Birkenstock to Move from Hamilton Back to its Old Iconic Building

German footwear company to vacate Hamilton Landing office space by this fall, according to the North Bay Business Journal.

One of the most notable pieces of architecture in Novato, the long-empty Birkenstock building at the north end of Redwood Boulevard, will have a tenant again this fall.

Who is it? Birkenstock.

The North Bay Business Journal reports that the German footwear company is vacating its Hamilton Landing office space in southern Novato for the 135,000-square foot distribution center just west of Highway 101 on the eastern foot of Mount Burdell.

The five-year lease for the Hamilton space was set to expire this year, the North Bay Business Journal reported.

The buildings at 8171 North Redwood Boulevard, constructed in 1962-64, are noted for their angular rooflines, which make them look a little bit like the Statue of Liberty's crown. Prior to Birkenstock, McGraw-Hill Publishing occupied the space until about 1992 when the footwear company moved up from its previous location in Bel Marin Keys. The buildings had served as one of four U.S. regional distribution centers for McGraw-Hill, one of the biggest publishing companies in the country.

Birkenstock USA has been based in Marin since 1971 after Margot Fraser and her husband saw room for a comfortable German-made shoe in the U.S. footwear market.  After 15 years at the site, the company found it necessary to streamline the operation by transferring its distribution function to Kentucky and having to lay off about 50 workers.

Are you glad the old building will be occupied again? Are you bummed about Birkenstock's impending move from Hamilton? Add a comment below.

For more about the history of the Birkenstock building on North Redwood Boulevard, from the Novato Patch archives.

JOHN RICHTER June 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Great company coming back to totally unique facility. Welcome back!! JR
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr June 12, 2012 at 03:30 PM
This is a good example of the kind of business that should be encouraged in Novato. And the city council developers did not even need to build another building to do it.
Marilyn Gunning June 12, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Wonderful building! Glad to hear it will be used again.
Celeste Hutchison October 03, 2012 at 06:59 PM
lol, love the phrase "crankypants", LikesFacts. I'm appropriatin' it! I'm sure some of you are ahead of me here, but recall buying my first pair of Birkies in old town Claremont, CA, in 1978. Great memories, and strange looks whenever I wore them. Had no idea the company started in the USA via Marin. Glad to hear they're moving back to that crazy it's-so-ugly-it's-beautiful building, imho....kinda like the shoes....
J. Flores October 24, 2012 at 07:20 AM
Welcome back Birkenstock, wasn't easy to see you leaving after 7 years of hard work and beautiful memories.


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