After more than 70 years of service in Santa Clara, Owens Corning is winding down operations at its plant on Central Expressway near Lafayette Street. The company will close the facility at the end of October and reportedly lay off approximately 225 employees.
“We greatly appreciate our Santa Clara employees and provided over a year of notice ahead of closure so employees could make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” an Owens Corning spokesperson told The Weekly. “We continue to provide transparent communication and various support benefits through this transition.”
Last year, the company announced in its filing with the SEC that it would sell the facility to Panattoni Development. Once the facility officially closes, the two sides will complete the sale.
Plans for the redevelopment of the site are already in process. A Notice of Development Proposal is posted outside 960 Central Expressway. While developers have not zeroed in on an exact project, they have narrowed it down to three scenarios.
“The proposal is to demolish the existing buildings and site improvements to construct 3 Class ‘A’ speculative buildings totaling up to 890,000 sq. ft. for warehousing and/or data center uses, associated parking on- and off-site improvements and landscaping,” reads the public notice. “The proposal includes subdivision of the parcel into 3 separate parcels and the addition of new ingress and egress driveways along the project frontages.”
The employees at the Central Expressway plant will not have another local facility to move to. The Toledo, Ohio-based manufacturer does not have any other facilities in the Bay Area.
To make up for the work lost at the Santa Clara fiberglass plant, the company is ramping up production at two of its other plants. Owens Corning resumed fiberglass insulation production at its facility in Eloy, Arizona and is in the process of expanding production at its fiberglass facility in Nephi, Utah.
Owens Corning has a storied history in the City of Santa Clara. The plant opened for production in 1949. At the time, the area was very different, consisting mostly of farmland. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Santa Clara plant was the “first industrial plant in the United States designed specifically to manufacture insulation.”
Over the years, Owens Corning has worked with Silicon Valley Power (SVP) to become a good partner in sustainability. In fact, the company as a whole is considered a top “corporate citizen” based largely on the company’s aggressive sustainability goals.