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Records show Nike plans bigger Washington County expansion than previously announced

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BEAVERTON, Oregon — A long-awaited expansion of Nike's 270-acre headquarters complex snapped into sharper focus Wednesday, when planning documents surfaced that the company filed last month with Washington County.

The expansion of Oregon's highest-profile company triggered a special session of the state Legislature in December 2012, and eventually pitted the City of Portland against suburban Washington County for the project. The plans Nike filed Oct. 22 would more than double the size of the project it had spelled out during that initial process.

Nike's plan suggests it will build two office buildings starting next year that are huge and could accommodate as many as 2,500 employees. The plans also call for two additional parking garages and an extension of the "berm," an earthen wall that blocks the headquarters from surrounding streets. Several nearby road improvements are planned for anticipated increased traffic, too.

The highlights:

— An 887,000-square-foot building directly north of the existing Tiger Woods Center at Nike headquarters. The building would have 649,000 square feet of office space and 238,000 square feet of what the company is calling "auxiliary space." While a project description said one building was envisioned, maps submitted to the county appear to represent two buildings next to each other. A Nike spokesman declined Wednesday to clarify what the maps show or to define "auxiliary space."

— A 412,000-square-foot office building north of the Tiger Woods and Jerry Rice buildings.

— A 500-space underground parking garage would be built under the two office buildings.

— A 1,300 to 1,400-space parking garage that would include about 50,000 square feet of accessory space and a utility plant. This would be built on top of the space now occupied by a 447-space surface parking lot east of the campus' Walker Road entrance.

— An 1,100-space parking garage adjacent to Murray Boulevard and built on the site of an existing surface parking lot.

The berm surrounding the campus would be extended along Southwest Jenkins Road and along a portion of Southwest 158th Avenue. This would end the public use of Jay Street, which now is a curving arterial between Jenkins Road and 158th Avenue. Jay would become part of the Nike road system.

Construction could start as early as the first three months of next year, although Nike declined to comment on a timetable.

As to what those two buildings would look like - for a company that prides itself on innovative design - that's still a guessing game. Nike officials declined to comment on architectural drawings included in the planning application.

There are some hints, however, as a handful of drawings appear to display a sharp, angular profile to the office buildings. The exterior of one building showed an "aluminum curtain wall system," incorporated with a substantial number of windows.

ZGF Architects LLP of Portland designed the smaller office building and a nearby garage; Skylab Architecture of Portland designed the larger building; SRG Partnership designed the other garage; PFS Studios of Vancouver, B.C., produced the landscaping plan.

Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter said the company would not comment in any detail out of respect for Washington County's project-evaluation process, which is ongoing.

"Our focus is on providing the necessary information to Washington County in advancing the master planning process," Rossiter said.

The 1.3 million square feet in office space more than doubles the 550,000 square feet the company had originally planned.

Existing office buildings within the berm that surrounds the 270-acre campus now total about 2.2 million square feet of space. But Nike also owns office space south of the campus, as well as on its west side.

Nike employment has been booming over the past five years.

In June 2010, the company had 34,400 employees worldwide. This June, it was 56,500 employees - a 64 percent increase.

At the World Headquarters, employment had jumped 50 percent from the company's 5,800 employees in June 2010 to the 8,709 at the end of September.

In December 2012, the Oregon legislature met in a hastily convened special session to consider Nike's request to be assured the state would use the existing taxing method - which Nike says it favors because it provides tax certainty - for the next 30 years. In return, Nike promised at least 500 new jobs as part of the minimum $150 million expansion.

Gov. John Kitzhaber's office announced in early October that Nike has created more than 2,000 new jobs in Oregon since the governor signed the agreement, adding that the company had satisfied the job-creation requirement.

For the purpose of assessing fees, the revised project submitted to Washington County has a listed value of at least $150 million, Roberts said.

Rossiter, of Nike, said, "We expect to spend in excess of $150 million."

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