The self-proclaimed “first company to develop a web-based system for stock and shareholder management,” Transfer Online is a great example of a software company in the industrial district that manages web-based applications with a team of in-house developers.
President and CEO Lori Livingston moved the company to the Central Eastside from the Pearl District in 2010 because rents were going up on the west side, she didn’t like the tall buildings and was looking for a different environment. She prefers the raw, gritty nature of the area, the character of the buildings and the close-in location, which allows her 30 employees to take transit, walk and bike to work. While moving her business, she purchased the building on the corner of SE 7th and Salmon, where she has been hosting tenants of the Portland Development Commission’s Start-Up Challenge.
Livingston is no stranger to the urban industrial environment. She once had a business in one of New York City’s historic industrial districts, which flipped to high value condos and offices. “I saw small businesses — myself included — disappear from the city. I don’t want that to happen here.”
As a landlord, Livingston knows what tenants are looking for: bike parking, showers, retail and restaurants. And she wants to see more retail amenities closer to her business, “So you don’t have to get in a car to go out to lunch.”
This is the seventh installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside. To learn more about the businesses of the Central Eastside and the planning efforts for the district, read the Central Eastside Reader and visit the SE Quadrant Plan calendar to learn about future events.