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PORTLAND-After winning “The Office Building of the Year” award locally in its size category, Ashforth Pacific’s 17-story Liberty Centre received another TOBY last week from the Building Owners and Managers Association, this time for the four-state region of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Alas, this week was the nationals. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, the 270,000-sf concrete office tower built by Hoffman Construction in 1997 for Ashforth Pacific lost its bid for the title nationally to 3 Lakeway Center, an Equity Office Properties building in Metairie, LA.

“The competition was pretty stiff,” Ashforth Pacific CEO Hank Ashforth tells GlobeSt.com in between flights back to Portland on Wednesday. “Mack-Cali, Lend Lease, Equity Office Properties, CB Richard Ellis Investors … we were honored to be held in such high esteem.”

In retrospect, Liberty Centre also should be honored for the speed in which Hoffman Construction completed the project. The average gestation period for a high-rise office building is three to five years. Many take longer. Liberty Centre was designed, built, finished out and occupied in little more than two years in order to meet the needs of two tenants who had committed to leasing nearly 75% of the building.

Ashforth Pacific closed on the Lloyd District property–part of a 20-plus-block acquisition from Pacific Development Inc., the real estate arm of utility holding company PacifiCorp–in September 1995. By Nov. 1, 1997, Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp. and Kindercare Learning Centers were running their respective companies out of the building.

The building is now 100% occupied by 11 companies including NACCO Materials & Handling Group, and Paccess Inc.

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