Nike campus construction stalled; ‘we still expect to build and expand,’ spokesperson says

Nike campus construction stalled; ‘we still expect to build and expand,’ spokesperson says

Nike began construction in July on its multi-million dollar World Headquarters expansion but stopped in mid-August without indication of when the project will restart or what design and construction partners will work with the footwear and sneaker giant.

“We are now working on an enhanced campus design incorporating our recent real estate acquisitions,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi said in a written statement Friday.

Nike recently hired Matt Swaim as vice president of construction services to help lead the project, Remuzzi said. Swaim previously worked as a project manager at Hoffman Construction in Portland.

Howard Slusher, a longtime associate of Nike co-founder and board chairman Phil Knight, is on board as a project consultant, too.

Nike announced in April it would build two office buildings, expand parking and make road and other campus improvements at its headquarters complex near Beaverton. Planning documents filed this summer with Washington County show the two office buildings would total 570,000 square feet and the garage would have 1,400 spaces. The campus already has 35 buildings with 8,000 employees.

In May, the company issued a news release naming ZGF Architects of Portland as the expansion’s architecture firm, Hoffman Construction as primary construction partner and Gerding Edlen as project manager.

In her statement Friday, however, Remuzzi suggested those plans may have changed.

“We are still finalizing the partners who will work with us going forward,” the statement said.

On Monday, Nike issued a statement saying of the idled project, “…our plans have become more ambitious and we have more opportunities to leverage (and) we have decided to enhance our overall campus design plan to support Nike’s future growth and to create an even better workplace for our employees.

“Our new plans will take into consideration the recent real estate acquisitions the company has made and will align with our business needs in the most strategic way.”

Those acquisitions include Woodside I and II office park and the Alliance Packaging Building, both located on Nike’s west side. Nike purchased Woodside I and Woodside II — 13 buildings on 15 acres — for $84.5 million in late May. In June, Nike bought the nearby Alliance building, separated by a parking lot from Nike’s current parking structure.

Also nearby: a Nike-owned, 28-acre tract south of those acquisitions and west of the campus. The acreage is south of Southwest Jay Street, east of Southwest 158th Street and north of Southwest Jenkins Road.

Nike chose to expand its headquarters at its Washington County home following the state Legislature’s and Gov. John Kitzhaber’s approval of an agreement with Nike that locked in the state’s corporate tax methodology for years to come for Oregon’s biggest public company. In return, Nike promised a capital project worth at least $150 million.

The building activity included construction of a temporary access road off the campus’ northwest corner on Walker Road and installation of some utilities.

But construction stopped for the remaining dry months of this summer and with winter’s rains approaching it’s not clear when building will resume. Remuzzi declined to share a construction timeline.

“We still expect to build and expand the Nike campus,” Remuzzi said. “With the significant growth in our employee base, we are reaching the capacity of our existing facilities. That has not changed and the pre-construction work already accomplished will support our future plans.”

— Allan Brettman

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