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PORTLAND-Title Imaging Services is moving into the long-vacant ground floor of the former J.K. Gill Building, which is owned by the county and located at 408 SW Fifth Ave. The space has been vacant for 11 years.

The company this week inked a 10-year lease for 6,700-sf at a full-service rate of $14.50 per sf, which will net the county $973,000, or just about what the county has said it will take to restore the space and make it useable. The investment in the space will add $1.5 million in value to the building, according to the county.

J.K. Gill occupied the space until 1999. In approving the lease deal, county commissioners expressed relief that the county-owned space will no longer be one of few empty storefronts Downtown.

In another lease approved this week, in which the county is the tenant, lease approved this week, the county will pay $1.5 million for a 13-year lease on the 60-unit Medford Hotel, which will be used as transitional housing for those who have been convicted of crimes and have completed drug treatment.

The non-profit housing agency Central City Concern will manage the building for the county. The politics of site location made the process a three-year ordeal. The money for the lease is coming from a 1996 public safety bond measure.

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