Building in ‘one of the best retail corners’ in Portland sold

The buyer acknowledges that the purchase is a contrarian move amid the market malaise downtown.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Melvin Mark Investors last week bought the historic Alderway building in what is becoming a high-profile part of downtown Portland, though recent vacancy trends urge caution.

The building on the corner of Southwest Alder Street and Southwest Broadway houses Kassab Jewelers and other tenants. It’s about two-thirds leased, according to MMI, and the building consists of 46,000 square feet.

The buyer acknowledges that the purchase is a contrarian move amid market malaise downtown, where CBRE recently pegged the office vacancy rate at 26%. Even so, the addition of the Ritz-Carlton tower and nearby 11W building is promising, as long as leasing agents can fill the spaces with tenants.

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“We have one of the best retail corners downtown,” said Nick Ehlen, MMI’s managing partner, later adding, “We started at the beginning of this year doing the downtown and to see if we could find anything in our upsetting mind, and Alderway popped up on the radar.”

The property opened in 1911 as the Pantages Theater. Chicago architects Clausen & Clausen then undertook a renovation. Now the building at 521-539 SW Broadway spans four floors and a basement, plus a penthouse that doubles as the fifth floor. It has 35,000 square feet of office space and 10,600 square feet of retail space. Although it is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places at present, MMI said it is reviewing its future eligibility for the register.

Read more about the deal and its implications for downtown in the Portland Business Journal.

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