Charlie Hales brings Airbnb to ‘Silicon Forest’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales delivered his 2014 State of the City speech Friday afternoon.

One major takeaway was Hales’ announcement online subletting company Airbnb will be moving its headquarters to Portland.

Still, the question over the legality of subletting apartments through Airbnb in Portland remains. 

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oct. 4, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oct. 4, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

A KOIN 6 News investigation earlier this year found it was illegal without a permit.

Growing the ‘Silicon Forest’

Earlier today, online the online marketplace eBay announced it would be expanding offices in downtown Portland.

In a statement, the Oregon Business Development Department said Airbnb will employ 160 people at its new office, which is expected to open later this summer.

It’s part of a push by the Portland Development Commission, Hales and others to grow the city’s tech economy.

“This project bolsters an already strong and growing cluster of software firms and technology talent in Portland,” said PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton.

“We’re especially pleased to welcome Airbnb to the Old Town neighborhood and its emerging entrepreneurial scene.”

Other software firms expanding in Oregon include Salesforce.com, eBay and Garmin.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales delivers the State of the City address to a sold out crowd at the Sentinel Hotel March 14. (KOIN)
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales delivers the State of the City address to a sold out crowd at the Sentinel Hotel March 14. (KOIN)

Local startups such as Puppet Labs, Urban Airship, Viewpoint Construction and Jama Software are also growing.

“Software has been a fast-growing complement to the tech manufacturing sector,” said Business Oregon director Tim McCabe.

“I’m proud of the partnership of our organizations to take advantage of these opportunities and bring new jobs to Oregon.”

All three organizations work together to market the state and the region around the U.S. as well as overseas for business expansion.

Entering his second year in office, Hales gave remarks on street maintenance, parks, schools and the water and sewer rates.

Other topics included improving jobs market, equity issues and the relationship between the Portland Police Bureau and the community.

The event at the Portland City Club was sold out.

blog comments powered by Disqus