems, FLIR and Deckers expanding, DeJohn said.
“The market is very healthy right now,” he said.
J.D. Power to move
The global marketing services firm J.D. Power and Associates and its approximately 200 Westlake Village employees are on the move. But only about 3 miles.
Its lease is up at 2625 Townsgate Road and it is moving to a 116,906-square-foot office at 30870 Russell Ranch Road. John Tews, director of media relations, said there will not be any workforce cutbacks.
“We explored several options and our employees were always our most important concern,” Tews said in an email. “The new location does not impact their commute, meets our business needs and will be a very nice, improved office.”
J.D. Power is owned by parent company McGraw Hill Financial, which has been cutting back after ditching its publishing business in March 2013 and focusing its future on financial services.
Citibank branch closing
Citibank plans to close its Santa Barbara branch at 3757 State St. in January as the company looks to shed operating expenses.
New York-based banker Citibank, which is owned by its parent company Citigroup, decreased its operating expenses by 30 percent in the second quarter, down to $10.9 billion. The bank hit its goal of having operating expenses of 55 percent of revenue.
Citibank spokesman Andrew Brent said no other branches in the region will close.
SLO retailer ending run
Clothing retailer Crazy Jays is closing its 767 Higuera St. location after more than two decades in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Jay and Joann Huebner have owned and managed Crazy Jays for 21 years as well as two prior iterations of the store. They’ve spent 30 years running businesses in the heart of downtown, Jay Huebner said.
Huebner was facing a 60 percent increase in rent and major renovations to the 100-year-old, 4,000-square-foot store that he didn’t own. Crazy Jays weathered the competition from retailer giant Forever 21 but when he read that Sweden-based H&M was coming to town in 2016, it was time, he said.
“Let’s say I owned the building, then I wouldn’t be as concerned about a remodel,” Huebner said. “It’s been 30 years since one has been completed and rent is going up. It just doesn’t make sense.
But we’ve had a great run and are extremely fortunate.”
Crazy Jays will close in December.
• Contact Alex Kacik at [email protected]