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PORTLAND, OR-Renovation is under way on the Kalberer Building in downtown Portland’s Old Town district. In cooperation with the city, the Kalberer Company is spending several million dollars to have Venerable Properties turn the raw warehouse into an office building to be known as the Creative Services Center.

Plans are for the Portland Development Commission to take out a 10-year master lease on the property, throw in an additional $1.2 million for seismic stabilizing, and then sublease the space to creative services companies such as software developers, electronic commerce businesses, advertising and public relations agencies and film and video companies. The project is part of the city’s effort to support the industry and keep companies from fleeing to the suburbs.

For annual lease rates low-to-mid $20 per sf range, the seven-story, 80,000-sf center will provide 32,000-sf of finished loft space for creative services companies. It will also be home base for the Oregon Creative Services Alliance, and provide individual offices and common meeting rooms for industry associations, including “fully wired” communal conference rooms.

In addition to Venerable Properties, SERA Architects, Howard S. Wright Construction, Sparling Technical Consulting, MacDonald Miller and KPFF Consulting are also involved in the renovation, which began this week. Completion is expected in July 2001.

Kalberer and Venerable are also considering a similar, 70,000-sf project on one-quarter block immediately to the south of the Kalberer Building.

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