Dog lovers can’t get enough of Vetsource’s new pet-friendly HQ
The high-growth startup transformed a decommissioned university into a high-tech office employees love
JLL’s heat-mapping technology targeted the best location near PDX airport
35K sq ft of custom high tech space
Designed for employees and their dogs
In the business of animal healthcare, Vetsource embraces all things pet. The rapidly-growing Portland company focuses on building technology solutions that improve the bond between animals and their caregivers — so it comes to no surprise that Vetsource’s office space is full of furry friends.
Starting its search for a new headquarters, the Vetsource team was focused on one thing above all, their people, and that included a healthy environment for pets.
“We've worked hard on culture and believe that culture trumps everything,” said Andrew Bane, COO, Vetsource. “So, if we get culture right, there’s not a business problem that we can’t overcome.”
In a dynamic business that includes a pharmacy, call center, sales, marketing, software development, and an executive team, Vetsource needed to get creative in finding the right space.
As a high-growth startup, the company has grown 40% year-over-year for the last five years. Its real estate decisions needed to reflect their massive growth and trajectory because it was very possible the business could grow out of their next space in 2-3 years.
Using JLL’s heat-mapping technology, Vetsource’s leadership found that the most central location for their employees was around the PDX airport. As in many cities, the airport district is primarily home to warehouse and retail facilities, so finding the right technology-focused space posed a challenge. At the epicenter of the heat map lay a decommissioned for-profit school that was difficult to visualize as an innovative office.
Filled with classrooms and even abandoned teaching cadavers (fake of course), the location was not what the team at Vetsource had imagined for their move.
Asking lots of questions about the business and bringing in JLL’s Project & Development Services team early on in the conversation about spatial needs enabled the JLL team to explore the university as an option for the new HQ — and ultimately transform it into the space it is now.
Now equipped with high-tech conference rooms and unlimited collaboration space, a full kitchen (dog-friendly, of course), and tons of natural light, it’s hard to imagine the space used to be an old school. The 35,000 square feet of space is fully branded throughout with the vibrant and clean Vetsource character.
“The reactions of our employees when they first walked in here far exceeded anybody’s expectations,” said Kurt Green, CEO, Vetsource. “It’s really cool—people are proud of this place and they look forward to this experience and coming to work.”
With upwards of 25 to 30 dogs in the office every day, they are equipped with a sizable indoor doggie play area that includes space for employees to work while the pups play.
The space was built with intention to accommodate dog life, from gated workspaces and pup-watering stations to furniture, materials, and flooring. The entire space is built to work collaboratively with humans and dogs.
It’s certainly a place where employees and animals love to come to work.