By Rich Riegel
A $20 million renovation in the heart of the Central Eastside Industrial District is proof the area in inner SE continues to boom.
Viewpoint Construction Software, at the RiverEast Center at 1515 SE Water Ave., has contracted with Killian Pacific of Vancouver, Washington to renovate the property directly east and across the street at the historic 1510 Water Ave. building. They will lease the new building from Killian and the building will hold between 150-200 technology professionals.
Viewpoint is planning to create a structure similar in appearance across the street, alike in both the exterior and interior of the current company headquarters. The newly-renovated building will combine with 1515 Water Ave. to create what CEO Jay Haladay called “a campus.”
The building is bounded by Water Ave. on the west and the intersection at Clay St. on the south. Hawthorne Blvd. and Hawthorne Bridge viaduct form the northern boundary, with railroad tracks on the east.
Employees will begin moving into the 60,000 square foot building by next summer and Haladay emphasized this is an expansion of company headquarters, not a move.
Haladay has a special vision for the workspaces he fosters, to “create a space that resonates with developers and technology workers, from their physical work stations to how they can collaborate with each other.”
The company fills a specific need in the architecture, engineering and construction field. Construction operations include project scheduling, tracking of equipment and making sure equipment is billed back to the right jobs.
The company’s software extends into the world of project collaboration, where construction project architects, engineers, subcontractors and project owners can stay updated and interact with one another during the project.
The firm provided construction software used in the reconstruction of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building downtown and will be used to facilitate the construction of venues for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar.
1510 Water Avenue has been occupied since it was built in the early 1900’s by PGE, for shipping, training, a horse stable, even as a museum.
Patrick Quinton, executive director with PDC, said that his agency has been putting representatives from Viewpoint “in touch with parties to solve parking problems. We’ve been facilitating talks with folks who own parking lots nearby.”
Quinton said he looks forward to more jobs and business expansion in the Central Eastside.
“There is lots of activity among smaller companies,” Quinton said. “This is one of the bigger stories in this part of town. Lots of smaller companies will be adding jobs. When the (TriMet MAX) light rail south of Viewpoint is added, I expect more development to go in that area.”
Quinton was asked if he thought Central Eastside would evolve into what the Pearl District has become, a mix of residential and industrial businesses. He was blunt with his answer.
“Not if we can help it,” he told The Southeast Examiner. “The area right now is zoned for mostly industrial and allows other job uses, but residential isn’t allowed.”
“I don’t see any support for that zoning lifted,” Quinton said. “What will change over time is the diversity of companies. You’ll see residential emerge around of the edges, the southern edge beyond the light rail, and the northern edge around the Burnside Bridgehead project.”
For Terry Taylor, executive director of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, the news of Viewpoint’s expansion is “a wonderful thing.”
“I think overall we’re giddy,” Taylor said. “It’s bringing vibrancy to the district. It’s the catalyst that will verify how important the Central Eastside is.”