Scorpion moving into new headquarters

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Scorpion, the Santa Clarita-based internet marketing firm, moves this month into its new 100,000-square-foot headquarters overlooking Magic Mountain Parkway at Interstate 5.

The company will hold a grand opening on Oct. 27, and its 400 local employees will have their first day of work in the new building on the following Monday.

Scorpion provides website design, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, video advertising, online reputation management, and social media services. Its clients include legal, healthcare, franchise, and home service companies.

“The most immediate reason for the move is that we need the square footage,” said Matthew Shepherd, Scorpion’s chief financial officer and the executive in charge of the move. “As we kept growing, our situation became less than ideal, as we expanded to multiple floors in multiple buildings.”

Scorpion will open its new headquarters, right, this month, next to Sunkist Growers’ building. Patrick Mullen/The Signal

Nearly two-thirds of the 402 employees who work in the Valencia headquarters also live in Santa Clarita. Shepherd attributes that to organic growth. “Most of our hires come as referrals from current employees, and since many of them live here, it makes sense that their friends do as well.”

Shepherd moved to Santa Clarita in 2015 from Chicago, and enjoys his proximity to work, and the fact that homes here cost “25 percent less than what I’d pay in Burbank and probably 50 to 100 percent less than what I’d pay on the West Side of L.A.”

When the company identified the lot next to the Sunkist headquarters as a possible site, “we seized the opportunity,” he said. It was just an empty lot with dirt at the time, so we really had a chance to build what we wanted from scratch, to suit the way we work.”

While the building’s exterior is essentially a twin to Sunkist Grower’s building next door, the interiors are quite different.

“First, the building will be highly branded as Scorpion’s,” Shepherd said. We’ll have a fourteen-foot video screen in the lobby, and a large sculpture of our logo outside. The floor plans will be very open, which is somewhat unique in the Santa Clarita Valley, as there haven’t been any new buildings coming on the market for the last several years.”

The building will feature modular desking, with privacy screens that are lower than are found with cubicles. All seats are height-adjustable with task lighting. There will also be a few private office spaces in the core, along with a couple of corner offices.

One unique feature of the building will be its sports court. “We had the foundation beneath one quarter of the ground floor excavated deep enough to put in a sports court about size of half a basketball court,” Shepherd said. The building will also have a fitness center with a variety of machines for cardio and weight training, and a locker room. The building will also have a restaurant-grade cafeteria and coffee bar.

“We have room for growth, but if we keep growing at the rate we’ve been growing, we could max the space out in 24 months,” he said.

Scorpion has been on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies for seven years. In addition to its local growth, Scorpion opened an office in Addison, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, in 2014, and has an office in Denver.

Earlier this year, Scorpion bought Driven Local, a digital marketing firm based in Islandia, on Long Island, New York, which brought the company’s total headcount to 530.

Mergers like the one with Driven Local “are not a dime a dozen,” Shepherd said. “It was more like finding a rare gem,” so he doesn’t anticipate other such deals as a matter of course. “It was just a perfect pairing in terms of our cultures.”

With offices in all four continental U.S. time zones, and the fact that the internet allows the company “to service anywhere from anywhere,” there’s no pressure for further acquisitions.

Right now, the focus is on the headquarters move. “We’ve got every trade working in parallel, so a lot of things are happening at the same time. A lot of people are doing a lot of great work, Shepherd said, adding that he’s really looking forward to November, once the company has settled into its new quarters.

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