An electric vehicle battery manufacturer is exiting Los Angeles County for bigger digs in Orange County.
Romeo Power inked a lease for 215,000 square feet in Cypress, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. Founded by former Tesla and SpaceX engineers, the company had been headquartered in Vernon.
Romeo Power plans to relocate over the next nine months, according to the report. The new facility will serve as the company’s HQ, with manufacturing and office components.
Founded in 2016, Romeo Power went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in December. The company fell short of its second quarter earnings target, in part because of production shortcomings, according to InvestmentU.
The new facility doubles Romeo Power’s lab and testing capacity and offers more manufacturing space, which could help ramp up production, the Business Journal noted.
It isn’t easy to find industrial space in Southern California, although the market isn’t as tight in Orange County as it is in L.A. County or the Inland Empire.
Orange County’s industrial vacancy rate as of August was 3.5 percent. The average price per square foot jumped nearly 35 percent over the first eight months of 2021 alone. So far this year, it’s the most expensive market in the country by average price per square foot, according to a recent report from CommercialEdge.
Romeo Power’s founder and former CEO Michael Patterson made some real estate moves himself this year. He and wife Elizabeth Patterson, an attorney with Starz, bought a mansion in Santa Monica from Melissa Rivers for $15.5 million.
Patterson left the company in April. Romeo Power brought in new leadership in August with the appointment of Susan Brennan as CEO.
[LA Biz] —Dennis Lynch