Dakine center leaves The Dalles

The Dakine warehouse in The Dalles is moving to a facility in California.

Photo by Mark Gibson
The Dakine warehouse in The Dalles is moving to a facility in California.

About 25 to 30 local jobs will be lost when the Dakine warehouse in The Dalles closes, sending that function to a facility in California.

The impending closure was first mentioned on social media, and multiple attempts to contact officials at Dakine over several weeks were unsuccessful.

Scott Hege, a Wasco County commissioner who is also an alternate member of the regional jail board, provided some information on the closure. The jail owns the neighboring warehouse property and leases it to Dakine.

Hege said, “We’ve been told they basically intended to be out of the building sometime this summer and there’ll still be a little bit of work to be done through the end of December.”

Dakine will continue to lease the building through the end of its lease period, which is May 2017, he said.

Dakine, headquartered in Hood River, is a leading backpack and accessory brand within the action sports market. It was sold in 2008 to Australian surf and lifestyle company Billabong, which then sold Dakine in 2013 to San Francisco-based Altamont Capital Partners.

Hege said the regional jail is “fairly actively trying to find a business that needs a facility like that, and it may not be all of it but it could be part of it,” he said of the 92,000-square foot facility.

The facility has a newer 25,000-square-foot area and the balance is the old building, which used to be occupied by Dolphin International, a wood products company. Dakine has been using the warehouse for over 10 years, Hege said.

“That facility has been pretty consistent and it’s always been a distribution facility for them,” he said. Product is brought in from overseas and distributed to retail establishments.

Dakine expanded the facility seven or eight years ago because they needed more space, “and even recently they were leasing other places in the community to store materials,” he said.

But The Dalles “is not in the center of their distribution which is why it was problematic for this facility.”

Hege said Roger Roediger, vice president of operations for Dakine in Hood River, “told us the company is doing fairly well financially. The reason they’re moving is they’re part of a larger group now.” That group has other facilities in the U.S. they do distribution out of, he said. Hege was told the headquarters for Dakine would stay in Hood River and the California facility was specifically built, designed and tailored toward distribution.

“All companies as they grow tend to want to become more efficient and this is one element that will allow this aspect of their business to become more efficient,” he said.

“We’ve always known The Dalles is a good distribution point for the Northwest,” but nationwide or even the full West Coast, it “does not come up as a high” value site.

He said the distribution facility was located in The Dalles because it was close to the headquarters.

Hege said he understood there was no opportunity for those with local jobs to transfer to California to the new location. The warehouse rented for about 20 cents a square foot, or a little over $20,000 a month. That is a low rent for such facilities, which are usually priced 40 to 60 cents per square foot, Hege said. He said the market was different when the rates were settled. “The rates go with the economy,” he said.

The Port of The Dalles has agreed to try to market the warehouse.

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