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Nike says it will expand in Washington County

Jonathan j. Cooper, Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Nike Inc. said Thursday it plans to expand its Washington County headquarters, spurning offers to build office space in Portland.

The company announced Thursday that it plans to construct two buildings, expand parking and make road improvements at its campus near Beaverton, but it said in a statement that "the continued support and action by state and local governments will be required."

A spokeswoman, Mary Remuzzi, would not elaborate or say whether the company is seeking financial incentives.

"Nike is a growth company with a long history in Oregon, and we look forward to continuing to grow here," Mark Parker, Nike's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Nike is one of Oregon's largest private employers and says it wants to add at least 500 workers. In an emergency session late last year, executives persuaded Oregon lawmakers to promise that the state wouldn't change a corporate tax structure favorable to the athletic-wear giant.

"Nike's announcement is a testament to our decisive action in December to boost the state's economy and benefit all Oregonians," Gov. John Kitzhaber said in a statement.

It was unclear what additional support Nike is seeking from state and local governments. A Kitzhaber spokesman, Tim Raphael, said he believes the company still needs certain permits and regulatory approval. Philip Bransford, a spokesman for Washington County, said he wasn't aware of any tax incentives for Nike, but noted that officials involved in negotiating with the company have signed nondisclosure agreements.

Remuzzi, the Nike spokeswoman, said the company plans to build one new building next to its existing Tiger Woods Conference Center and another near the C. Vivian Stringer Child Development Center.

In a statement, Washington County Commission Chairman Andy Duyck said the county was "proud and pleased" to hear Nike's decision to locate there.

"It has really been a collaborative effort over many months to bring us to this point," Duyck said.

Before settling on expanding its existing headquarters, Nike flirted with building on a 30-acre site on Portland's South Waterfront. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said he was confident the site will still be developed.