Flock Freight founder says company needs change in building use to stay in Solana Beach

Cedros Avenue Design District
Cedros Avenue Design District
(File photo)

Shipping company Flock Freight will go before the Solana Beach City Council to ask for a building-use permit that the company says it needs to stay in its Cedros Avenue headquarters.

The company’s application, which is to convert a mixed-use structure to a corporate office, was not complete as of last week, according to City Manager Greg Wade. No hearing before the council has been scheduled yet. Wade said the city was expecting additional information from Frock Freight. A company marketing rep said Monday, Jan. 4, that the process would soon be complete.

Flock Freight uses an algorithm to combine small shipments into one truckload, reducing costs for shippers and greenhouse gases by consolidating the number of trucks that are needed. It has been based on Cedros for almost four years and wants more space to accommodate its growth. Founded in 2015, the company has more than 100 employees, many in and around Solana Beach, and just announced that it secured $113.5 million in additional financing.

Once the company’s application moves forward, council members will have to determine whether converting the building’s retail space to office space is consistent with Solana Beach municipal code, the city’s general plan and the Highway 101 Corridor Specific Plan.

Flock Freight CEO and founder Oren Zaslansky, who grew up in Encinitas, said Solana Beach “just felt like home,” and offered his company a chance to be part of a “community that you can’t get in an office park.” He added that Flock Freight can help North County become more of a tech hub.

“In a way Illumina and Qualcomm have brought the spotlight onto San Diego County, we believe that we could do that specifically for the city of Solana Beach and the coastal North County,” Zaslansky said.

Zalansky said employee parking is one of the issues that the company has addressed, and that he’s made it a company priority to patronize local businesses for food, coffee and other products and services.

“It is incredibly important to us to be a positive member of our community,” Zaslansky said. “This is something we’re passionate about. We want to employ people in the community, we want to spend money in the community, we want to be a good neighbor.”

Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner said via email that she and the four council members have received emails from Flock Freight employees, commercial property owners on Cedros and along the 101, as well as businesses around the area.

“As with all items that come before us, I will take all points made in those communications under consideration and reserve my judgement until it’s time to vote on the item should it appear before us,” she said.