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PORTLAND-Seattle-based Unico’s sole asset here is also the city’s largest, the 42-story US Bancorp Tower. The 1.1-million-sf asset has been a steady performer for the company since early 2002, with occupancy never lower than 90% and never higher than 93.%. In addition, the amount of sublease availability in the building is now down to about 40,000 sf, all of which is being offered by US Bank.Given that success, Unico has been looking to add to its local portfolio for some time, but demand has compressed cap rates so much, it has been more prudent to be a net seller than a net buyer. And Unico has done just that, selling portions of its interest in several Northwest office buildings, including US Bancorp Tower, which has fattened up its bank account.”We have a bit of a war chest built up, and that money needs to be spent,” says Brian Pearce, who was recently promoted from US Bancorp Tower’s leasing director to its general manager. “[US Bancorp Tower] has been a fantastic asset for Unico; we believe in this market and want to do more.”Indeed, in addition to Pearce, Unico has its Northwest investments manager, Greg Petry, operating out of Portland. Pearce says that in addition to his added responsibilities with regard to US Bancorp Tower, he’s also working with Petry to identify and acquire additional metro-area assets.As well as seeking additional traditional office assets, Unico also is looking to diversify into the medical office and multifamily sectors. The company expects to land its first medical office asset this month, though it isn’t saying exactly what assets it’s trying to buy and in which market they are located. On the multifamily front, Unico earlier this year negotiated a 90-year ground lease for a 16,500-sf parking lot near the University of Washington in Seattle on which it plans to develop a six-story mixed-use building. The estimated $15-million project calls for three floors of apartments over three floors of office and retail space. All told, there would be 48 apartment units, about 15,000 sf of office space and about 10,000 sf of retail. Design and permitting is expected to be complete by June 2005. Construction is expected to begin in July 2005 and be complete by August 2006.

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