Massive startup beach campus planned for Encinitas
Fast becoming the largest tech company in Encinitas, Flock Freight is going an unconventional route for office space
North County software startup Flock Freight is rapidly building out an unconventional tech campus in the Encinitas beach community — taking over buildings that used to house retail.
The company just leased a 40,000-square-foot space on South Coast Highway 101 — the former home to Whole Foods, which closed in 2017.
The new space comes online just a few months after Flock Freight exited Solana Beach — citing slow permitting action by the city — and snapped up the former Nixon building just steps from the former Whole Foods. It will be connected by a walkway.
The startup also has plans to tack on a third, smaller building just for “learning and development” activities for its staff. All combined, the software company will have over 65,000 square feet of space, making it the largest office in Encinitas.
Flock Freight is quickly becoming well-known in San Diego County thanks to its recent $113 million venture cap deal led by SoftBank, which manages the largest tech fund on the planet.
The startup’s algorithms help companies move products from one location to another more efficiently, combining small shipments into a shared truckload — like a carpool for freight. Although the private company was slim on specifics, a company spokesperson said it’s earning in the “hundreds of millions of dollars” in year-to-date revenue.
So why is the startup building its headquarters in an area better known for beach retail than office space?
CEO Oren Zaslansky said it’s important to his team to work in a walkable, vibrant area. The location off the 101 puts the staff still just steps from the ocean, restaurants and other attractions. In the short months since the team moved in, they’ve already rented out Bier Garden for staffers.
“We want a recruiting tool and a retention tool, and we want to be part of a really vibrant community, not in an office park,” Zaslansky said.
Although many companies plan to stay remote as the pandemic abates, Flock Freight has every intention of embracing office culture. The leadership team has repeatedly sung praises for in-person collaborative work and community.
The team at Flock Freight has grown to roughly 200 employees, with expectations to reach about 300 by year’s end.
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