From the Portland Business Journal:
Vestas keeps HQ in Portland, moving to the Pearl
Wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S on Wednesday said it will lease an old Meier & Frank warehouse in the Pearl District and turn it into a 172,000-square-foot gleaming new headquarters.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch announced the news in a press conference at City Hall at noon.
Vestas received both state and city incentives for the $66 million project, which is expected to create 600 construction-related jobs.
The company will receive $1 million from the state’s strategic reserve fund and has the potential to receive an additional $1.25 million in state tax credits.
The agreement stipulates that the company, which employs 400 locally, must add at least 100 jobs within the next five years. Once built out, the building will have room to house 600 workers as Vestas continues to grow.
The city will give the company a 15-year, interest-free loan for $8.105 million. The company is expected to repay the loan within five years, Adams said.
Construction will begin in October. Vestas plans to move to the building in early 2012. It will occupy 133,258 square feet of office space. The remaining 39,000 square feet is a parking garage.
The announcement will end years of speculation about the company's future in Portland.
In December 2008, the Danish company said it would build a roughly $250 million, 600,000-square-foot new North American headquarters in the South Waterfront. The building could have eventually housed 850 jobs.
Vestas employees are spread out across several buildings downtown.
The city and state ultimately put together a $41.5 million tax incentive package for the proposed South Waterfront project. The company mothballed the plan in April 2009 when the economy collapsed.
Since then, rumors swirled that the company might relocate its North American headquarters to Denver, where it has been ramping up its manufacturing operations. The company recently said it would build a research and development facility in Denver, further fueling speculation.
The company said it also looked at sites in Texas and around the Portland area before deciding on the Meier & Frank warehouse.
The news is a big win for both Kulongoski and Adams, who have pinned much of the state's economic future to the development of the green economy.
Portland-based Gerding Edlen Development Co. bought the Meier & Frank Delivery Depot in October 2007 for $15 million.
Gerding-Edlen, which is known for its green buildings, planned to start renovating the building in May 2008. That plan also stalled when the economy slowed.
The building, 1417 N.W. Everett, was erected in 1927 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
Also Wednesday, Vestas parent company Vestas Wind Systems A/S reported a 17 percent drop in second-quarter revenue to about $1.3 billion and downgraded its full-year sales and earnings forecast, sending its shares — traded on the Danish stock exchange — down nearly 20 percent to a new yearly low.
Yet second-quarter sales for Vestas’ Americas division — a region that spans both North and South America — more than tripled to $530 million, living up to its billing as the company’s biggest growth market.
Features of Vestas new headquarters
Solar photovoltaic roof panels.
Rainwater reuse collection system.
Under-floor mechanical ventilation.
Secured interior storage for 80-plus bicycles.
Auditorium to accommodate up to 250 people.
Open workspace on five floors.
Stacked car parking for 183 cars.
Parking that can be converted to workspace.