Portland’s Puppet May Double Its Size

Puppet Labs is leasing two full floors in Portland, Ore.’s, downtown, giving the young company enough space to more than double its size in an area that’s fast becoming a core tech neighborhood.

Puppet Labs LogoPuppet, whose open source software facilitates data center management, is among the biggest of Portland’s new generation of software businesses. Its new offices can accommodate as many as 500 employees. The company has an option to lease additional space as the need arises.

With the new long-term lease, and permission to configure the space as it likes, CEO Luke Kanies says Puppet expects to stay put for a while. “We’ve gotten to the point where we can get into a space to grow into,” he told the Portland Oregonian.

As Portland has developed more of a tech hub over the last few years, area startups have been outgrowing the Pearl District lofts and warehouses where they were so recently incubated. Downtown, once a stalwart for government workers and professional services firms, is being reinvented as a desirable neighborhood where the tech industry can grow.

Tech employers in the city also say that their staffers are less interested in the better restaurants and easy parking found in the Pearl than they are in having access to the food carts and public transit available downtown.

In January, Jama Software – which produces a Web-based application that’s designed to help companies conceive, build and deliver products  —  announced it would move its 100 employees downtown.

Portland’s tech boom has landlords across the city acting quickly to make their properties more attractive to young companies whose employees prefer non-traditional work environments. Website analyst New Relic finalized its decision to move to the area when its new landlord gave workers permission to bring their bikes up in the building freight elevator.