The Santa Cruz-based electric air taxi vehicle company has entered an agreement to purchase the headquarters building of telecommunications company Poly, previously known as Plantronics.
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On Encinal Street near Costco, it’s one billion-dollar company for another.
Joby Aviation, the Santa Cruz-headquartered, venture-backed aviation company specializing in electric air taxis, or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, entered a purchase and sale agreement with Frederick Electronics Corporation and Plantronics Inc. to purchase properties at 333, 345 and 375 Encinal St. for $25.5 million.
Joby’s head of communications, Oliver Walker-Jones, said the site “provided a unique opportunity to consolidate teams across multiple locations, provide a space for team members who joined during the pandemic to come together, and to support our growth plans at one location.”
The approximately 162,000-square-foot adjacent properties hold five buildings and served previously as the headquarters of Plantronics, once a major Santa Cruz-based company, founded here in 1961. Known as Poly since 2019 after Plantronics acquired telecommunication company Polycom, the communications headset company was then acquired by Hewlett-Packard in a $3.3 billion deal in August.
Founded in 2009 in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Joby — which employs more than 600 people in the greater San Francisco area, according to LinkedIn — has long operated in stealth mode when it comes to releasing information about the company as it has grown. Founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt is a Bonny Doon resident, and Joby is fast becoming a significant employer and company in Santa Cruz County.
It is becoming a consolidating leader in the emerging air taxi industry.
The company, which also has offices in San Carlos and Munich, Germany, recently began developing a high-end manufacturing facility in Marina and aims to launch eVTOL commercial transportation services by 2025. The company went public in August 2021 and is valued at over $2.6 billion.
Over the years, Plantronics and Poly have used the space near Harvey West Park for multiple purposes such as product development and management, test engineering, software development and executive offices. Though Joby has its new manufacturing plant in Marina, the space on Encinal Street has the potential to be repurposed for manufacturing as well.
Should Joby proceed with the purchase, the transaction is set to close Nov. 30.