PORTLAND-The law firm Miller Nash on Tuesday signed a 10-year lease renewal with extension options for the 33rd through 36th floors of the 40-story Unico/U.S. Bancorp Tower anchoring the north end of Downtown Portland.

The lease rate for the deal is not being released by those involved, but sources familiar with the deal say Miller Nash is getting a substantial tenant improvement allowance and a lease rate that averages out to about $24 per sf. With Miller Nash taking somewhere between 67,000 sf and 72,000 sf, depending on the remodel, that rate would make the deal worth around $28 million.

Miller Nash’s existing lease was set to expire in Dec. 2003. Mark Fraser and John Kohnstamm of Colliers International represented Unico. Tom Becic of Melvin Mark Brokerage represented Miller Nash. The law firm was heavily recruited by the brokers for several new office buildings, some under construction and others still seeking approval.

“We talked quite seriously with people representing the Brewery Blocks, Trammell Crow’s Two Main and Louis Dreyfus’ 100 Columbia; they were all quite interested in having us and we received detailed proposals from each and engaged in back-and-forth negotiations,” Miller Nash partner Jonathon Goodling tells GlobeSt.com. “The decision was not solely dollars and cents, there were a lot of intangibles, but in the final analysis, although it was a close decision, we decided it was in the best interest of the firm to stay here.”

Among many other things that kept them in the city’s largest office building — like the views, the proximity to mass transit, the room for expansion it provides and the fact that they are already in the building — Goodling pointed out Unico’s decision to go out and find someone to takeover the restaurant on the 31st floor. “In some ways that was an important consideration,” says Goodling. “It’s a nice amenity to have in a building, and the fact that Unico went out and found someone to operate it instead of converting it to office as had been rumored showed us a commitment, an understanding as to what it takes to make a successful office tower.”

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