Odwalla to move from Berkeley to San Leandro

Odwalla, the manufacturer of juices, smoothies, and snack bars, is moving its distribution center from Berkeley to San Leandro.

The company, which is based in Half Moon Bay, found a warehouse with much cheaper rent, according to Dave Fogerty, a project coordinator in Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development.

“There are massive amounts of vacant space in San Leandro, Hayward, and Fremont and warehouse rents have plummeted as a result,” said Fogerty. “We worked with the property owner starting months ago to keep Odwalla here, but at a certain point it was clear nothing could be done.”

Warehouse space rents for 90 cents to $1 a square foot in Berkeley, and for only 50 cents a square foot in the south bay, he said.

There are about 40 people working at the Odwalla distribution center on Sixth Street near Harrison, according to Michael Caplan, the manager of economic development. It is a prime space and he is optimistic there will be a new tenant soon.

The manager who oversees the distribution center at Odwalla was traveling Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Interested in issues surrounding doing business in Berkeley? Be sure to attend Berkeleyside’s first Local Business Forum tonight at the Freight & Salvage. Doors open at 6.30 and it’s free.

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  • Jane Tierney

    We have massive amounts of retail space available here in Berkeley, but that doesn’t seem to lower rents any. ????

  • Name Withheld

    Another business fleeing Berkeley?

    When will the City Council wake up and realize that they need to start doing things to attract businesses instead of driving them away?

  • tizzielish

    Name Withheld: what do you think the City Council can do when Odwalla’s landlord set its rent?! What can the Berkeley City Council do when warehouse space rents for a dollar a foot in Berkeley and fifty cents a foot in San Leandro? How is that something the Berkeley City Council can change?

    And Jane . . massive amounts of retail space is not really related to warehouse space. The article states that the warehouse space Odwalla is leaving will very likely be occupied again with another business. Empty retail space does not much effect warehouse space.

  • Name Withheld

    Can they do anything about this specific case? Probably not.

    Can they do things to alter Berkeley’s general anti-business atmosphere? Definitely.

  • Bruce Love

    “Warehouse space rents for 90 cents to $1 a square foot in Berkeley, and for only 50 cents a square foot in the south bay, he said.”

    Maybe that’s good news except for the workers who might be hurt in the short and medium term. Coca Cola Inc. is moving out of town. They didn’t spend a lot here anyway. Distribution warehouse space is freed up. Maybe the space makes more sense, at that price, for some local manufacturers or importers.

  • Name Withheld

    Bruce, the last thing we need in Berkeley right now is more empty warehouses.