One of Bend’s most low-profile companies this fall will occupy its newest and highest-profile office building.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Bend Studio is the anchor tenant of Crane Shed Commons, the 50,000-square-foot, four-story office building under construction on Industrial Way.
Crane Shed Commons is the first Class A office space to be built on speculation in Bend in about 10 years. Situated on the former home of the Brooks-Scanlon lumber company’s iconic crane shed, the four-story building will overlook the Old Mill District and the Deschutes River.
Sony’s Bend Studio has been growing quietly while working on a forthcoming post-apocalyptic title, “Days Gone,” for PlayStation 4. The studio grew from about 45 to 103 employees during the game’s development, and there are no plans to downsize after the release, Studio Director Chris Reese told The Bulletin in July.
Sony did not respond to The Bulletin’s requests for comments about Bend Studio’s move to Crane Shed, and the leasing agent, Compass Commercial Real Estate Services, is under a confidentiality agreement.
Sony’s plans were revealed with the filing of a building permit application for interior work. The estimated value of the project is $966,560, according to the March 8 permit application.
Sony’s Bend Studio is now in the First American Title Co. building near the Old Mill District. Compass Commercial partner Erich Schultz said he couldn’t talk about Crane Shed’s main tenant, other than to confirm it will occupy more than 60 percent of the space.
Three more companies are showing an interest in the remaining 16,000 square feet, and two of them are tech companies, Schultz said. Developer Crane Shed LLC designed the building to attract companies in the tech industry and with a lot of young employees, he said.
Designed for flexible, open office space, the Crane Shed building also includes indoor parking for 30 bicycles, showers and lockers and a lounge area, Schultz said. No food or drink will be provided on-site, he said, because there’s so much available within walking distance.
Other than the BendTech co-working space on Emkay Drive and District 2 west of NorthWest Crossing, Bend has not seen any new tech-oriented office space created recently, Schultz said.
“I don’t think we’ve had the office space they prefer,” he said. “They do like to be in one area together. They like to be in an area with restaurants and other amenities.”
The building is scheduled to be ready for tenants by Sept. 1, Schultz said.
In the meantime, a 106-room Springhill Suites by Marriott on Industrial Way adjacent to Crane Shed Commons is working toward a May opening, according to Visit Bend. The hotel will bring another influx of tourists to the neighborhood, which continues to attract new businesses, from the Market of Choice grocery chain to food carts and bars.
“We’re excited to have more people staying close to here. They’ll want breakfast, hopefully,” said Rhonda Ealy, co-owner of Strictly Organic Coffee Co. on Bond Street, next door to The Box Factory.
Strictly Organic moved to its current location 11 years ago, before condominiums were built to the west, and the coffee shop still had views of Mount Bachelor, she said. “People didn’t understand why we even wanted to be here,” she said. “There was a vision for the area.”
The site of Crane Shed Commons has a controversial history because a previous owner demolished the historic building at night and without a permit and later paid a $100,000 fine.
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