Federal Reserve grooves with Portland-based Jive Software

Federal Reserve grooves with Portland-based Jive Software

Tyler Graf

When the former Federal Reserve Building was operational, nobody mistook its vaguely militaristic appearance for a home to warm-and- fuzzy offices. That was the point. It was a fortress, protecting money.

But the imposing, currently empty building will soon undergo a significant remodel and become the home of a software company that specializes in open “collaborative software,” a market seeing its own inflow of money in Oregon lately.

Jive Software plans to move in June from its current location in the Hamilton Building on Southwest Third Avenue and Alder Street to the Federal Reserve Building on Southwest Stark Street. When the dust settles, Jive will occupy three floors of the building: the current third and fourth floors, and a fifth floor, with a penthouse and more than 37,000 square feet of office space, that’s being added as part of the remodel.

“We’ve seen so much growth that we needed to move,” said David Hersch, Jive Software’s CEO.

The Portland-based company specializes in flexible-source and web- forum software – programs that users can tweak and manipulate to suit their needs, and which are easy to configure with existing operating systems like Firefox. The company’s Clearspace software, for example, helps companies manage the flow of information between members of a team, in much the same way as a wiki.

With the release of Clearspace last year, the company saw exponential growth, expanding from 35 employees to about 135, Hersch said. A high demand for Jive’s products combined with a need for increased productivity led the company to seek additional revenue streams, including venture capital, in order to expand.

In August 2007, Jive received $15 million from Sequoia Capital, which since the 1970s has invested in young-blood tech companies such as Apple and YouTube. With money flowing north from California’s Silicon Valley to Oregon’s Silicon Forest, Jive Software was given room to grow its capital and its office space

The Federal Reserve Building represents a move that’s both upward and outward for Jive. By filling up three floors, Jive will be able to spread out beyond its current 22,000-square-foot digs, where employees are “working on top of each other,” Hersch said.

The renovation of the building was already planned before Jive decided to lease its space.

“When we bought the building, we were trying to market it as (it was). But we were seeing some resistance,” said Steve Roselli, vice president of Harsch Investment Properties. “The renovations and the new penthouse are necessary to taking the building to the next level.”

Copyright 2008 Dolan Media Newswires

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