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HP Pares Down ‘Hybrid’ Research Site Slated For 2026 In Oregon

Shane Snider

A slumping economy and slowing PC and printer sales have not deterred plans for the company’s 235,000-square-foot hybrid work facility in Oregon to open in 2026. But the size of the project has been reduced by 25 percent, a report says.

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HP Inc. filed updated plans with Vancouver, Oregon officials last week detailing a 235,000-square-foot office and lab space spanning two buildings to complement HP’s current offices.

Initial plans for the building submitted three years ago described a 25 percent larger space, according to The Oregonian. Now the plans call for a space engineered to “enable hybrid work” as the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company ramps up its marketing efforts around its own hybrid work offerings. The company reportedly will use 68 acres of property for the development, saying it will incorporate sustainable design and technology into its new offices, which set aside 160,000 square feet for office space and another 75,000 square feet dedicated to research.

“The site will be (a research and development) Center of Excellence and a hub for innovation, including office and collaboration space designed to enable hybrid work, state-of-the-art research and development facilities, and a range of amenities,” an HP spokesperson said in a statement.

After a pandemic-fueled tech boom sent HP’s revenue to historic highs in 2021, a consumer-side slowdown has affected PC and printer sales for the whole industry. HP had posted better-than-expected results in the first quarters of 2022, but the industry slowdown showed up in the company’s third quarter balance sheet with a 4.1 percent drop in revenue over the previous year.

Mike Turicchi, vice president of Gainesville, Va.-based NCS Technologies said news of the R&D expansion is welcome considering the current economic climate. “I’m interested to see how much they gain out of a facility like this,” he said. “It’s important for them to study and research how hybrid solutions will impact the work of the future. Hybrid is still an emerging work mode and it warrants investment to make sure the products and solutions provided are as effective as they can be. I’m excited to see them investing here – it shows leadership and forward-thinking on hybrid workflow.”

Most of the operations in Oregon are centered around HP’s print business. The company in July and September furloughed dozens of employees as print operations faltered. In a statement to CRN at the time, an HP spokesperson said, “Our consistent and rigorous financial discipline is what allows us to maximize investments in our strategic priorities and position the business for long-term sustainable growth. As part of this, we regularly evaluate and optimize contractor spending to support business objectives.”

The R&D site proposal is being called “Phase 1,” and The Oregonian said the company had originally called for eventually expanding its Vancouver footprint to 1.5 million square feet. The company has operated in the area for 35 years at multiple sites. As of 2020, HP employed 1,000 people at two buildings in East Vancouver totaling 275,000 square feet.

HP spent a significant amount of time during its Amplify Executive Forum event in August promoting its expanded hybrid work offerings to the gathered channel partners. For print partners, the company touted new subscription services and models geared towards small and medium-sized businesses with a focus on hybrid workers.

HP is betting big on the continued popularity of hybrid work – shelling out $3.3 billion to acquire peripheral and videoconferencing giant Poly. “I am totally convinced, and we are totally convinced at HP, that hybrid work is here to stay,” HP CEO Enrique Lores said during his Amplify event presentation in Palo Alto.

HP said in its statement about the new Oregon facility, “The majority of HP employees have hybrid roles, splitting their time between home and office locations. Hybrid work is a significant part of our business strategy and HP is becoming a hybrid solutions leader.”

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Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at ssnider@thechannelcompany.com.

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