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PORTLAND-The 488,000-sf first phase of Rivergate Corporate Center has secured its first tenant, according to Trammell Crow Co., which is overseeing development and leasing of the project, which is owned by Multi-Employer Property Trust, a $3-billion collective investment fund whose primary beneficiaries are union pension funds.

Schneider Resources Inc., a division of Green Bay, Wis.-based freight hauler Schneider, has leased 50,000 sf in a 150,000 sf building, TCC’s John Fettig tells GlobeSt.com. Schneider will employ 16 people who will use the space to store and distribute automobile parts and related components.

The rest of the first-phase space is in a 338,000-sf building. Both shells, featuring a 35-foot clear height, were recently completed by general contractor Perlo McCormack Pacific. Asking rates are 34 cents per sf for warehouse and 65 cents per sf for the office space surcharge.

Seattle-based Kennedy Associates Real Estate Counsel, acting on behalf of MEPT, in December 2001 inked a $4 million long-term lease with the Port of Portland for the 23 acres near Terminal 6 that has become Rivergate Corporate Center. The 55-year lease equates to a purchase price of $4.17 per sf.

Two months ago, in October, Kennedy Associates invested more money in the Port of Portland’s Rivergate Industrial District, inking a 55-year lease for another 27 acres there for a single 600,000 sf building. The pre-paid lease rate on the deal was $4.75 per sf. The lease can be extended six times, in five-year increments.

Local real estate sources at the time told GlobeSt.com that MEPT wouldn’t have OK’d the extra land acquisition–given the amount still left to lease in the first phase–unless it had a user ready to take the space. TCC’s Dave Ellis now tells GlobeSt.com that a 400,000-sf user is close to signing on for the second phase, and that the deal may be done early next year if not before the end of this year.

In the late 1990s, TCC also developed for MEPT the 41-acre Alderwood Corporate Center, a three-building, 308,400-sf development at the Port’s Portland International Center near the airport. And last year, Kennedy Associates invested MEPT money in the Portland office market, acquiring Block 2 of Gerding-Edlen Development Co.’s five-block redevelopment of the former Blitz-Weinhard Brewery in close-in Northwest Portland. A 215,000-sf office and retail building now sits on the block and is 52% leased, in large part to the law firm Perkins Coie, which recently signed on for the top four floors of the 10-story building.

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