Phoenix-based DeskHub has signed a long-term lease for 18,000 square feet of space at 334 NW 11th Ave. in Portland’s burgeoning Pearl District. With locations in Scottsdale, Arizona; San Diego, California; Atlanta, Georgia; and Salt Lake City, Utah; the transaction marks the company’s rapid expansion into its fifth high-growth U.S. market.
DeskHub, an entrepreneurial workspace dedicated to providing a creative and collaborative environment for like-minded individuals, plans to open its Portland location with a formal launch event in September 2015. The unique space has a history as “home” to a number of well-known success stories in Portland. It offers high ceilings; large, open collaborative areas; important, flexible event spaces; and boasts nearly 200 seats. Typical tenants range from solopreneurs to teams of three to 10 individuals. DeskHub also seeks to have one or more larger tenant and can accommodate space needs of up to 5,000 square feet.
In the heart of the Pearl District, DeskHub’s new space is in Ziba’s former building, which previously housed technology companies and features a two-story lobby, skylights and an outdoor deck. “The space itself is well-configured for the company’s collaborative usage, allowing for the strong entrepreneurial culture DeskHub encourages to thrive,” according to Matt Johnson of Cushman & Wakefield, who – along with Mark Carnese, Doug Deurwaarder and Tom Usher – co-brokered the transaction on behalf of DeskHub with Ryan Bartos and Matthew Coxhead of Savills Studley, the leading commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation. Rennie Dunn of Apex Real Estate Partners represented the building.
Skip Newberry, Technology Association of Oregon states, “The building is located in one of the strongest sub-markets in Portland and offers DeskHub’s clientele outstanding access to walkable amenities and mass transportation. As the way people work and live continues to change, these attributes help DeskHub’s model thrive in a very competitive marketplace.”
DeskHub’s goal is to bring people together and create value. “Our model is not only to provide space, but create a robust ‘community’ to support the growth of nascent companies. We call ourselves the ‘offline LinkedIn,’” says Jay Chernikoff, founder and CEO of DeskHub. “In each market, we strive to create a community of interesting, smart, entrepreneurial and creative people, and add strong local resources, to develop an atmosphere where networking occurs, relationships and culture are cultivated, and companies thrive.”
DeskHub has selected Ronda Closner as the community curator for the new Portland office. Closner returns to Portland from a recent four-year stint at a large incubator/co-working space with more than 296 graduates in the Research Triangle Park. She has served in C-level roles at multiple startups and was the co-founder and operator of a venture fund and angel network. “DeskHub truly understands the importance of strategic partnerships, and we offer our clients just that. By bringing a national presence and flavor to the Portland market, we do not just provide a space to have a desk. We act as a resource for our clients, offering alignment with local memberships, key stakeholders and the funding community.”
With the rise of co-working space in all markets, Chernikoff notices a fundamental shift in how people are working and using office space. “Companies often see real estate as an expense – we want to reframe how people think of it and see it as a driver of business.” He’s observed that, although the shared workspace model started in New York and San Francisco, there’s an even greater need in markets such as Portland, and will continue to grow up in cities like those that DeskHub has chosen to expand in.
“You can stand on the corner of Park Avenue in Manhattan or a Starbucks at 3 p.m. and bump into multiple business prospects or like-minded individuals. We try to pool that same type of brain power and skill sets into our locations to help our members build their companies, essentially transforming their workplace into a business asset,” adds Chernikoff.
Bartos concludes, “It is truly exciting to see a company like this continue to have success and expand into multiple competitive markets. As a start-up himself, Jay lives and breathes what his clients are going through, allowing him to connect with and service the entrepreneurial community on a whole other level. It’s cool to be a part of this ‘startups helping startups’ phenomena and we look forward to DeskHub’s success in Portland and in other like markets.”