Iberdrola staying in Portland with help from $1.1M PDC grant

Iberdrola is committing to Portland with a 10-year lease on their Brewery Blocks offices.

Iberdrola is committing to Portland with a 10-year lease on their Brewery Blocks offices.

Iberdrola Renewables, the nation’s second-largest wind energy developer, on Thursday said it will keep its U.S. headquarters in Portland for the next 10 years.

Jan Johnson, a spokeswoman for the company — the U.S. subsidiary of Spanish energy developer Iberdrola Renovables S.A. — said the company has agreed to a 10-year extension of the lease for its 57,082-square-foot headquarters at 1125 N.W. Couch St. in the Pearl District’s Brewery Blocks.

Contributing to the company’s decision was Portland Development Commission’s offer of a $1,155,000 grant to be used for various tenant improvements, including technology upgrades.

The PDC board will vote to approve the grant on Wednesday.

The company’s decision comes a year after Portland Mayor Sam Adams and PDC Board Chairman Scott Andrews traveled to Madrid in an effort to convince Iberdrola Renovables CEO Xabier Viteri to keep the company in Portland.

At the time, Viteri made it clear to the city officials that the company would explore every option before making a decision. Andrews said the company explored Chicago, among other locales.

But its decision to stay in Portland — where in 10 years it has grown from a company of 12 people to one that employs 850, including 350 in Portland — is viewed as sign that the city’s hastily planned excursion to Spain was worth the cost.

“I think it was very helpful for the mayor to meet face to face,” Iberdrola’s Johnson said. “(There's) no question that the European way of doing business is a more personal way. Reaching out to global executives did focus their attention on the Portland metro area.”

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@ErikSiemers | esiemers@bizjournals.com

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