ORANGE COUNTY, CA-Due in part to the surfing culture here, a large number of swimwear manufacturers have made Orange County their home, occupying a significant amount of space in the county, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. The firm reports that two local swimwear companies—Billabong in Irvine and Rip Curl in Costa Mesa—even gained national attention recently by having their products featured in the recently released 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Nearly all of the swimwear firms here are located in industrial properties that have been converted into what some consider “creative” workspace, according to JLL. This space features open layouts, casual environments and eccentric company branding.
Aside from the surfing culture, a form of likemindedness attracts these manufacturers to the area, Mitch Lundquist, VP of JLL, tells GlobeSt.com. “Many of the brands found in Orange County feed off each other. The market is very small, and employees seem to move to their competitors often. A handful of swimwear manufacturers are surf brands, but many—like LSpace and Manhattan Beachwear—are not surf related.”
In order to attract these tenants to the area, landlords are more than willing to contribute to creative-space improvements, says Lundquist, due to the limited availability of creative space here. “Due to demand, landlords find that they can charge a premium to re-lease creative space. The issue usually is who pays for the high cost of creative space. Usually, the tenant will need to come out-of-pocket to cover the additional expense.”
The large percentage of these firms are based in Irvine and Costa Mesa, but Lundquist points out that Cypress is home to Manhattan Beachwear, which is a very large dedicated swimwear brand.