Eugene’s High Tech Sector is Booming
If you haven’t been inside a commercial building in downtown Eugene, Oregon, in recent years, you may have missed a significant shift in the composition of the tenants. Dozens of new tech and techenabled companies have moved in to tap into world-class internet services, access skilled talent, and be a part of the growing local tech community and downtown revitalization efforts.
The Future is Here
Tech companies filling vacant buildings in downtown Eugene not only bring new high-wage jobs, but also create customers for established restaurants and retail locations, plus for those businesses, eateries (and drinkeries) that are newly popping up in the area as things grow.
While there are exciting projects underway in the 5th Street Market Expansion, Knight Campus, and Riverfront, there are also significant positive changes and opportunities that are here today.
The Miner Building
The Miner Building on Broadway was Eugene’s first high-rise, built in 1925. A remodel of the historic building in 2017, coupled with a recent connection to EUGNet, Oregon’s largest open-access fiber optic network, has helped make this building very attractive to new tenants — including tech companies.
Tim Campbell, of Campbell Commercial Real Estate, manages The Miner.
“We have seen a surge in occupancy with tech firms. Thirty-six months ago we were about 60 percent full with some vacancies remaining open for more than a decade,” said Campbell.
Today the building is 94 percent full with new tenants, Revolution Design Group among them.
Revolution Design Group
Revolution Design Group, a creative agency, is currently located on the sixth floor of The Miner. The firm’s clients include familiar organizations and brands Yogi Tea, Ninkasi, GloryBee, and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Revolution Design has grown out of its original offices and is now in the final phase of building out 4,200 square feet of space on the ground floor, largely in spaces that had previously been vacant.
The company’s new offices will accommodate up to 35 employees. Of note, the new space will include a branded art TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION OF OREGON MATT SAYRE Linn Eugene’s High Tech Sector is Booming SentinelOne staff at their Downtown Eugene, Oregon office in the Citizens gallery and coffee shop, both of which will be open to the public.
“We’re certainly breaking the mold, expanding outside of our core industry and taking a calculated risk,″ said Jennifer Revoal, the company’s founder.
Revoal sees the new space as a future hub for creativity, arts, and innovation downtown. Tech companies don’t typically have a traditional retail presence, but Revoal sees creating space on the ground floor in downtown Eugene as the best way to invite the community in. The art gallery will feature work from Revolution Design Group employees, as well as a rotating exhibits from visiting artists.
The Citizens Building
One block over, on Oak Street in downtown Eugene, is The Citizens Building. This 10- story building was built in 1975 and is currently Eugene’s tallest commercial building.
Historically the building has been home to a number of financial services companies, but it, too, has seen an influx of new tenants in recent years and is now 95 percent occupied.
“The more tech companies learn about The Citizens Building the more attractive it becomes to them,” says Janet Brown, the building’s manager.
“The multifaceted levels of security the building provides, and the nonrestrictive/wide-open architectural structure of each floor enable very flexible design layouts,” Brown shared.
The Citizens Building will be the new temporary home of Tyndale Advisors in June and July, while renovations on its new building at 1 East Broadway are completed. The ground floor of The Citizens Building will soon be the new home of Charles Schwab, complete with a customer lounge that includes amenities and stock trading stations.
The Citizens Building is also home to cyber security firm SentinelOne, which just celebrated its first anniversary in Eugene. SentinelOne now has 40 employees in the Eugene office and is making room for more, having just taken over the entire 8,200- square-foot sixth floor from Oregon Pacific Bank.
“We are making Eugene our primary support site in the U.S. for both our enterprise customers, and all federal business. The combination of incredible talent, a vibrant city center, and affordable cost of living, makes Eugene our main tech center in the western hemisphere, and a major part of our global success,” shared Eran Ashkenazi, Senior Vice President of Global Support at SentinelOne.
SentinelOne recently earned prestigious “FedRAMP In Process” certification, moving the firm one step further toward full FedRAMP authorization.
The firm is currently hiring for 12 new positions in Eugene, across 5 different roles: business development, technical account management, network operation center analyst, inside sales, and support engineering.
A Growing Trend
There are many reasons that the Southern Willamette Valley is attractive to tech companies.The University of Oregon’s Computer Science program has never been stronger and will be complemented this fall by a new Software Engineering bachelor’s degree program at Northwest Christian University, as well as a new Cyber Security associates degree program at Lane Community College. Availability of skilled talent increasingly sets the region apart, making it a very good time to grow a tech company here.
So, who’s next?
VP, TAO / Head of TAO – Southern Willamette Valley Matt is an Oregon native and University of Oregon Alumni, with degrees in Economics, Business, and Geography. After finding professional success in the Bay Area and Portland, he followed the Salmon pattern and returned home to raise his two boys in the southern Willamette Valley. In the Spring of 2015 Matt joined The Technology Association of Oregon, based in Eugene. In the Summer of 2015, Eugene was recognized as one of the Top 10 up and coming tech cities in the Nation
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