Sports equipment manufacturer Easton Baseball/Softball plans to leave its longtime offices on Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys when its lease expires early next year and move into a new global headquarters in Thousand Oaks. The company, known for its introduction of aluminum baseball bats, has leased 90,000 square feet at 3500 Willow Lane in Westlake Village.
“The Easton brand is built around the concept of sports engineering, and this new facility will amplify our ability to create products that deliver real and meaningful performance advantages to the athletes we serve,” Executive Vice President Todd Harman said in a prepared statement. “Our new facility in Thousand Oaks meets our unique needs from a sales, marketing and R&D perspective, and it also represents our leading brand position as well as our commitment to innovation and moving the game forward.”
The new headquarters building will feature office space for more than 100 employees as well as a state-of-the-art research and development lab and a product testing center. The property, which was formerly leased to Teradyne Inc. of North Reading, Mass., has been empty for several years. It includes both administrative and industrial space; the Easton lease runs through 2025, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.
The move is a boon for Thousand Oaks, said Haider Alawami, the city’s economic development director. “It means a great deal to have another global headquarters here and just having 100 employees going out for lunch or dinner and shopping locally will help our community,” he said, adding that several company executives live in the Conejo Valley.
The Willow Lane property was purchased by Robert Martin, president of Martin Properties Inc. in Westlake Village, for $10.4 million, or $93.10 a square foot, in July. “Easton Baseball/Softball will make a great addition to our Thousand Oaks business community, and we are proud that this premier company chose our building for its new global headquarters,” Martin said in a prepared statement.
The company’s 20-year lease at 7855 Haskell Ave. in Van Nuys expires early next year. The Easton family, which started the company in 1922, sold the property to a Los Angeles investor for $12.3 million in November 2013; it is currently on the market for $15 million, or nearly $190 a square foot.
Though it initially made archery equipment, over the years Easton expanded into baseball and softball as well as cycling and hockey gear. The Easton family sold the company to New York private equity firm Fenway Partners LLC in 2006 for $400 million. That entity began dismantling the company during the recession, selling the baseball and softball arm of Easton to Canadian manufacturer Performance Sports Group Ltd. In addition to Easton, Performance Sports affiliates market products under the Bauer, Mission, Maverik, Cascade, Inaria and Combat brand names.