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Nestlé to leave Jewel City

Nestlé USA

Nestlé USA is expected to leave Glendale by the end of 2018.

(Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Food company giant Nestlé announced Wednesday that it will be leaving Glendale after nearly three decades and relocating its U.S. headquarters, along with a bulk of the 1,200 jobs, to Rosslyn, Va.

Nestlé USA, a subsidiary of Swiss food conglomerate Nestlé S.A., will begin shifting about 750 jobs to its new location in Virginia and 300 to Solon, Ohio, as a way to station itself closer to a majority of the company’s stateside business operations and customers, said company spokeswoman Edie Burge.

Virginia will be home to Nestlé USA corporate operations as well as the company’s drink and global food divisions. In Ohio, production and supply teams will join existing Nestlé facilities. The remaining employees will be headed to St. Louis, Mo., as part of a reorganization of Nestlé's information technology division.

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Nestlé USA moved to Glendale in 1990, not long after its parent company acquired Los Angeles-based Carnation, a national dairy business. Its current headquarters is in a 22-story building at 800 N. Brand Blvd.

Nestlé is expected to leave Glendale by the end of 2018, according to a company statement.

“We’re very disappointed to see them go,” said Judee Kendall, chief executive of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. “They’ve been great corporate neighbors and an important part of the city.”

Darlene Sanchez, Glendale’s deputy director of community development, said city officials knew Nestlé had been considering leaving California for years and could tell from some of its recent lease extensions that there was a likelihood the company would leave soon.

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“We wish them well. They were a great corporate partner with the city over the years and we’re definitely sorry to see them leave,” Sanchez said. “But, in general, it’s an opportunity to attract other businesses and continue to diversify the corporate space that we already have. We intend to do that.”

In a statement, city spokesperson Tom Lorenz said Glendale would have considered negotiations with Nestlé but had only learned about its intention to move indirectly. He added that Nestlé's relocation is the “closing of a chapter,” but echoed Sanchez’s optimism for new tenants to the 518,302-square-foot space.

Outside Nestlé's offices in Glendale, Amy Molina — who’s worked in digital marketing at Nestlé's local location since 2008 — said she heard the news Wednesday morning along with her peers and is still unsure whether she’d be willing to relocate.

“It’s challenging and emotional — change is never easy,” Molina said. “I really don’t know if I’ll be relocating yet only because there are still more meetings to come where people will get their individual communication, and, at that point, I’ll make a decision.”

Although Nestlé is pulling out of downtown Glendale, the company maintains about 5,500 employees in the state, including numerous Nestlé Waters facilities in Southern California.

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Jeff Landa, jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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