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TUALATIN, OR-Panattoni Development is continuing its Portland-area onslaught with a 55-acre, industrial-zoned parcel on Tualatin-Sherwood Road it tied up recently. If it closes on the property later this year, Panattoni’s Northwest point man Mike Wells tells GlobeSt.com he’ll have the necessary permits in hand for a 600,000-sf corporate park.

The property lies several miles southwest of Downtown Portland, about three miles west of Interstate 5. It is split into two parcels: 25 acres owned by the Itel family that make up the northern portion of the site, and a southerly 30 acres owned by brothers Stanley Sharp and Hadley Robbins.

“I think its one of the most significant development projects in the southwest over the last decade,” says Brad Fletcher, managing director for the local Grubb & Ellis office and the one who bundled the properties and brought the deal to Wells. “Tualatin has much of the most valuable remaining industrial land in the I-5 corridor–if not in the (entire) Westside market–and this property is clearly the crown jewel.”

Grubb & Ellis Tom Talbot and Cliff Finnell are signed up to handle the lease up and sale once all the entitlements are in hand. “The exciting thing about this is there’s nothing else in Tualatin in terms of a large, master-planned business park environment,” Talbot tells GlobeSt.com.

Other industrial land in the area has been gobbled up by users. Novellus acquired the 79-acre former Oki Semiconductor site in the Tualatin Business Campus, and CalMax, a Novellus supplier, took the remaining nine acres.

“Tualatin is emerging as a center for high-tech manufacturing,” says Fletcher. “It is bringing in secondary and tertiary suppliers as well as a host of other high-value manufacturers from a variety of sectors.”

Fletcher describes Panattoni’s would-be land as one of the major properties in the area that have been passed over due to a lack of city services. When the city took the initiative to extend services like sewer and water, developers became serious about the property, he says.

“It’s a beautiful location with views of the valley, and it has excellent exposure to Tualatin-Sherwood Road,” Fletcher tells GlobeSt.com. “Because of that, we will likely see high-value manufacturing space with associated office in a flex-style, institutional-grade product suitable for today’s business and industry.”

If all goes as planned, buildings will be ready for occupancy before the end of 2002. “I am seeing signs that the economy is showing increasing energy,” says Fletcher, “and expect that once the project and product information is out about this project, we will be able to make a major announcement.”

Since Panattoni hired Wells away from Cushman & Wakefield in January 2000 to jump-start its Portland-area operations, the company has been going nonstop. It started by acquiring 136 acres in Hillsboro owned by Fujitsu and now called Cornelius Pass Corporate Center. Wells nabbed the property for $28 million and then immediately flipped 33 acres holding the only two buildings on the property for $24.8 million, leaving Panattoni 103 acres for the relative pittance of $4 million after costs. Panattoni is now well into a million-sf development on the property.

It followed in the first quarter of 2001 by tying up 60 industrial-zoned acres along the Columbia River in Northeast Portland as well as 7.56-acres ripe for a 150,000-sf class A office project in Tigard. Panattoni later sold much of the riverfront property to the City of Portland in exchange for right to buy it back and develop it when it secures job-rich manufacturing tenants, while the Tigard site may fall victim to a Catch-22.

As reported yesterday in GlobeSt.com, the state transportation department doesn’t want cars exiting onto Pacific Highway South from the site, and the City of Tigard doesn’t want cars exiting onto an adjacent residential street. Wells wasn’t available to comment on the story Monday. On Tuesday, Wells said he’s as yet not sure whether the project will come to fruition.

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