Athleta plans to nearly double HQ size

[caption id="attachment_37083" align="alignright" width="332" caption="The Gap's Athleta has leased 40,000 square feet at South McDowell Landing in Petaluma."][/caption]

PETALUMA -- Women's activewear retailer Athleta, a division of San Francisco-based apparel giant Gap Inc., plans to nearly double the size of its 200-employee headquarters office in Petaluma this fall as the brand's brick-and-mortar retail initiative picks up the pace.

Gap (NYSE: GPS) earlier this month signed a 10-year lease with RNM Properties for 40,000 square feet of office space in the 2000 S. McDowell Blvd. and plans to move in November, according to those involved in the deal. It's the same South McDowell Landing building, which overlooks Shollenberger Park, where backpack canteen pioneer Camelbak expanded in 2008. Athleta currently occupies 22,000 square feet at 1450 Technology Lane, a five-minute walk from the new location.

Scott Key, vice president and general manager of Athleta, said the division was presented a number of locations from around the Bay Area for relocation but committed to starting the site search in Petaluma.

"Athleta has a long-standing connection and a deep tie to Petaluma, a place our headquarters office employees have called home since the beginning," he said. "Along with our expansion in the retail category this year has come growth within our headquarters as well."

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