When Japanese technology firm Wacom Technology Corp. started looking for a new home for its Americas headquarters last summer, Portland wasn't a gimme.
The company, which has 160 employees in a building it owns in Vancouver, Washington, had Colliers International scope out not only Portland, but also Seattle and San Francisco to see what city would make the best fit. The larger markets could have been more appealing to Wacom, which works closely with heavy hitters like Samsung.
In the end, however, the Rose City won out.
"We studied a multitude of cost of living, cost of space and available space options, and offered the positives and consequences of each market," said Brad Christiansen, vice president of occupier services for Colliers International in Portland. "I think, for the leadership, the consequences provided the recommendation (for Portland)."
Wacom announced yesterday that it would be moving its operations into the top three floors of Pearl West, a brand new, 230,000-square-foot office building under construction at Northwest 14th Avenue and Irving Street. Howard S. Wright, the company constructing the building, will move its offices to the fourth floor, and Regus, a provider of co-working space, just announced that it has signed for the entire second floor.
Kevin Joshi, a senior vice president and partner with Kidder Mathews, heads up leasing for Pearl West. The building is expected to be completed later this year, and Wacom plans to move in next March.
Christiansen said the timing of Pearl West's delivery had much to do with Wacom's decision. He also said the firm liked the idea of obtaining the signage rights for Pearl West, which will give it prominent exposure along I-405.
But Wacom was also drawn to the Pearl for its access to transit, the urban amenities nearby and its proximity to the bustling cluster of technology firms that call Portland home.
"It's another great statement about Portland for other businesses outside the metro region that this is a great place to do business," Christiansen said.
One of the negative sides of Wacom's move into Pearl West? It just got a lot harder to find 50,000 square feet of Class A office space in Portland.
"It has become much more challenging," Christiansen said.
For the full story, go to Portland Business Journal.
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