Laika, Columbia announce respective plans to expand in suburbs

Animation studio to expand production facility by 70 percent; sportswear company to lease space in Beaverton.

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Hillsboro’s Oscar-nominated animation studio will add 105,000 square feet to its production facility after failing to find suitable space elsewhere.

In its current form, Laika’s facility is 150,000 square feet, according to

The company makes its movies using an old-fashioned filmmaking technique called stop-motion animation, which requires animators to manipulate miniature puppets frame-by-frame to simulate motion. Although the puppets are small, they require large, custom-built sets to create the world around the characters. So Laika needs a large soundstage to make its films. And the studio wants more space as it accelerates its release timetable, moving from putting a new movie in theaters every two years to an annual schedule.

Plans submitted to the city of Hillsboro describe a two-story facility on the west side of Laika’s existing studio. The project would obliterate much of the studio’s existing parking, so Laika plans to add 408 parking spaces elsewhere along with nearly 90,000 square feet of new landscaping. The company did not have immediate comment on its growth plans. In the past, Laika has said it had occasionally explored the possibility of moving to Portland but had been unable to find facilities on the scale it requires.

The company is owned by Nike chairman Phil Knight and is run by his son, Travis. The studio has received praise for its first three films: “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls.”

Columbia Sportswear to lease space in Beaverton

Columbia Sportswear to lease space at the AmberGlen Business Center campus.

The space has at times housed Portland-area giants IBM, Nike and Intel, the Portland Business Journal reports.

Columbia landed on the space after a wide-ranging search, according to PBJ and the Columbian.

Columbia was on the lookout for space in November 2014 to house up to 150 staff members and had met with Vancouver’s Mayor Tim Leavitt to talk about opportunities in the city. At the time, Peter Bragdon, Columbia’s senior vice president and general counsel, told The Columbian that the company was “bursting at the seams” of some of its properties and in need of more space. He also said Columbia was considering several different locations.

NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s president Chris Johnson, senior vice president MaryKay West and vice president Brandon Frank represented the lessor, AmberGlen Office Corporation. Tim Parker, a vice president with Melvin Mark Brokerage Company, represented Columbia. Unico Properties manages the building, one of a few at AmberGlen that the Seattle company handles for LaSalle Investment Group. Frank noted that Columbia wanted to maintain and grow its presence in the Sunset Corridor. He said that not only did the 1385 Building at AmberGlen have enough space, but it was an ideal location with strong ownership.