News Hub

Portland’s Union Bank Tower to be repurposed as a data centre

Written by Wed 8 Sep 2021

The Union Bank Tower, located in downtown Portland, Oregon, has been put up for sale, and is being marketed as a prime facility for conversion to a data centre.

The 15-story building is located near the city’s main internet exchange at Pittock Block, and is central to the business district of Portland.

With 17,000 sqm of total space, the building already houses a small data centre and includes fiber links, with excellent power and networking connections. In fact, according to the announcement of sale, the building already has 10 fibre optic carriers terminating in four points in the underground parking garage of the building.

Built in 1968, the Union Bank Tower is constructed of gray-green slate, with greenish-tinted windows, making it a distinctive addition to the Portland city skyline.

Last October Union Bank, the building’s primary resident, relocated to a new space, which led the owners of the building to consider the different uses for the facility. While it is currently leased to office clients at 72 percent capacity, the current owners of the building believe the property would be far more valuable as a data centre.

Buzz Ellis, the Managing Director of JLL Markets Investment Sales Advisory team managing the sale of the property, said that when the namesake tenant vacated the building, “a new owner will have the generational opportunity to re-brand the asset, adding value in the process.”

The data centre market in Portland is expected to show strong growth over the next several years, with some analysts projecting that it will emerge as the key data centre hub of the Pacific Northwest. Data centre developers plan to build 1.33 million square feet of new space, amounting to an additional 275 MW of capacity over the next few years.

A 2020 study by Data Centre Frontier noted that the city had emerged as a leader in multi-tenant data centre development in the region, and that “While not yet a major market, Portland has a rising profile as a destination for data centres.”

This growth is propelled by a temperate climate, which is attractive for data centre developers looking to control cooling costs; tax breaks for businesses; and a strong and growing supply of renewable energy. Portland is also the geographic stop between the technology centres in San Francisco and Seattle, making it a prime location for a data hub.

Much of the growing business demand for data centre services is focused on Hillsboro, a business area just 10 miles outside the city centre. Hillsboro’s business growth is anchored by the presence of Intel, whose four campuses in Hillsboro are home to 21,000 employees. Similar technology and related businesses have locations in Hillsboro as well – including Oracle, Airbnb, Salesforce, and Apple.

Conan Lee, another Managing Director at JLL helping to broker the sale of the Union Bank property, said, “Union Bank lies at a critical network junction that has enormous potential for future growth of new physical network infrastructure as well as IP peering. With capital allocations targeting alternative assets at all-time highs, now is the perfect time to present this iconic tower to the market.”

Written by Wed 8 Sep 2021


data center data centre management oregon portland
Send us a correction Send us a news tip