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SALEM, OR-Forced by the state Legislature to cut bait and move from Downtown Portland to Salem by next summer, the embattled Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently culled through 20 proposals and inked a five-year, $6.2-million build-to-suit lease for a 70,000-sf building planned for property along Cherry Avenue Northeast, just north of Salem Parkway.

The property is owned by Joseph Fox of Salem-based Investors Brokerage Inc. The lease rate breaks down to $104,000 per month or $1.49 per sf, which compares to an average new office lease rate in Salem of about $1.60 per sf. The lease agreement is extendable to 11 years.

The Legislation forcing the move was allegedly precipitated by questionable decisions over the past few years related to finances and public relations. The sale of the Downtown Portland property–which needs about $1.5 million in upgrades to meet city code–is supposed to cover the cost of the relocation.

According to said Legislation, the agency eventually must relocate once again after this move, to a building on the Capital Mall. Design on that building has yet to begin but state estimates suggest the building will take two years to build once ground is broken and cost about $12.6 million.

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