April 18th, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD and AARON MESH News | Posted In: Metro, PDX News, Tech, City Hall

Nike Picks Washington County for Expansion

     
Tags: Nike
lede_nike_3806Illustration by JooHee Yoon

Nike has picked Washington County for a planned major expansion, selecting property it already owns over Portland's South Waterfront.

Portland had been in the running for Project Impact, which promises to create as many as 6,000 new jobs in the coming decades. Julia Brim-Edwards called the Mayor Charlie Hales at 2:15 pm today to say they were going with Washington County, Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes tells WW.

Until that phone call, the mayor's office did not know Nike's decision. "I had written drafts saying yes we got it, no we didn't, and I don't know," Haynes says.

Word first leaked out of Nike headquarters today when Nike executives told their staff.

In a statement, Hales expressed disappointment in Nike's choice.

“The site offers a unique opportunity for Portland to create an urban corporate campus,” Hales said. “It’s a 30-plus-acre site, on the riverfront, connected to a public transportation system and – hey, it’s got a view of Mount Hood! If there’s a better urban site for redevelopment in America: Show me.”

WW first reported in December that Nike was eyeing Portland as well as considering expansion on its own campus.

Here's the full text of the release:
Officials at the city of learned today that Nike will not expand its operations to the city’s South Waterfront.
 
Portland had been in the running for the major project, which promises to create as many as 6,000 new jobs in the coming decades. Instead, that project will happen on property Nike already owns, adjacent to its headquarters in Washington County.
 
“The city, the Portland Development Commission and Multnomah County presented Nike and its representatives with a comprehensive and compelling proposal,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “I’m proud of the effort our team put together. And I’m thrilled that the project, and the jobs, are staying in the metropolitan area.”
 
The city and county had entered a non-disclosure agreement with Nike, in which the development was code-named Project Impact.
 
In the summer and fall of 2012, consultants from Nike approached the PDC about potentially moving into the city. Leaders from Portland, the PDC, Multnomah County and Greater Portland Inc. responded jointly. Discussions hovered around an estimated 30 acres on the South Waterfront owned by the Zidell family.
 
Hales said the Zidell property likely will be developed even without Nike’s involvement.
 
“The site offers a unique opportunity for Portland to create an urban corporate campus,” Hales said. “It’s a 30-plus-acre site, on the riverfront, connected to a public transportation system and – hey, it’s got a view of Mount Hood! If there’s a better urban site for redevelopment in America: Show me.”

Patrick Quinton, executive director of PDC, said the process has been positive, even if the city did not get the outcome it desired.
 
“While we are disappointed, we look forward to our continued collaboration with Nike in support of initiatives like Nike+ Accelerator and our joint efforts to present greater Portland as the global hub for the athletic and outdoor industry,” Quinton said.

Hales said Nike’s expansion in the metro area confirms the region’s position as a leader for athletic and outdoor companies. The expansion will benefit the region’s cluster of more than 200 companies and service providers in the athletic and outdoor sector.
 
“We would have been pleased to see Nike expand in Portland. But I’m gratified that the expansion of this home-grown company will happen right here at home,” Hales said. “This expansion will have a huge impact on the regional economy.”

 
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