Nautilus to move to smaller Vancouver headquarters

Relocation will make room for PeaceHealth employees at current site, lower costs

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian Port & Economy Reporter



Nautilus Inc. will move its Vancouver headquarters to a smaller building within the Columbia Tech Center campus, a senior executive with the company said Monday.

The company, which makes fitness equipment, will leave its current offices at Columbia Center at Columbia Tech Center, 1115 S.E. 164th Ave., by Sept. 1, 2012, for a smaller building to be constructed nearby at Southeast 177th Avenue and Southeast Sixth Way.

The move will occur under an agreement Nautilus reached with its landlord, PacTrust Realty Inc., said Bill McMahon, senior vice president of Nautilus’ consumer business.

McMahon said Nautilus’ relocation achieves several goals, including saving money for its shareholders, enabling the company to stay on the same campus in east Vancouver and helping PacTrust make room for PeaceHealth’s relocation of jobs to Columbia Center.

“We see it as a win,” McMahon said, adding that Nautilus will leave its past behind when it moves to pursue a fresh, consumer-focused future in a new building.

Nautilus now occupies about 72,000 square feet on the third floor of the 478,000-square-foot Columbia Center, which is welcoming both PeaceHealth — the new parent company of Southwest Washington Medical Center — and Hewlett-Packard Co. as tenants.

Nautilus and PacTrust “are currently negotiating a new lease” for a 51,833-square-foot headquarters that has not been built yet, according to Nautilus’ July 29 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

McMahon said PacTrust came to Nautilus looking to make more room at Columbia Center for PeaceHealth. “There’s a lot of space left in the building, and they want to fill it up,” he said.

PeaceHealth plans to relocate 467 jobs from the nonprofit’s other locations outside Clark County to Columbia Center. PeaceHealth has previously announced that it will move another 150 jobs from current PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (formerly Southwest Washington Medical C enter) offices to Columbia Center for a total of 617 jobs there.

The transition of PeaceHealth jobs to Columbia Center is expected to be completed by June 2014.

Meanwhile, PacTrust will build Nautilus’ new headquarters, McMahon said. Under the agreement with PacTrust, Nautilus will see “immediate savings” in the form of reduced lease payments for its current space, McMahon said. The rent reduction is compensation for the inconvenience of vacating Nautilus’ current office space so PacTrust may begin to remodel it.

At its new headquarters, Nautilus will pay about $400,000 less in annual rent than it paid at Columbia Center, McMahon said.

Nautilus’ headquarters relocation comes after several recent major changes for the company, which employs about 330 people. Those changes include the company’s continuing efforts to cut costs and concentrate on its direct-to-consumer and retail businesses.

In May, the company said it would move forward under the direction of a new CEO, Bruce Cazenave, who has more than 20 years of senior executive leadership, including as vice president and general manager of Black & Decker. Cazenave succeeds Edward Bramson, a managing member of New York-based private investment firm Sherborne Investors, the activist investor that took control of Nautilus more than three years ago.

For the three months ended March 31, Nautilus posted a profit of $1.6 million, returning to profitability after annual losses every year since 2006. That compares with a loss of $7.8 million for the first quarter of 2010.

Nautilus sells its fitness products through two primary channels: its direct business, which reaches consumers through TV and other advertising; and retail, which offers the company’s products through outlets such as Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Founded in 1986, the company’s brand names include Nautilus, Bowflex and Schwinn Fitness.