Liberty Mutual Insurance Ending Lease in Lloyd District Building That Bears Its Name, Moving to

Today, Liberty Mutual Insurance told its Portland employees that they’ll be reporting to an office building in Lake Oswego starting next year, after vacating their current office building in the Lloyd District by the end of 2022.

That means Liberty is departing the building in inner Northeast Portland that bears the company’s name: The Liberty Centre. It boasts 17 stories of bright conference rooms, private offices, a gym, on-site parking and a sandwich bar.

Liberty currently leases over 97,000 square feet in the building—over a third of its total footprint. But now it’s leaving for the suburbs.

Glenn Greenberg, a spokesperson for Liberty, tells WW that the Liberty Centre is a casualty of remote work. Liberty housed 500 of its employees in the Liberty Centre pre-pandemic. That capacity is no longer necessary.

“We regularly assess our real estate portfolio against business and workplace needs…Due to COVID and the ensuing transition of many employees to a permanent work-from-home or hybrid work arrangement, we are taking the opportunity to right-size our local footprint and relocate to a smaller space in Lake Oswego,” Greenberg says.

Greenberg said that 380 of Liberty’s Portland office employees now work from home exclusively. Its new office space in Lake Oswego will only accommodate 150 employees who work partly remote.

The exit of Liberty is yet another warning sign of how the transition to remote work presents a problem for building owners and city leaders alike, who are suffering from little foot traffic and high office vacancy rates.

Last week, WW wrote about the impending foreclosure of three hotels in downtown Portland. The week prior, WW wrote about resistance from city workers to return to the office more than one day per week.

Liberty partnered with investment company Ashworth to build the behemoth building at 650 Northeast Holladay Street in 1997. The building’s market value is $82 million.

Read More: Liberty Mutual Insurance Ending Lease in Lloyd District Building That Bears Its Name, Moving to

2022-09-15 14:37:38

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