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Vans gets approval to expand headquarters in Costa Mesa

Vans HQ expansion
A rendering depicts a 91,032-square-foot, three-story office building planned as part of an expansion of Vans’ corporate headquarters in Costa Mesa.
(Courtesy of city of Costa Mesa)

Vans, the sportswear brand whose shoes are a fashion staple in Southern California, is ready to dig its heels deeper into Costa Mesa.

The city’s zoning administrator, Willa Bouwens-Killeen, approved an application Thursday for the company to expand its headquarters at 1588 South Coast Drive.

According to a city staff report, the project entails construction of a 91,032-square-foot, three-story office building, a 358-space parking structure, a small outdoor amphitheater and a half-pipe skate ramp, plus installation of a traffic signal on Hyland Avenue at Vans’ northernmost driveway.

The outdoor activity areas, which would be monitored by security, are intended for employees only.

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Drivers passing the headquarters and its checkerboard-pattern rooftop read “Orange County original since 1966” emblazoned below the company’s name. The business initially opened as Van Doren Rubber Co. in Anaheim, but Costa Mesa was the site of its first standalone retail store and co-founder Paul Van Doren’s first house after moving to California from Boston.

Vans moved its corporate headquarters from Cypress to Costa Mesa two years ago to accommodate its growth.

In 2017, Cheryl Van Doren, vice president of human resources and daughter of Paul Van Doren, said the main focus was securing a building “that would be large enough for future growth and malleable enough to construct a creative environment that would inspire our employees.”

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The new project will add to the energy-efficient campus, which already includes a 182,000-square-foot building. More than 500 employees working in product development, marketing, sales, finance and human resources can make use of the existing onsite gym, yoga studio, barista, jam room equipped with guitars and drums, and games such as pool and air hockey.

“We are excited for construction to start at Vans headquarters and will be looking to announce more over the coming months,” a Vans representative said Friday.

The approval will be final unless appealed or called for review by the Planning Commission or City Council within seven days.

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