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City Council OKs agreement with county to streamline Nike expansion plans

Washington County to weigh in on zoning changes next week


Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The city and county have been working together on a coordinating agreement to provide Nike with more certainty and consistency as it brings forward significant capital investment plans to expand its world headquarters campus. The Beaverton City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Washington County to accommodate an expansion of the Nike World Headquarters campus near Beaverton.

The council voted unanimously at its Tuesday night meeting to delegate administrative authority to the county for planning and permitting work for the $150 million expansion of the headquarters campus at Southwest Murray Boulevard and Jenkins Road. The council also cleared the way for a process to change Beaverton zoning on a small parcel within the campus to help streamline the company's development plan.

The agreements essentially allow the expansion properties in different jurisdictions to be considered as a single site, clearing the way for the city to work directly with Washington County and Nike officials to coordinate planning, permitting and inspection standards and procedures for the properties. Both the IGA and proposed zoning change are intended to support the athletic apparel giant's proposed $150 million expansion plan, which Nike officials estimate will add at least 500 jobs and enhance its estimated $2.5 billion yearly economic impact to Oregon.

“Uniform zoning is critical to achieving an integrated campus design for the expansion,” said Mayor Denny Doyle in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon. “We committed to being a regional partner to this effort for Nike when they were considering exactly where to expand their company, and this is a material vote of confidence toward that end.”

In 2012, Nike began acquiring property in the area bound by Southwest Murray Boulevard, Walker Road, 158th Avenue and Jenkins Road. Nike now owns or is in the process of acquiring ownership of all but one parcel — occupied by the Oregon Health and Science University Center's Knight Cancer Institute — within the designated "super block" development area. Some parcels are within Beaverton city limits, with others in unincorporated Washington County just outside the Beaverton line.

In December 2012, Gov. John Kitzhaber convened the Oregon Legislature for a special one-day session to consider a bill to freeze property tax rates for Nike and other business. When the bill became law, Nike began developing expansion plans.

Construction is set to begin soon on two new buildings, one located next to the Tiger Woods Conference Center near the Jerry Rice Building and another near Nike's C. Vivian Stringer Child Development Center. The buildings will provide an additional 50,000 square feet of office space to the more than 210-acre campus.

“Uniform zoning is critical to achieving an integrated campus design for the expansion,” Doyle said. “We committed to being a regional partner to this effort for Nike when they were considering exactly where to expand their company, and this is a material vote of confidence toward that end.”

Nike, the largest private sector employer inside Beaverton city limits, employs more than 8,000 of its 55,600 global employees, in Washington County. Nike positions pay more than $100,000 per year on average, according to company and city officials.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners will consider the agreement at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m., at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building in Hillsboro. Board Chairman Andy Duyck expressed his support of the arrangement.

“The IGA is an instrument that provides the kind of certainty, partnering and one-stop-shop process to the planning and permitting effort that this scale of project deserves,” he said, calling the city of Beaverton an "outstanding" partner in the Nike expansion process. “I feel the city’s current leadership was a huge factor in why Nike chose to grow their campus right here at home, versus the other areas in the region and country."