Unitus Community Credit Union is leaving its headquarters in downtown Portland for Washington County as part of a new strategy it says will ease commuting and collaboration for employees who live outside of Portland.

The plan to leave 1300 S.W. Sixth Ave., a building called Unitus Plaza since the credit union became its anchor tenant in 2005, has been in the works for over three years, said CEO Steven Stapp. Employees will vacate the building in 2024 and move to an office in southeast Tigard.

Hybrid and remote work not only reduced the number of employees in the office but also limited the collaboration between employees. Stapp said the change led him and his team to come up with a plan that would use office space more efficiently.

And instead of centralizing administrative functions within one office, the credit union will purchase multiple new offices, starting with the office in Tigard.

Prior to the pandemic, nearly 180 employees worked on-site at the downtown location, but that number has fallen to 40 more recently.

The new office plans aim to adapt to the hybrid model of work, allowing for an “activity-based” environment where employees have the option to complete specific tasks in the office or at home.

Unitus bought the Tigard location, located at 7632 S.W. Durham Road, in June for $27 million.

The property also includes five acres of developable wetlands, but Stapp said Unitus plans to preserve them.

“We will have a significant commitment to our environment, and we feel like having dedicated wetlands as an offset to our physical footprint was very, very important to us,” Stapp said.

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