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Otak leaves LO for downtown Portland


Company departing from site on Boones Ferry after 30 years

There is disappointment but not despair over Otak leaving Lake Oswego for a new location in Portland.

It was announced on Feb. 19 that the multidisciplinary architectural and engineering firm would be moving to Portland in the spring, bringing a conclusion to its presence in Lake Oswego after nearly 30 years.

This was not good news for the city of Lake Oswego.

“It’s unfortunate to lose the jobs and the spending that Otak brought to this community,” said Jane Blackstone, the city’s economic development manager.

Otak has 90 employees in Lake Oswego and is rated as one of the top engineering and architectural firms in the Northwest. Its emphasis on sustainability has put Otak on the forefront of what is happening in engineering and design.

Still, Blackstone said there is every reason to believe another company will soon be occupying the address at 17355 SW Boones Ferry Road in Lake Grove.

“We are looking forward to finding another business,” Blackstone said. “This is a 33,000-square-foot building for sale or lease, and it’s a terrific opportunity for someone with its proximity to I-5 and lots of parking.”

In announcing the move, R. Nicholas Loope, president and chief executive officer of Otak, said his company is excited about moving to downtown Portland and helping a resurgence of business envisioned by new Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Gwynne Berkley, Otak’s marketing director, gave reasons for the action.

“It is advantageous because the downtown environment allows easier access,” Berkeley said. “People can ride bikes, carpool or walk to work.”

Also, she said, “We have a lot of key clients in this area, and we’ve outgrown our space in Lake Oswego a bit. Our new space in Portland fits our needs better.”

Otak is expected to be in its new location at 808 SW Third Ave. in Portland by late April or early May.