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FLIR Systems Buys Buildings in Goleta’s Cabrillo Business Park

The company says its purchase from Sares-Regis Group will help it expand its local operations

The Cabrillo Business Park got a big break.

FLIR Systems Inc., which designs, manufactures and markets thermal imaging devices, has purchased two buildings in Cabrillo Business Park in Goleta. The 120,000-square-foot research and development building and 50,000-square-foot office building are currently leased by DuPont.

FLIR’s purchase from Sares-Regis Group will help the company expand its local operations, said Steve Fedde, Sares-Regis’ senior vice president.

The acquisition is the largest owner/occupied transaction in the history of the South Coast region, according to Sares-Regis.

The company currently works out of four leased buildings scattered throughout Goleta, and it hopes to use the opportunity to bring all of its employees and operations into one area.

It’s a long-term transition, as DuPont’s leases don’t run out until 2014 and the buildings, at 6769 and 6775 Hollister Ave., will need to be adapted to their needs, said Bill Terre, Santa Barbara FLIR vice president and general manager of operations.

The full strategy is yet to be ironed out, but acquiring more space could allow the local division to consolidate.

The Portland-based company has government systems divisions in Portland and Boston as well as commercial systems divisions in Goleta and Stockholm, Sweden. Its 2009 numbers aren’t in yet, but its revenues will be greater than $1.1 billion, Terre said.

The Goleta division manufactures components for all FLIR products as well as site-specific products for commercial clients. The infrared technology is used for transportation, marine markets, security and surveillance and personal vision.

FLIR wants to expand its South Coast division because of the region’s talent pool and established manufacturing operations, Terre said. There are about 310 employees working out of the Goleta division.

“In Santa Barbara, there’s little commercial construction, so many companies have to leave if they want to expand,” Fedde said.

Sares-Regis is continuing to pursue prospects for future buildings. The city of Goleta initially was in talks to relocate the City Hall from Los Carneros Road, but the plans fell through.

“We’re pretty excited to have a 170,000-square-foot use,” Fedde said.

A groundbreaking for the new buildings was held last year, and grading has been completed for Phase I.

Sares-Regis Group plans to develop a 14-acre area with new commercial buildings, including office buildings, retail buildings and self-storage facilities.

There’s a large concentration of infrared technology companies in the Santa Barbara area, including Lockheed and Raytheon.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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