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PORTLAND-The Denmark-based wind turbine supplier Vestas has selected locally based Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects to design a headquarters office building for Vestas Americas, a Portland-based business unit responsible for sales, installation, service and maintenance in North America. The commission is for a 400,000- square-foot headquarters building that could eventually be expanded to 600,000 square feet. Both companies are locally based.

Vestas SVP Roby Roberts told GlobeSt.com this week that the site search has been narrowed to a few properties in the Downtown area, but declined to provide additional detail. In December, he said the general plan is to break ground this summer and occupy the building in late 2011. The would-be LEED-certified building is meant to consolidate six leases in the city totaling 100,000 square feet as well as to accommodate expected growth.

Vestas says the project “is reliant on finding and developing plans for a suitable site, as well as creating a finance plan that would include developing tax and financing options with the State of Oregon and City of Portland.” In 2002, Vestas revealed plans for a 113-acre headquarters and manufacturing facility in Portland’s Rivergate industrial area but scrapped those plans a few months later when the US Senate failed to renew a wind-energy tax credit later that year.

A December posting by then-incoming Mayor Sam Adams on his blog stated Vestas would develop a $250-million, LEED-Platinum building in the South Waterfront District, which sits on the Willamette River immediately south and east of the Downtown core. Vestas has been offered a one-time $12-million financial incentive package by city and state officials based on its plans to build up its 350-person payroll here to 1,200, Adams wrote.

Right now, the company’s construction group is in one building, its service group in another, accounting in yet another, as well as warehouse and training facilities, mostly located Downtown. The goal is to get them under one roof, in Portland, because the region has become a “sort of an energy hub” that includes a lot of wind developers and a lot of good contacts with higher education that will help the company grow its workforce, Roberts said.

Vestas has installed more than 35,500 wind turbines in 63 countries. With a 23% global market share in 2007, Vestas is the world’s leading supplier of wind turbines. Ankrom Moisan, with offices in Portland and Seattle, has completed six LEED certified projects and has an additional 15 projects that are LEED-registered. Completed projects include first LEED Gold housing projects in California, Luma and Elleven, in Los Angeles, and the First LEED ND certified project in the country, The Eliot in Portland.

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