Vacasa starts a campus
Vacasa, the vacation rental management company is expanding along Northwest 13th Avenue to make its headquarters in the new building Heartline, a mixed-use development located in the Pearl District.
The company has entered into an 11-year lease with Security Properties, a Seattle-based real estate investor, developer and operator. Vacasa will retain its existing 36,000 square foot lease on the top floor of the RiverTec building on the next block at NW13th and Lovejoy.
Founded in 2009, Vacasa is a Portland-headquartered full-service vacation rental management company with more than 8,000 properties and 1,800 employees worldwide. Vacasa is one of the fastest growing companies in the Pacific Northwest, and has quickly outgrown its current headquarters in the RiverTec building.
"We've come a long way since launching Vacasa nine years ago around my dining room table," says Eric Breon, founder and CEO of Vacasa. "In the last year we've made tremendous strides as a company, from exceeding more than 8,000 properties in our portfolio to securing $103.5 million in Series B funding. Our team is growing rapidly and we need a new space to support that."
Heartline is on the site of the old Pacific Northwest College of the Arts which inhabited a refurbished warehouse until it moved east to the old Federal Building.
With feedback from locals and design by Mithun, Security Properties, which owns Heartline, incorporated an office component to the development where they could target creative young companies keen on growing and remaining in the heart of Portland, in need of new office spaces that could grow with them.
"We've been watching Vacasa's fast growth over the years and choosing them as a tenant was natural for us. With a proven business model and recent vote of confidence from the investment community, Vacasa is exactly the kind of company we were looking to partner with," says Michael Nanney, senior director at Security Properties.
Vacasa's new lobby will be located off of NW 13th Street on the dock-high sidewalk level of the Heartline development. The company will occupy all of the office space in the building, floors two through five, and will enjoy exclusive access to the landscaped rooftop deck.
Vacasa is working with local architecture firm GBD Architects on the interior design of the space. The company plans to move into its new headquarters this summer.
Eric Breon talked to the Business Tribune by email.
BT: What is the headcount now in PDX and projected for the end of 2018?
EB: Right now we have 320 employees in the Portland office. The addition of the Heartline building will allow for considerable hiring as it will increase our capacity from 335 to 675. We expect to have roughly 420 employees in Portland by the end of 2018.
BT: Will staff be divided by roles across the two buildings?
EB: Yes. We are working closely with our human resources department to determine the departments in each building to ensure key teams are able to easily work together and collaborate as needed.
BT. Q: Jama used to have two buildings and had bikes to get between them. They quickly consolidated.
EB: Since The Heartline building is located directly next door to RiverTec, our current office space, we believe the combination of the two offices will operate much like a Vacasa corporate campus, located in the heart of the Pearl.
BT. Q: How do the new tax rules affect Vacasa? Do you now have a lower tax rate and have more revenues? In which case, is it earmarked for different things than the investment money goes on, or is it just part of a general fund?
EB: At this point we are largely unaffected by the tax law changes.
BT. Q: What do the lenders think of your long lease?
EB: Our investors continue to be excited about the growth and potential of Vacasa and are supportive in our efforts to secure the right space for our growing team.
Reporter, The Business Tribune
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Subscribe to our E-News