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PORTLAND-A 70,000-sf industrial building Harsch Investment purchased two years ago as an eventual tear down is attracting tenants thanks to its location adjacent the 1.7-million-sf Brewery Blocks redevelopment on the northwest corner of the Downtown core.

Built in phases, the full-block property at NW 13th Avenue and Davis street is an amalgamation of two-and-three-story buildings. The official address is 140 NW 14th Ave. In August 2000, Harsch put up $3.65 million to purchase the block from the Cronin family, which operated Electric Distribution Inc. out of the circa-1950 building.

“We bought it with intention that we would fill it with lower cost warehouse users and then tear it down and redevelop in complementary way to Gerding Edlen’s Brewery Block redevelopment,” company president Jordan Schnitzer tells GlobeSt.com. “As we began to see the market slow down, we decided to extend the time frame on that.”

Concurrently, however, as the Gerding Edlen Development’s Brewery Block project began to take shape, some real good retail activity started cropping up. That’s when Schnitzer decided to spend $1.3 million or so into renovating the building, including $400,000 on the retail space, which faces the exit to the Brewery Block’s 1,400-stall parking garage. It’s already beginning to pay off.

Local Steinway dealer Sherman Clay & Co., better known as Moe’s Piano from its 14 years in the Woodstock neighborhood, has signed a 10-year lease valued at just under $3 million for 11,700-sf on the ground floor of the building, which sits on a full block bounded by NW 13th and 14th avenues and Couch and Davis streets. As well, Schnitzer tells GlobeSt.com that an office user is about to be signed for 10,000 sf on the top two floors of the building.

All told, and not including the 20,000-sf basement, there is another 10,000 sf of office space to be leased on the building’s upper floors and another 11,000-sf of retail space on the ground floor, which is being vacated by local florist Tommy Luke.

Annual triple-net asking rates for the retail space are in the mid-to-high $20s per sf and rates for the office space are $13 per sf, which apparently provides an attractive contrast to the brand new, higher-end space available in the Brewery Blocks. Norris Beggs & Simpson has the listing assignment and handled both sides of the Sherman Clay transaction. LRS Architects is designing building’s interior façade.

“I’d call it class C space,” says Harsch, “‘C’ for ‘creative.’” With a neighboring block Harsch purchased six years earlier, Schnitzer says his company now has “the two premier blocks” adjacent I-405 in the Pearl District.

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