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TIGARD, OR-On behalf of various individual clients, Wyse Investment Services Company has paid $12.7 million to acquire One Embassy Centre, an 86,676-sf, class A office building located at 9020 SW Washington Square Rd. in Tigard, Ore. The property is 95% leased. The sale closed last week.

After tying up the property with an investor contingency, the Portland, Ore.-based firm raised $5.7 million in three and a half weeks from 21 investors, principally local, and financed the rest, says Wyse SVP Joseph Sandahl, who spoke with GlobeSt.com this week. “This is a whole new venture for Wyse,” says Sandahl.

Wyse has invested $200 million in the past 10 years on behalf of individuals and pension funds. The firm also manages some 1.5 million sf for private individuals and originates loans on behalf of its pension fund clients, which include Les Schwab and Stoel Rives.

Sandahl says the decision to expand its real estate investment offerings to limited partnerships resulted from feedback and suggestions from clients and investors who, seeing the volatility in the stock market, expressed interest in owning high quality institutional real estate but didn’t have the resources to do so individually or preferred to share the investment with others in order to diversify their investments.

“So about three years ago we began the process of trying to create a type of limited partnership that would be of interest,” says Sandahl. “We started off with pooled lending fund and then looked at doing blind pooled acquisition fund, but the investors we met did not want to invest in blind pools; they are intelligent locals of substantial net worth who want to kick the tires.”

The entity created to buy One Embassy Centre is WISCO Real Estate Equity Fund I LP. It will do business as One Embassy Center LP. The property is located adjacent to the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard. Its biggest tenant, occupying 27% of the building, is Pacific Northwest Title. Other tenants include GE, Verizon, NEC and John L. Scott. In-place rents at the 10-year-old development average $21 per sf, says Sandahl, which compares well with competing buildings, and there is more than enough parking thanks to a parking easement with the adjacent hotel, the owner of which was the seller of the office building.

“Our goal was to identify a well-designed, well-located multi-tenant property in a vibrant business area,” says Sandahl. “Our underwriting is generally quite conservative and we believe that the property will meet our basic investment criteria during difficult economic times and that it will perform superbly when the local economy turns the corner.”

Sandahl adds that the firm looking for other office, flex or retail opportunities: “The limited partnership structure was well received and we intend to do more, but only if we can find suitable properties.”

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