JLL Portland

Clients and culture come first in Portland merger redesign

Following the acquisition of Portland real estate firm Cresa, in fall 2014, JLL Portland built out a new space to combine the two workforces and showcase their services in a market saturated with gorgeous real estate.

The new office—11,000 square feet in Portland’s desirable Pearl district—is as dynamic and progressive as the neighborhood. The new space comes complete with a sprawling café, commuter bike racks, some unassigned workstations and even a remote controlled kegerator (named R2BeerMe). The final product is a space that feels true to Portland where employees and clients alike are happy to gather.

The new space




An open office layout


A large meeting room


Private conference rooms


Our bike room

Why expand now

Unifying for a common goal

Before officially merging, JLL and then-Cresa shared the same temporary space just one floor above where their office stands today. After the acquisition was completed, the teams wanted to meld their company cultures and get into a routine in a new shared home.

The goal was to move away from the traditional office building of their pasts into a space that supported a mixed, collaborative culture going forward. It also helped ensure the company could attract competitive talent in Portland, while maintaining its trusted, long-term client relationships.

How we did it

Living lab

With so much creative space in the immediate area, the Portland office serves as a living “case study” for the services we offer and reflects the current workplace climate.

  • Current and prospective clients are offered tours of the sit-stand desks, noise masking system, whiteboard paint walls and office furniture to get a better sense of what they’d like to implement in their own offices.
  • The open door policy isn’t confined to client tours. Non-profit and startup clients and friends are welcome and encouraged to host gatherings and use the meeting facilities.
  • The boardroom has movable glass panels that open up into the café, creating more than 2,000 square feet of event space complete with media support and sound system.
  • The office will also use the boardroom to host client parties to strengthen client relationships and stay connected in the market.

Portland pride

Though we are a global firm, the JLL Portland office maintains a local, smaller city feel. The office shows why Portland stands out in the West Coast office and tech scene.

  • As you approach the front door, you’re greeted by a 30-foot glass outline of the city skyline. Additional local imagery includes photography of the eight bridges connecting downtown Portland and an abstract of the city spanning the length of the boardroom.
  • Glass walls throughout the office encourage transparency and provide access to daylight and views. Natural materials and steel beams reflect the Pacific Northwest and the district’s industrial past.
  • Community areas are all named for Portland mainstays: The Voodoo Donut Lounge (a cult favorite for donuts), Carrie and Fred huddle rooms (of Portlandia), Big Pink conference room (for the city’s tallest—and sweetest hued—tower) and lastly the PDX carpet room. It’s a memoriam of the famous, iconic green patterned carpet that was removed from the Portland airport.

Building out JLL Portland

11,000 square feet

Gaining a strong hold in Portland’s desirable Pearl District.

54 employees

Our new office merges together both JLL and formerly Cresa employees into one unit. The space is arranged by community areas that are all named for Portland cultural mainstays.

Impressive boardroom

With bench seating lining the walls, the boardroom can comfortably accommodate more than 20 people. And when needed, glass panels can be opened to expand the space even further.

Aha moments

Change management

Incorporating JLL’s Change Management (aka Workplace Strategy) team into the process made it so everyone’s voice could be heard and ensured decisions were discussed prior to implementation.

Paperless is possible

One goal of the project was to migrate away from heavy personal storage to common storage areas. Some employees were hesitant to dispose of papers stored in personal file cabinets, and some were afraid the amount of shared storage in the new office wouldn’t be enough… but in the end, the migration was successful. Today, multiple drawers still remain empty in the shared storage areas.

A few [bookable] conference rooms is enough…

The majority of the conference spaces are drop-in rooms (i.e. unbookable), and some employees feared that would result in continuous meeting conflicts prior to move-in.

But now employees have the option to meet in the break room, collaborative areas, or the many coffee shops within walking distance; Thus, the (3) bookable conference rooms provided IS indeed enough.

Wellness room needed

About two years after move-in, we realized we needed a “wellness room.” After performing a few minor upgrades to a phone room, (i.e added a lock, frosted glass, mini fridge), it can now function in its other role, when needed.

The reality of privacy

The perception of privacy (higher panels, cubicles) is not reality. Higher work panels won’t keep a conversation confidential. If you need privacy, a private room is the best solution. JLL scattered these rooms strategically throughout the workspace, giving everyone the ability to ensure quickly available privacy.

Never miss an update from Office Renew.
Build a better workplace with new tips delivered straight to your inbox each week.