Staying alive

| Print |  Email
Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

Commercial and industrial

1112 StayingAlive 02
Above: Renovation of the 1883 Oregon State Hospital in Salem went along with construction of a new hospital, completed in 2011. Two prisons, as well as a second hospital, will also be built on a site in Junction City.
// Photo courtesy Oregon State Hospital Replacement Project
Below: Although major medical construction may be slowing, the sector has been on a good run. Construction of Kaiser Permanente’s Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro created 2,000 construction jobs.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears
1112 StayingAlive 03

When the economy crashed in 2008, commercial and industrial construction all but dried up as companies shifted into austerity mode and made do with what they had.

Not Intel.

Oregon’s largest private employer instead announced two years ago that it would build a $3 billion fab in Hillsboro. Known as D1X and scheduled for completion in 2013, the project, along with upgrades to facilities in Oregon and Arizona, was expected to create close to 8,000 U.S. construction jobs.

“Intel is the one wildcard in our home market that really impacts the trades here,” says Kelly Saito, president of Portland-based Gerding Edlen. “They can create an entire market with just one building.”

The company did just that again in late October when it announced plans for another massive round of new construction in Hillsboro that will add an extension to the D1X development fab, an office building, a manufacturing-support building and a multi-story parking garage. Two years worth of construction should kick off in 2013.

Intel’s construction impact reaches far beyond the new facility as well. An expanded Intel presence and 1,000 new full-time jobs will also draw associated vendors and high-tech firms, many of whom will need new or renovated places to work and live.

But not everyone has an Intel, and the action’s been a little slower elsewhere.

In Southern Oregon, Kelsy Ausland, president of Medford development firm Ausland Group, sees a small uptick in private projects. Even if it’s just a 70-stall parking lot outside a corporate office, it’s still a sign that business and employment is picking up.

“Two years ago, people weren’t investing in those kinds of projects,” she says. “Now they’re starting to.” But the Coast and most of the rural areas in the state “are really hurting for construction work,” says Mohlis.

One exception: data centers. Technology companies from Apple to Yahoo have been building data centers in Central Oregon and the Columbia Gorge in recent years. The latest: a 62,000-square-foot addition to one of Facebook’s two 332,000-square-foot Prineville data centers. Those projects employed roughly 250 construction workers every day they were being built. The social-media giant also has land for a third building as large as the first two should demand require it, says company spokesman Lee Weinstein.



 

More Articles

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


Read more...

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS