Less than two weeks after TriMet cut bus service to the tune of $1.1 million, the transit agency’s board appears to be on the verge of approving nearly $1.4 million for office furniture.
TriMet's $1.4 million bill for new office furniture connected to Portland-Milwaukie light rail project: Commuter roundup | OregonLive.com
week’s agenda includes something called the “Moving Together”
initiative, which says the new, smaller workstations will help create a
“more modern, collaborative” environment as part of a huge TriMet remodeling and office move.
Mary Fetsch, a TriMet
spokeswoman, said the office furniture will require considerably less
leased space and will have “a one-time impact” to the general fund of
The rest, she said, will be covered by federal and local matching funds from the $1.49 billion Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project.
So, how is it that the capital budget for the under-construction Orange Line covers new cubicles, chairs and desks?
Well, apparently, the light-rail project is causing a huge domino effect on workspace.
to the resolution scheduled to go before the board for a vote on
Wednesday, there’s not enough room for equipment needed to run the
7.4-mile line at TriMet’s light-rail command center in Gresham.
TriMet said there is no way to expand the 5,500-square-foot building. A new one would cost an estimated $11.5 million.
more, the Holgate Plaza building at Southeast 17th Avenue and Holgate
Street, which includes 18,646 square feet of leased space used by 45
operations employees, needs to be demolished to make way for the Orange
As a result, the command center and Holgate Plaza staff
will relocate to the current Center Street administrative building,
which will require a $9.5 million renovation, TriMet said. That bill
will be covered by the light-rail project’s construction budget.
The “moving together” won’t stop there.
by the new command center, administrative staff currently working out
of the Center Street building as well as capital project staff currently
in leased offices in the Lloyd District will relocate downtown.
TriMet plans to lease one and a half floors in the Harrison Square building at Southwest Harrison Street and First Avenue.
the end, Fetsch said, it will be a smart consolidation of space. For
instance, the square footage used by TriMet will drop from 122,327 to
117,402. What's more, a lot of people are losing their private offices
(the number of offices is expected to go from 44 to 16).
And that means workstations will need to be smaller, TriMet says.
transit agency said it investigated reusing its existing 20-year-old
furniture. “TriMet calculated that reuse (requiring removal,
disassembly, storage, reassembly, refurbishment and re-installation of
the existing furniture) would be nearly as costly as replacement,” the
Fetsch said the new amenities will result in 14,760 fewer square feet leased over reusing existing furniture.
only does the reduction of square footage save the agency an estimated
$582,000 from current lease costs over 10 years, Fetsch said, “we’ll
save $2 million on space that we would have had to lease in order to
reuse the existing furniture.”
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