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PORTLAND-A little more than a year after Mark New and Steve Neville were handed the listing, they have filled what is arguably the most prime retail spot in Downtown Portland with the city’s best-known high-end clothing retailer.

After several months of negotiations, the long-time retail brokerage duo has signed up retailer Mario Bisio, who will relocate both his men’s and women’s clothing stores into the two-level, 12,000-sf space in the base of the Fox Tower, which is located in the heart of Downtown Portland at the corner of Southwest Broadway and Taylor.

The $100-million, 27-story office building was completed in the summer of 2000 by millionaire developer Tom Moyer. Asking rates for Mario’s new space were $45 per sf for the ground-floor space (7,369 sf) and $25 per sf for the second level (4,442 sf), for a blended asking rate of about $37 per sf. Mario is believed to have signed at least a 10-year lease that includes a tenant-improvement allowance of at least $50 per sf.

The space has been empty since the building was completed, as has a similarly-sized two-level space on the back side of the office building, near the entrance to the 10-screen theater in the building and an 1,800-sf deli. Mario hopes to open in his new location by November. The backside space, which eventually will face a park rather than the current parking lot, was initially set aside for a major restaurateur but now is being marketed to other retailers as well, Neville tells GlobeSt.com.

In March of 2001, Tom Moyer’s TMT Development decided to stop working with various brokers to keep its retail portfolio leased up and instead go with one two-man team: New & Neville Real Estate Services. The two came together from separate brokerage houses here in town and over the past several years have become a dominant retail duo, finding takers for many of the high-profile spaces in town. As far as tenant go, they have national clients like Border’s Books, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Wild Oats Markets. But until last March, they had never really had a major property owner client.

Now, in addition to the newly minted Fox Tower and the Hayden Meadows retail center, New and Neville are now charged with filling several well-located raw land parcels, including Mill Plain Plaza at 164th and Mill Plain Blvd., an eight-acre site for which TMT has site plan approval; 11 acres on two parcels in Salem, including six acres with I-5 visibility adjacent an Act III Theater development; and another 11 acres in Cornelius, which is situated between Hillsboro and Forest Grove. “They’re hustling around pretty good,” says Moyer.

Mario’s is relocating its womenswear location from Southwest 8th and Morrison. The men’s location is being relocated from the one-time booming-but-now-beleaguered Galleria owned by H. Naito Properties, which has been struggling with how to bring the full-block, three-story Downtown shopping mall back to life at a reasonable cost, a feat some consider unattainable. With only a few ground-floor tenants to attract traffic into the building, H. Naito is now reportedly offering free space to venders from Portland’s popular Saturday Market.

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