BUENA PARK — Farwest Distribution Center, a San Gabriel Valley automobile parts distributor and retailer, said Friday that it will move its headquarters to Orange County, filling space vacated by Cardis Corp. earlier this year.
The move from La Verne will bring 75 jobs to Buena Park by the end of May and locate the company closer to its retail stores and adjacent warehouse sites in Santa Ana and Newport Beach. The company, with about 115 employees, will retain its La Verne warehouse.
"It all made sense financially," said Rick Paxton, Farwest's controller. "That's where the business is and that's where we hope to grow from."
In February, Cardis laid off about 90 employees and left its 80,000-square-foot warehouse and office space in Buena Park to consolidate its operations into another company facility in San Ysidro. Its business, auto parts distribution, competes with Farwest, although Cardis now concentrates its sales efforts in San Diego County.
Farwest has signed a five-year lease for the site valued at about $1.5 million, which is about 20% below the rent that Cardis paid, said Rick Hertel, vice president of Collins Fuller Corp. in Newport Beach, an industrial brokerage firm that handled the transaction. The building, at 6240 Descanso Ave., is owned by Barclay Buena Park Associates in San Francisco, he said.
"It was definitely not an easy task, given the market conditions," Hertel said. "The good thing is we got a new tenant in the building and brought 75 jobs to Orange County."
Farwest's current facility is half the space of the Buena Park site and was built in 1930. At its new location, which is about 15 years old, the company will use some of Cardis' warehouse equipment, such as conveyor-belt systems.
Cardis, which had to cancel its lease on the building, will make reduced payments to the owner for the next few years, Hertel said. He declined to specify an amount.