February 2, 2011

Cole Haan offices will move to Scarborough

The footwear firm has been transitioning out of Yarmouth for several years, a town official says.

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

After more than 35 years in Yarmouth, Cole Haan will move its headquarters to Scarborough this summer.

The move is part of the company's long-term plan to transition from owned property to leased property, said Drew Sigfridson, the broker from CBRE/The Boulos Co. who handled the transaction.

Cole Haan, which sells footwear, accessories and outerwear, will move its headquarters from a custom-built property off Route 1, near the Yarmouth-Cumberland town line, to the Roundwood Business Park off Payne Road in Scarborough.

Representatives of Cole Haan in Yarmouth and New York, where the company also has offices, did not return calls Tuesday.

It does not appear that the move is part of an immediate restructuring of the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike Inc.

Sigfridson said all of Cole Haan's operations in Yarmouth will move to Scarborough, involving about 110 to 120 employees.

It appears that all of the building functions in Scarborough – including offices, storage, product development and a photo studio – will be the same as, or similar to, those in Yarmouth, said Maura Ryan, marketing manager for Scarborough-based Gawron Turgeon Architects, the interior designer and architect for the project.

Sigfridson and Ryan said they think the move is planned for July.

Ryan said the building in the Roundwood Business Park is in good shape, and her firm's work will deal largely with making sure that Cole Haan's branding is reflected in the space and bringing more daylight into it.

Cole Haan built its Yarmouth headquarters in the mid-1990s. Dallas-based Tyler Technologies bought the property for $12.7 million in 2008, according to town tax records. Tyler Technologies, which has an office in Falmouth, will use the space that Cole Haan vacates, Sigfridson said.

According to tax records, the Yarmouth headquarters has 95,640 square feet of space, with a finished upper story of 62,758 square feet and 32,882 square feet on the first floor. It's not clear how much space Cole Haan is using.

Yarmouth Town Manager Nathaniel Tupper said portions of the building have been sublet.

"Cole Haan has been withdrawing from the Yarmouth site for some time," he said.

The new headquarters will use 38,000 square feet of office space on the second and third floors of a three-story building on Ashley Drive. The building was last used as temporary space by Idexx Laboratories, before it moved some functions to its Westbrook campus.

The number of Cole Haan employees in Maine has dwindled over the years. The company had 785 employees here in 1994, before it transferred customer service departments to Greenland, N.H.

1999, after it closed its last shoemaking plant, in Livermore Falls, the company had 200 workers in the state.

Cole Haan was founded as a brand in Chicago in 1928. E.E. Taylor, a Maine-based shoe firm, bought the company in 1957.

Cole Haan has been based in Yarmouth since 1975, when George Denney, a former leather cutter for the company, bought the brand. Nike bought Cole Haan for $95 million in 1988.

Cole Haan's first location in Yarmouth was in an old mill on Bridge Street. As the company grew, it moved to Main Street and Elm Street before settling into its location off Route 1, Denney said Tuesday.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: akim@pressherald.com

 

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