Olympic Mills; Communication and swift action are keeping the businesses happy in this iconic building
An iconic landmark nestled in the burgeoning Central Eastside Industrial District, the Olympic Mills building has been a popular hub for creative businesses since it opened its doors. When NAI Elliott took over property management and leasing, extensive renovations had recently been completed. Current Assistant Real Estate Manager for the property Kate Fitches says that the building has continued to attract such amazing tenants because its “Clean, quiet and a really great place to do business.” Anchor businesses such as the beloved Portland restaurant Olympia Provisions further endear the space to current and future tenants. The building itself is a delightful mix of modern renovations and architectural elements of the old mill. With sweeping views of the city and unique outdoor spaces, the noteworthy details and character of the building are another reason growing businesses are drawn to the space.
Filled with an array of creative companies Kate says, “There are really amazing tenants that we have seen start in a smaller space and then grow into taking up a whole floor. They’ve stayed and grown in the building.” Indeed, one of the design studios at Olympic Mills already has plans to move into a larger space next year and a long-time tenant uses warehouse space on the main floor in addition to offices in another location upstairs. As the needs of a business change over the years, NAI Elliott’s property management team works alongside the building’s broker, Jamie Nelson, to coordinate and help the tenant meet their new goals.
2020 has offered a challenge for property management in the Olympic Mills building and Kate has continued to accommodate tenants unexpected needs throughout the year. “Early on, we saw tenants who were discouraged and worried with what was happening with COVD-19.” Kate’s response was to start keeping regular on-site office hours. “We have this amazing, huge building with all these great tenants. It made me think ‘how can I be an asset to the building while we’re going through this really strange 2020?’” Now Kate can easily deal with any building situation that might come up. Tenants regularly pop in to chat and she loves that they feel comfortable reaching out and communicating their needs. “Especially during the pandemic when not all tenants are using their spaces day to day, it’s really amazing to have that communication.”
In addition to keeping regular hours at the building, Kate continues to take additional steps to make sure everyone feels safe. “Communication is the biggest step we continue to take to make sure our tenants are aware of what we’re doing to keep them safe.” Her team sends out weekly or bi-weekly emails to keep communication lines open. Signage is another big step they have taken. Placing signs in the common areas to encourage social distancing is a signal to tenants that management is working to keep everyone safe. And finally, Kate is quick to respond and take prompt action to the needs of the tenants. When they reach out with their concerns, whether its security or a need for more amenities like paper towels or waste baskets, changes are made quickly to address them. “We are showing up for them, and we are telling everyone ‘let’s keep this a safe place.’”
Although the future of office spaces is adapting and changing in the face of the pandemic, the Olympic Mills building continues to offer a safe and charming atmosphere for its tenants. With an attentive and careful management team at the helm, this iconic building remains a great place do business.