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Company that owns North Face, other brands coming to Alameda

Submitted by on 1, July 26, 2010 – 4:50 am3 Comments

City leaders will consider plans to allow VF Outdoor – which owns The North Face, Jansport, Lucy and and an array of other brands – to build new corporate headquarters on Harbor Bay Parkway. The company had announced its intent to undertake the project in summer 2008 but put it on hold when the economy collapsed that fall.

The company could also be offered $1 million in tax and fee breaks over the course of its 12-year lease for building in Alameda and bringing an estimated 650 jobs, which would make it one of the largest employers on the Island.

The Planning Board is slated to decide Monday night whether to approve plans to construct a five-building, 205,000-square-foot campus for VF Outdoor on a vacant, 13.7-acre stretch at 2221 Harbor Bay Parkway that is owned by SRM Associates. The plan would include four two-story office buildings and an “amenities” building with a café, employee fitness center and conference facilities.

The plan also includes an organic, edible garden; a butterfly garden; beach volleyball; a basketball court; and waterfront trails.

SRM and VF Outdoor will seek LEED Gold certification for the project, which they estimate will be worth $48.75 million at buildout. VF Outdoor is hoping to begin construction this coming September and to move into their new campus in October 2011. The company has lease options on the land for up to 27 years.

If approved, the project would more than double the number of LEED certified buildings on the Island – and ultimately could increase the Harbor Bay Business Park’s census by 20 percent.

On Tuesday, the City Council will be asked to consider a package of tax incentives of up to $1 million for VF Outdoor offering reimbursements of a quarter of the city’s share of the property taxes the company would pay, half their utility users tax and half their business license fee over the course of their initial, 12-year lease, and all of their property transfer tax for the first phase of the two-phase project if the company purchases the property from SRM.

The project is expected to generate more than $6 million in revenues for the city and Alameda Municipal Power over the course of its initial lease period.

The company is moving here from San Leandro, and it had looked at four other sites in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville before choosing Alameda, a staff report for the council says.

“VF Outdoor will augment the reputation of both the city and the Harbor Bay Business Park as a center for environmentally conscious companies, clean technology businesses, and sustainable development,” the report says.

If approved, the project would be the largest, non-speculative, commercial office project in the East Bay in “many years,” the report says, and would provide 350 construction jobs.

3 Comments »

  • zackotomato says:

    I never knew that property taxes, license fees, and utility taxes were negotiable in the City of Alameda. What kind of deals are available for other businesses?

  • Troy Staten says:

    With all of the money issues the city is facing will the loss of this tax revenue be offset by the revenue generated by the extra jobs?

  • David M says:

    Alameda still has to compete to get VF Outdoor to move here. Its not a done deal. In the business world its called incentives and that is what is necessary to get their business here.

    It’s not a tax loss if the city of Alameda never receives the money in the first place. If it happens it would be tax gain, period. This is provided they still want to relocate here.

    Of course increased employment from people living here and purchasing goods and services will increase the tax base.

    Keep in mind, VF Outdoor still has the option of going elsewhere if another business park out competes Alameda. Lets not risk losing a good thing by being uncompetitive or greedy. Alameda does not hold the upper hand here. Its their choice if they want to move here.

    David M

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