The sky was blue and the sun was shining Wednesday afternoon at the Cabrillo Business Park in Goleta. Top Deckers management and officials from the City of Goleta, including Goleta’s new mayor, Ed Easton, gathered at the corner of Los Carneros and Hollister to celebrate the beginning of construction for Deckers’s new world headquarters, which is planned to be finished in the spring of 2013. Founded 40 years ago in Isla Vista, Deckers is keeping its new headquarters close to home and will continue to invest in the local community and provide new career opportunities, officials said.
The event kicked off as Steven Fedde, senior vice president of Sares-Regis Group and chairman of the Board of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, took to the lectern. Fedde thanked Deckers management, as well as the teams of planners, architects, construction workers, lawyers, and real estate professionals who helped make the project happen. “Included in this team is the City of Goleta staff,” said Fedde. “Without their hard work, commitment, creativity, and cooperation, we would not be here today … It’s not often that a community has the opportunity to keep a locally founded, growing company local. Deckers includes hundreds of well-paid employees who are living locally and spreading the economic benefit throughout this community. The City of Goleta gets it. Helping companies like Deckers stay, grow, and thrive in this community is what economic development is all about.”
Easton spoke next. “The City of Goleta is really happy to have you as a partner in our efforts to become a better city, not just a bigger one,” he said, “and Deckers is going to make a major contribution to that, and for that, I thank you.” Carlo Brignardello with Cresa Partners real estate spoke next, thanking Deckers for choosing Goleta and the Cabrillo Business Park for the location of the company’s new headquarters. Brignardello then introduced the CEO, president, and chairman of the Board of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Angel Martinez. “These projects start as dreams and end up in too many cases as nightmares, but not in this case,” said Martinez. “Everyone has been dedicated to the great outcome that we’re going to kick off today by putting a shovel in the ground.”
Martinez discussed the positive economic impact that the new headquarters will have on the area. “This needs to be a place for young people to have a future,” Martinez continued. “This is an opportunity for a young city like Goleta to establish itself as a pragmatic businesses-friendly steward for the future.” After considering moving to various business-friendly cities around the country, Martinez and Deckers management decided that “this is our home, this is where we’re going to stay,” he said. “We’ve become dedicated members of the Santa Barbara community. We support quite a few activities and charities through our corporate giving, volunteer work, and other charitable programs.” Martinez then discussed the various enhancements that will be made to the surrounding two blocks of the new headquarters. “Streets will also be improved with new medians, new landscaping, sidewalks, and new public transit infrastructure.” The new headquarters will also include outside sitting areas, a walking trail, bike paths, sports courts, and, of course, the restored natural wetlands, all of which will be open to the public.
After the speeches, it was time for the ceremonial dirt-shoveling. Deckers board of directors and executives, City Council members and staff, architects, and engineers all gathered around the ceremonial shovels for photo opportunities. Steve Chase, director of Planning and Environmental Services for the City of Goleta said, “We’re seeing a rebirth of the Hollister corridor, this is a keynote intersection for uplifting the corridor that’s a little tired. We’re excited not only about the wetlands and the roads, we’re excited about the architecture that fits so well with this particular property and at this key corner. To have a local company put in a world headquarters campus is quite a jump start for our community. Stuff like this gets us up in the morning and has us toiling at public hearings late at night. We were looking for something spectacular, and this project hit that mark.”