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PORTLAND-The presidents of two area firms are making plans to purchase and rehabilitate the 91,000-sf Holman Building at 49 E. Clay St. on the east bank of the Willamette River. Jeff Reaves of the Portland-based architecture and engineering firm Group MacKenzie and Jay Haladay of the Lake Oswego-based software company Coaxis ultimately plan to move their companies into the two-story former warehouse, which sports 38,000-sf floorplates, 24-foot ceilings and a 7,000-sf mezzanine level on each floor.The City of Portland’s urban renewal agency, the Portland Development Commission purchased the building in 2002 in a $2.5-million package deal that included several properties on the east bank of the Willamette River. The PDC’s original plan was to renovate the high-ceilinged building, lease it up to businesses and organizations with river-related operations and build a light watercraft dock for use by the tenants. However, cost estimates came in higher than expected and would-be tenants reduced their requirements, making the project unfeasible. So this spring, the PDC signed off on construction of a less ambitious plan to prepare the ground floor for a light watercraft center and construct the dock, but leave first-floor mezzanine and the entire second floor vacant. Concurrently, they sent out a request for qualifications to see if anyone else would be interested in taking a run at the rest of the building.That is when Reaves called his longtime friend Haladay, who had been on the hunt for a new space for his Portland-area employees, which are currently housed in 25,000 sf off Carmen Drive in the Lake Oswego area. The two ultimately decided to form and LLC to purchase and completely makeover the building and turn it into the headquarters for both of their operations, Haladay tells GlobeSt.com.Their liaison for the project is Monte Haynes of GVA Kidder Mathews, who will represent the duo in the process and provide construction management services. Currently, Hanes is negotiating a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the PDC that will lead to a binding disposition and development agreement. Haynes tells GlobeSt.com that the project will entail a new exterior skin, a seismic upgrade, and new glazing and mechanical and electrical systems. Construction could start as early as November 2005 with completion scheduled for August 2006. When complete, Group MacKenzie will move its Portland employees to the property from their current location on the other side of the river, at 690 SW Bancroft Street.It is unclear yet where each company would locate in the building, but it is clear that the nonprofit Portland Boathouse Inc. will occupy 15,000 sf on the ground floor of the building. The organization represents several rowing clubs that will use the space to store canoes, kayaks, outriggers, dragon boats and other light watercraft. The facility also will feature an exercise area, office space, showers, retail space, and restrooms. The boathouse and an accompanying boat dock are scheduled to open in fall 2004. The PDC purchased the building as part of the Eastbank Riverfront Park Master Plan. The master plan outlines a vision for connecting the east and west sides of the Willamette River and includes the Eastbank Esplanade, an award-winning bike and pedestrian path between the Steel and Hawthorne bridges. The next phase of the master plan also calls for creation of Crescent Park on land directly south of the Holman Building, though funding for the project has not yet been identified.

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