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Press Release, January 09, 2016

American Realty Advisors Acquires CBD Office Tower in Portland, OR

  • The property was acquired in joint venture partnership with Unico Properties LLC, a real estate investor and operator

American Realty Advisors (“ARA”), a leading real estate investment management firm, along with its joint-venture partner, Unico Properties LLC, a real estate investment and operating company, has acquired Congress Center, a 23-story high-rise office tower in Portland. The property is strategically located along the primary mass-transit corridor in the heart of Portland’s central business district. 

“The location and the bones of the building make this an attractive value-add investment opportunity in a key urban market,” says Drew Hess, Senior Director, Investment Group, at American Realty Advisors. “It presents an opportunity to make strategic leasing and capital investment in building improvements to elevate the asset’s competitive position and raise occupancy to generate strong long-term cash flow.”

ARA expects strong leasing interest based on Portland’s strength as a knowledge market.

 “Portland is emerging as one of the fastest-growing markets in the country,” Hess explains.  “The area’s economic and lifestyle profile rivals more expensive tech-oriented markets such as the Bay Area and Seattle.”

Portland’s high quality of life and educated workforce has been touted nationally.  U.S. News & World Report named the city among the Top 20 Places to Live in 2016 and employers across the country are migrating to the region.

“Downtown Portland offers the urban lifestyle that today’s office workers are seeking.  This location boasts a walkability score of 99, a transit score of 96, and a bike score of 94,” says Hess.  “Overall, this is a functional office tower situated in a coveted business district within an economically diverse market that is positioned for long-term growth. These are precisely the fundamentals we look for in assets that we acquire.”

Built in 1980, Congress Center has high-quality features but is in need of key cosmetic upgrades, according to Brian Pearce, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Services of Unico Properties.

“In collaboration with ARA, we’re excited about the opportunity to integrate a series of capital improvements to transform this well-located asset into a modern property that will meet the needs of today’s tenants,” says Pearce, who notes that Unico has deep experience in executing value-add repositioning strategies.

“We look forward to repositioning this building to attract office tenants, as we have elsewhere, and are pleased to expand our footprint in the Portland market,” Pearce notes.

ARA and Unico plan to upgrade the lobby, fitness center, and bike parking, and add amenities such as an outdoor deck to encourage creativity and collaboration among tenants.

Located two blocks from Pioneer Square, Portland’s main retail district, Congress Center is surrounded by a diverse variety of amenities including restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. The property is also easily accessible via light rail, bus, and bike stations. Portland’s BIKETOWN bike share system recently installed a hub on the same street as Congress Center.

The property is located at 1001 SW 5th Avenue in Portland, Oregon. The seller was represented by Nick Kucha and Michael Leggett at HFF. Tom Wilson and Erica Christensen at HFF assisted ARA and Unico in securing a floating-rate acquisition loan through RBC Capital Markets.

ABOUT AMERICAN REALTY ADVISORS

With more than $8.0 billion in assets under management, American Realty Advisors is a leading provider of commercial real estate investment management services.  For over 28 years, ARA has managed capital for institutional investors utilizing core and value-added commingled funds and separate accounts. ARA acquires assets directly or provides equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt, debt, and hybrid debt to primary investors and developers operating throughout the United States for office, industrial, multi-family, and retail properties. 

ABOUT UNICO PROPERTIES LLC

Unico Properties LLC is a real estate investor and full-service operator focused on office and multifamily assets in the Western United States. For more than 60 years its investors and partners have relied on Unico for its local knowledge, institutional rigor, and boutique service, which consistently deliver results.  Founded in 1953, Unico is headquartered in Seattle, Wash.  Unico is a proven operating partner.  With more than 10 million square feet of LEED-certified properties, the company is a leader in sustainable best practices, developing and managing some of the world’s highest performing green buildings, and transforming the built environment.  For more information about Unico, please visit the firm’s website at www.unicoprop.com.

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