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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Epson America’s Long Journey to OC Complete

Epson America announced plans to move its headquarters to Los Alamitos from Long Beach in 2019, striking one of the largest office leases in Orange County that year.

At the time, it was expected the move would be completed some time in 2021.

It ended up taking nearly four years to make that roughly 4-mile move to OC official; the printer and scanner maker held a ribbon-cutting for its new offices on May 9.

The refurbishing of Epson’s new base along Katella Avenue started before COVID-19 hit around March 2020. The work at the two-building Katella Office Campus was completed in the midst of the pandemic.

“It was first opened at the end of 2020 when everyone essentially was working remote,” CEO Keith Kratzberg told the Business Journal on May 8.

The 150,000-square-foot site at 3131 Katella Ave. serves as Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.

“It’s been a very unusual situation with opening a new facility during COVID,” Kratzberg said. “We had a brand-new, complete facility with only a handful of people in it for more than a year.”

The Los Alamitos buildings are owned by a South Korean private investor, Fine Investment Corp., which paid a reported $59 million for the site in late 2020.

383K Base

In addition to Los Alamitos, Epson is firming up its OC base with a 233,705-square-foot warehouse and distribution hub in Huntington Beach. That deal was for a newly built facility at the Huntington Gateway development overseen by locally-based Sares Regis Group, and was among the larger industrial leases seen in OC last year.

Epson’s relocation added another large printer maker with ties to Japan to OC’s base of companies with operations here. Others include Toshiba and Roland DG Americas.

Another firm in the sector, Ricoh Electronics, has significantly scaled back its operations and real estate footprint in recent years, with several buildings it previously occupied along the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway torn down to make way for new developments (­­­­see story, page 14).

Modified, Expanded

Kratzberg said Epson America’s Los Alamitos headquarters was expanded and significantly modified over the past year “based on the changes of COVID.”

“Through that evolution, the facility is now finally complete,” Kratzberg said.

Even now, he says, “We have adopted a very flexible and aggressive hybrid work policy.”
The facility has 600 employees and can be expanded to hold more. Epson previously was based in Long Beach for about 20 years.

The Los Alamitos site lets Epson show off its products, which Kratzberg said include office wide-format printers, industrial textile printers, industrial label printers, desktop color label printers, signage printers, rojectors for home entertainment, commercial and school use, as well factory automation robots.­

$7B Global Business

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of about $7.4 billion.

The Los Alamitos campus features a state-of-the-art executive briefing center, providing opportunities for Epson customers, partners and community members to interface with its technologies and conduct business.

The design also focuses on employee wellness through spaces dedicated to employee collaboration, rest, focus and fitness.

Epson’s goal is to become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.

Community Engagement

CEO Kratzberg emphasizes Epson’s “community engagement on a global level” as well as sustainability.

Epson and its campus are available to local businesses and nonprofits in need of facilities to host events, training, or executive meetings free of charge, including chamber of commerce meetings.

In its first year, Epson hosted the Annual Winter Fest event in its parking lot for the residents of Los Alamitos to drive in and watch a movie from their cars, for example.

Epson has also engaged with the local community and nonprofit organizations through a range of activities. They include product and monetary donations to local food banks, shelters and community centers including Casa Youth Shelter, Precious Life Shelter, The Youth Center, and the Los Alamitos High School.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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