Shoe Maker Hoka Signs Lease for Space in Downtown Portland

It’s welcome news for a city with one of the highest vacancy rates in the nation.

The Canvas Building at Southwest 17th Avenue and Yamhill Street. (Urban Renaissance Group)

In a vote of confidence in Portland’s struggling downtown, the maker of super-cushy Hoka running shoes has leased space in the Canvas Building near Providence Park.

Canvas is owned by Invesco Real Estate, based in Atlanta, and is managed by Urban Renaissance Group, the company that is renovating the Lloyd Mall, and Security Properties. Both firms are based in Seattle.

Hoka is owned by Deckers Outdoor, the red-hot footwear company based in Goleta, Calif. The company’s shares have almost doubled in the past year, lifted by sales of Hoka shoes and UGG boots, which account for about 80% of the company’s sales. Shares of Nike Inc., by contrast, have fallen about 25%.

Deckers’ move is a bright spot for Portland, which has one of the highest downtown vacancy rates in the nation. Real estate firm Colliers pegged it at 29% at the end of 2023.

Deckers Outdoor is taking 60,000 square feet of space in the Canvas building, a person familiar with the matter said. Urban Renaissance declined to confirm the figure.

“We are excited to be a part of this building in Portland’s Stadium District to provide our teams with an inspiring space to support our exceptional brand culture,” Hoka president Robin Green said in a statement.

Urban Renaissance declined to say how much space Hoka was leasing.

Portland is a magnet for shoe companies because of talent drawn here by Nike and Adidas, which has its North American headquarters here, and by Under Armour, which has a corporate office.

Canvas is the first of three buildings planned for the Press Blocks development, so named because it was once home to The Oregonian’s printing press. The second phase includes a 23-story, 342-unit residential tower and a 30,000-square-foot commercial building with retail spaces.

Among Canvas’ amenities is a rooftop event space where Migration Brewing operates a pop-up taproom during the summer months. It opened for this season May 9.

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