'Big Pink' gets massive facelift, tech tenants

'Big Pink' gets massive facelift, tech tenants

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by Joe Smith, KGW Business Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:49 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 11:14 AM

PORTLAND -- Construction is a good sign of a healthy economy.

Big Pink's remodel is a prime example. It's getting a shot of lots of color and a whole new redesign.

It's a reflection of the times and a reflection of what businesses are looking for today.

The $50 million makeover has been 14 years in the planning. When Seattle-based Unico Properties purchased the U.S. Bancorp tower in 2000, it was determined the 40-year-old building needed a modern look.

Construction began last September. Half of the building, 500,000 square feet, is undergoing a face lift.

In the planning, designers have been able to add an additional 15,000 square feet of office space.

The atrium will be filled with glass walkways and new stairways will connect to lower floors.

What will remain, though, is much of the pinkish granite that gives the building its name.

"The growth industries right now are the new modern technology companies,” said Brian Pearce, Senior Vice President for Unico. “And we wanted to appeal to a wider variety of tenants."

It's already happening. While lawyers and bankers still make a home at Big Pink, new high-tech companies are moving in.

They say they want a downtown location to attract workers who want to live near where they work and be able to ride their bike to work.

The remodel is scheduled to be completed by June. Owners are going after Leed gold certification.

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