From a big-picture perspective, Portland’s office market has been nothing if not desirable in recent years, fueled by a solid employment scene, increasing population and the Rose City’s continued value compared with other West Coast cities.
But where, we wanted to know, are the specific office and retail addresses where Portland businesses want to move?
We asked about two dozen brokers to offer names and addresses of Portland buildings about which clients ask the most. The roster we culled includes spots in the central city and the suburbs, in inner Southeast and the West End, and a mix of the very new (think: some of these spots don’t even yet exist) and the more-than-a-century old.
It makes sense that there’s a wide range of office and retail options on our list. According to Kidder Mathews’ office report for the fourth quarter of 2017, vacancies market-wide fell to a cycle low of 7 percent. Rents climbed more than 5 percent year over year, to an overall average of almost $26 per square foot; and new Class A projects were up above $30 per square foot triple net, meaning the rate includes taxes, insurance and maintenance.
Among the largest leases for 2017 were NW Natural taking all 183,500 square feet of the under-construction office building at Southwest Second Avenue and Taylor Street and Autodesk locking up all 100,000 square feet of the Towne Storage Building at the Burnside Bridgehead.
So what are clients seeking?
"Building amenities are a big factor," said Scott Andrews, president of the Melvin Mark Brokerage Co. "Bike storage, fitness rooms with showers and lockers and good building conference room availability are necessary."
That said, location, of course, remains as important as ever.
"There are lots of dual income households with kids or (those who are) thinking about kids," said Jason de Vries, managing principal with Cushman Wakefield. "Generations entering the workforce which are used to having what they want available at the touch of their fingertips. As a result, will concierge services and other services which enable the workforce or consumers to get what they want while valuing their time increase?"
Cushman, he added, just represented a child care facility that moved into Field Office.
"Employees here can have kids in the same building they work, making drop-off and pick-up easy and even enable them to have lunch, or a walk on a break possible," he said.
When pressed for specific sites, some brokers came up with spots so under-the-radar they don’t really have an identifer. Broker Don Hanna, for instance, said he’s fielding plenty of interest for buildings in the 6700 block of Southeast Milwaukie Avenue, the 8500 block of North Lombard Street and the 7900 block of Southeast Stark Street.
Regardless of tags, the city’s property offerings remain very coveted. Click through on the picture above to learn which properties, above the others, are getting the most attention from Portland businesses.