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Portland Plans To Be On The Leading Edge Of Future Workplaces

When it comes to the future of the workplace, Portland isn't just following trends, it's going to be at the leading edge, as it is with so many other things. That was a takeaway from our Portland Workplace of the Future event at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

The workplace of the future in Portland is going to take place in a context of growth, with leasing and rent growth as healthy as it's been in many years, our speakers said. The market's on track to add about 400,000 people and 260,000 jobs during the next 20 years. A healthy market encourages innovation in workspace and more resources can be put to TI and other changes.

Snapped: Capstone Partners principal Chris Nelson, TMT Development CFO Nick Fritel, Menashe Properties VP Jordan Menashe and Portland Development Commission real estate manager Bruce Wood

But what will the leading edge of workspace be? Many of the features associated with "creative office"open floor plates, a lot of natural lighting, various in-house amenities—are practically standard in spaces that can accommodate them. So much so, our speakers said, that tenants previously interested in traditional space (such as lawyers and accountants) are now looking into at least some elements of creative space.

Here's Bisnow's Tom Woodcock and Melvin Mark Brokerage Co broker Peter Andrews, who moderated the panel.

Perhaps the most important component going forward will be flexibility, our speakers explained. Space that can accommodate a variety of ideas about what the workplace should be will be a valuable commodity. That's especially true in Portland, which has a higher concentration of smaller businesses that are more flexible themselves in the kind of space they want.

Also important will be amenities in the neighborhood, whether that's in a walkable urban context or in the suburbs (and a good many companies and workers still want to be in the suburbs). Access to transit is especially important. Landlords are coming around to the importance of transit, both in light rail and buses, following the lead of young workers who occupy their buildings.

Snapped: Breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day, especially when you attend a Bisnow event.