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Pacific Coast Business Times: Building products maker to leave Carpinteria

August 29, 2014

Pacific Coast Business Times: Building products maker to leave Carpinteria

Santa Barbara, California – Published 8/29/2014
By Elijah Brumback

Forms+Surfaces plans to vacate its 65,000-square-foot campus in Carpinteria, a move that will affect 50 jobs as it shifts work to Arizona and other parts of California.

The company is in the process of planning its scale-down and expects to be completely out of its three buildings at 6395 Cindy Lane by the third quarter of next year, said Karen Tullis, vice president of communications for the architectural products manufacturer.

“The reason behind the move is that we’re trying to bring some of our closely aligned products lines closer geographically,” she told the Business Times.

Forms+Surfaces makes wall-cladding products in Carpinteria. Roughly a dozen sales, marketing and design staff will stay in the region, though new offices haven’t been identified, the firm said. About 50 manufacturing jobs will be moved to Phoenix, with some work going to Santa Fe Springs. The company’s Phoenix operation produces a number of glass products that are often incorporated with or related to the wall cladding systems the company makes on the South Coast.

There is no firm start date for the draw down, but Tullis told the Business Times it will take several months to complete the restructuring.

Forms+Surfaces has been manufacturing in Carpinteria for several decades. But when the company acquired Phoenix-based VividGlass in 2009, the addition also provided a location for the firm to expand, Tullis said.

“It’s a bigger facility, with space to grow into,” she said.

Carpinteria’s industrial space market is roughly 1.3 million square feet total, according to data from Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments. The vacancy rate in Carpinteria’s industrial market dropped from 1.8 percent in the first quarter to 1 percent in the second quarter, Radius’ most recent market report shows, the lowest rate ever recorded since the firm started tracking the market.

Only two other industrial spaces in Carpinteria are currently on the market. Both spaces are also located on Cindy Lane. 1010 Cindy Lane was vacated by Matson and is the largest of the two spaces at 8,100 square feet. The other space, vacated by Biosphere Industries, is located next door at 1030 Cindy Lane and is 5,400 square feet.

With more than 60,000 square feet now available, the vacancy rate is expected to jump dramatically, but Mike Chenoweth who covers the market for Radius said the Forms+Surfaces space should get leased fairly quickly.

“We just put the space on the market,” he said. “It’s a tough loss because they’ve been such a longstanding tenant and employer. We’re hoping we can put another tenant or two back in there to fill that role again.”

Based in Pittsburgh, Forms+Surfaces is a global company with offices throughout the U.S., the Middle East and Asia. The company makes various indoor and outdoor products, from park benches to street lighting. Forms+Surfaces is also the parent company of Cornelius Signage, a specialty sign maker for the hospitality industry.

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