Bend Campus-Style Development Sees Brisk Activity

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(Five Talent Headquarters | Photo by Cascade Business News)

NorthWest Crossing’s Emerging District 2 East Attracts Diverse Mix of Tenants

The latest campus-style office development seen emerging off Mt. Washington Drive in Bend is reporting brisk activity and has already attracted a diverse mix of tenants, including tech and financial services specialists.

Dubbed “District 2 East” the five-building development on Potts Court in NorthWest Crossing, offers approximately 52,000 square feet of flexible office/production space and is a joint venture between Brooks Resources and Taylor Development LLC. The project was designed by Steele-Associates Architects and is being constructed by general contractor SunWest Builders.

All the buildings are single-level with vaulted ceilings and garage-style bay doors in an “industrial chic” manner, with the underlying Mixed Employment (ME) zone allowing a wide array of uses.

As the third phase of the District 2 developments in the area, the campus is designed to provide a collegial setting for entrepreneurial companies and present a variety of opportunities for their employees to interact and learn from each other.

Brooks Resources Vice President of Sales and Marketing Romy Mortensen said interest in the project had resurfaced after a brief lull due to the COVID pandemic onset, and the Bend office market in this segment area remained relatively strong.

The development also builds off the success enjoyed by its sister campus, known as District 2 West, located across York Drive, which provides a home to an eclectic range of users including Hydro Flask, Kollective, Thump and other tenants.

Construction on the first building of District 2 East started last fall and initially accommodated the growth of local software firm Five Talent, which occupied over 10,000 square feet.

The second building completed houses Plateau Forest Products, with other space in the overall campus being occupied by tenants including Dutchie (an online cannabis marketplace), Fatbeam (an industry leader in the Pacific Northwest delivering fiber infrastructure connectivity to customers including schools, businesses and governments looking to accelerate their growth in the Western US) and a flagship location for Stifel (a diversified global wealth management and investment banking company “focused on building relationships that help individuals, families and organizations pursue their financial goals”).

The project has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with Fatbeam PR & Marketing Manager Kennidy Nimri commenting, “We at Fatbeam are extremely proud to be a part of this incredible project. The City of Bend has so many innovative and growing businesses, and the fact that we get to be a part of their growth by supporting them with dedicated fiber infrastructure is such a great opportunity.”

Given the slope on the site and amount of fill material needed to accommodate the campus, three distinctive expansive tiered retaining walls were built along Mt. Washington Drive, with signage and landscaping following, before tenants started moving into the vibrant working space close to favored restaurants, businesses and coffee shops, as well as minutes away from trails for lunchtime rides.

The space has been marketed by local commercial real estate firm Compass Commercial, with around 17,000 square feet remaining available to lease.

Compass Principal Broker Bruce Churchill described the vision of the original District 2 projects as Bend’s “small-scale version of Silicon Valley” featuring software, biotech and robotics companies as part of a high concentration of tech ventures in Bend.

He said the continuing campus feel and modern building architecture with open spaces, roll up garage doors and abundant natural light were designed by TaylorNW to successfully attract tech and other symbiotic companies.

Steele Associates principal Scott Steele said, “We worked hard to make the building shells as flexible as possible, with high volume open structures and no columns. We don’t even have the slab poured until the wire and data is installed, and tenants appreciate the high degree of customization made possible to best taylor improvements to their specific needs.”

He added that the campus represented best practices in sustainability, including deep natural light penetration, passive solar and optimal energy efficiency, while design features including corrugated steel, wood accents, roll-up doors and exposed structural elements gave a relatively modern look.

Mark A. McClure, Managing Director/Branch Manager with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, who oversees the financial services company’s new Bend location, commented, “ We have wanted to be in Bend for a long time, but the decision was relationship-driven.

“In this case, we have had a great relationship with Jim and Jason Fleck, and their Operations Manager, Kerry Snook, going back to 1995.  We were all part of the Northwest firm of Ragen MacKenzie at that time and we opened a Bend office with them in 1995.

“When the Flecks and Ms. Snook became open to the opportunity, we were all over it.  When you open an office, you want to be sure you have the right people. This group fits that description perfectly and we are confident this combination of people and attractive physical space will attract other people.”

McClure said Stifel has been looking to increase its presence in the western U.S. and since 2007, has grown from zero offices in the Western Region to over 70 today.

He added, “We grow by opportunity and are always on the lookout. We want to grow in Bend.  We feel we have the right group in place to do that and District 2 will give us a very attractive physical place, which is also part of the growth equation.

“We’ll have our own building allowing for signage, ample parking for clients and offices available for advisors that may want to join our team.”

The District 2 East project will also have nine electric vehicle charging stations, as part of a Pacificorp-sponsored program, and has a rideshare station sheltered waiting area.

For leasing information, contact Compass Commercial, 541-383-2444.

Mark A. McClure, with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, member SIPC and New York Stock Exchange, can be contacted by telephone at 425-637-3600.

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Simon Mather CBN Feature Writer

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