Monday, May 21 , 2018, 12:17 am | Fair 59º



Zodiac Aerospace Expanding in Santa Maria

Aircraft seat manufacturer leases the former DenMat Holdings facility on Skyway Drive

An international firm that manufactures aircraft seats is again expanding its operations in Santa Maria.

Zodiac Aerospace has leased the old DenMat Holdings headquarters facility at 2727 Skyway Drive, according to Jerry Schmidt, principal and broker at Pacifica Commercial Realty in Santa Maria.

A huge tent has been set up in the parking lot for crews working to renovate the interior of the facility. Shipping containers also are being unloaded into the facility amid a flurry of activity at the site.

The building encompasses 75,000 square feet and will house Zodiac Seat Shells operations.

The firm already makes seat shells in its Airpark Drive facility. Another Zodiac division makes airplane cabin interiors in the 2850 Skyway Drive location, across the street from the new site.

Schmidt, who brokered the deal, said it represents “a significant expansion of jobs’ in Santa Maria.

“It’s just a long-term commitment to Santa Maria,” said Schmidt.

Zodiac officials did not return several calls and emails for comment.

The property, which is owned by NCR Corporation, was the long-time home to DenMat Holdings. before the dental products manufacturer moved to Lompoc in 2012.

“Zodiac has a lot of options to expand elsewhere,” Schmidt said, adding the firm chose to add to its Santa Maria operations.

Schmidt said Mayor Alice Patino and Etta Waterfield, former planning commissioner and newly elected councilwoman, were helpful in the process, by meeting with Zodiac representatives to support the firm opening a third facility.

"I think it's wonderful they added a new division in Santa Maria rather than go somewhere else. We're very happy to have them here," Patino said. "They are such an asset to our growing community."

Zodiac promotes literacy among its employees, she added.

“It’s a welcome expansion,” said Dave Cross, economic development director with the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a great sign for Zodiac as well as very beneficial for the community. Of course, it means more jobs.”

Patino said the new manufacturing may bring approximately 100 jobs.

It also proves the Santa Maria Valley manufacturing industry “is doing very well,” Cross said. “They’re not only holding their own, they’re continuing to expand.”

For example, Atlas Copco Mafi-Trench also is expanding in Santa Maria. The firm at 3037 Industrial Parkway manufactures turboexpanders for the energy industry.

“Again the expansion is very welcome and we hope it continues,” Cross added.

Zodiac Aerospace, which has its headquarters in France, makes aerospace equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft and for helicopters and spacecraft. 

Zodiac Aerospace has approximately 30,000 employees at 98 sites worldwide with its five business segments: Zodiac AeroSafety, Zodiac Aircraft Systems, and three segments related to cabin interiors: Zodiac Cabin & Structures, Zodiac Galleys & Equipment and Zodiac Seats.

The Airpark Drive facility was formerly C&D Aerospace, which was acquired by Zodiac in 2005.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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