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PORTLAND-The target date for a signed lease at 1201 Lloyd is September, six months prior to completion, says Dan Swift, managing director of Portland-area brokerage for New York-based Insignia/ESG, which is co-developing the 222,500-sf mid-rise office project with Houston-based Transworld Properties. Between now and then, Swift tells GlobeSt.com, he’ll be taking many a trip in the construction elevator, showing off the building’s expansive mountain and city views for potential tenants, most of whom are expected to come from existing Central City tenants whose leases are expiring.

The project, rising on Holliday Street between Northeast 11th and 12th avenues, will be the first traditional office tower to open here since the Fox Tower in Downtown. Triple-net asking rates are $20 per sf to $22.50 per sf annually.

Sonna Durdel, Insignia’s executive director for the Pacific Northwest, tells GlobeSt.com the speculative building was expected to have few tenants prior to completion. “We are hitting the market just right,” Durdel tells GlobeSt.com. “Nobody forecast this downturn we’re experiencing, but being done with the building in the spring of 2002 bodes well.”

Another good sign? Swift says the latest class A vacancy report has direct vacancies in the Central City at 4.15%, with another 3.6 available on a sublease basis. That’s a total of 7.75%, which is a far cry from the situation in other West Coast markets like San Francisco and Seattle.

Indeed, if things don’t get much worse and come around early next year, one of three new office towers being planned for the Downtown core might even break ground next year. Trammel Crow Co., Louis Dreyfus Property Group and Schnitzer Northwest are all vying for the honor.

Trammell Crow has plans to build a 16-story office building on Southwest First and Second avenues between Southwest Madison and Main streets. Louis Dreyfus Property Group plans to build a 15-story office tower south of KOIN Center. Schnitzer Northwest is planning a 20-story project at the west end of the Morrison Bridge.

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