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Demolition continues on Intel's 'Fab 4' Aloha campus

Company's first Oregon factory made microchips until it was shut down in 1996

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Intel's oldest Oregon building, 'Fab 4,' is being torn down this fall after the company announced it no longer wanted to care for the facility. Fab 4 has been empty since 1996.Intel’s once proud production facility along Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway saw the beginning of its end in the second week of September.

Intel’s first factory in Oregon is being demolished as part of plans to prepare the site for future expansion.

Built in 1979, Fabrication Facility No. 4 — known as “Fab 4” by the chipmaker — was Intel’s first foray into Oregon and its first production site outside California.

Fab 4 is located on Intel’s 30-acre Aloha Campus, 3585 S.W. 198th Ave. in Aloha.

Opened in 1976 after two years of construction, the 50,000-square-foot facility manufactured computer chips for 20 years before it closed its doors in 1996.

Chelsea Hossaini, a spokeswoman with Intel, said that the company outgrew the 50,000-square-foot facility.

Intel officials haven’t said what they plan to use the space for after demolition is complete, but they did say they’ll keep the site in mind for future needs. Demolition is expected to last through the end of the year.

“We want to make sure that we are nimble for business and have that space open, to make sure that we utilize the Aloha campus to its fullest potential,” Hossaini said.

A lot has changed since Fab 4 opened. Intel’s presence in Oregon has exploded to become the state’s largest for-profit business — with more than 19,500 employees, according to the company — though that number doesn’t include more than 700 employees laid off earlier this year as Intel transitions away from its traditional personal computer market.

The Aloha campus is also home to Fab 4’s larger brother, “Fab 15.” Hossaini said that facility is one of the last steps in the manufacturing process, sorting and testing chips made in Oregon.

“Fab 5,” another vacant manufacturing facility at the Aloha site, is not part of the demolition, Hossaini said. No plans have been announced for that site, either.

Hossaini said the decision to tear down the empty building was difficult, but necessary.

“It was the first Intel building in Oregon, and a lot of folks have a sentimental attachment to it,” she said.