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PORTLAND-An estimated $7.5-million renovation is being planned for the Telegram Building, a Georgian Revival-style, three-story brick building built in 1922 for lease to the Portland Telegram, the City’s evening daily newspaper at the time.

Topped by a clock tower at 1101 S.W. Washington St., the Telegram Building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Local hand surgeon Peter Nathan owns the building and has hired Venerable Properties to handle the renovation and leasing. WaterLeaf Architecture & Interiors is handling the design.

There is 23,800-sf of rentable space in the building, which is being renovated for office and retail uses. The ground floor has a 17-foot-high ceiling and the basement has a 19-foot-high ceiling. A feasibility study is underway for the addition of one or two floors.

Early plans for adding a mezzanine level between the first and second floors were dropped Wednesday, but the tall basement is still being planned for conversion to two levels of underground parking. The exterior of the building will be kept in tact and refurbished.

Venerable expects to submit for building permits in the first quarter of 2002, begin construction in the third quarter and complete the project by the end of 2003. Ground-floor space is expected to lease for a triple-net rate of about $16 per sf, while upper floor space will be marketed at between $18 and $20 per sf.

The Nathan family also owns the entire block that includes the Telegram Building, including the Mark Spencer Hotel, the Washington Plaza Apartments and a two-story commercial building. Venerable’s Art DeMuro tells GlobeSt.com that the family has already completed upgrades to the hotel and the apartment complex, and that the two-story commercial building has the potential to be built up by several stories when the time comes.

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