Gallery: Inside Vestas' new digs
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Vestas and Gerding Edlen teamed up on the Meier & Frank renovation. Vestas leases 133,258 square feet of workspace from Gerding, the building's owner, which occupies a diminutive 8,000 square-foot office on the first floor.
When Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. announced they would keep their headquarters in Portland and team with Gerding Edlen to renovate the Meier & Frank warehouse, its stock was trading at around $41 per share and wind power was still on the upswing.
Fast forward to May 2012: Vestas' stock is changing hands for about $6.50 per share and the wind energy business is mired in a down cycle.
|Take a virtual tour of the new Vestas HQ >>|
But despite business storm clouds, Vestas moved into its sparkling new $66 million headquarters building and Martha Wyrsch, president of the American division, showed off the custom-built space this week, expressing confidence in the company's long-term commitment to Portland.
"These may be challenging times," Wyrsch said. "But we have our headquarters here and we're in the states to stay."
About 400 employees moved in on April 30 and started taking advantage of all the building has to offer — throwing open the historic replica windows to let in the May sunshine (before it reverted to the liquid kind) and having tete-a-tete's in the building's many gathering spaces.
In addition to Vestas' North American headquarters, the historic 1927 building also houses the home office for Gerding Edlen — another company expressing confidence despite a cyclical industry.
"We've been hiring," said Mark Edlen, CEO of the real estate development firm known for green projects including Portland's Brewery Blocks. "But most of our work is outside Portland now."
The Vestas building — 1417 N.W. Everett St. — is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Click on the gallery above to take a look inside.
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