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PORTLAND, OR-The women’s clothier Lucy has leased a long-vacant former theater space in a Downtown high rise here for its new headquarters, according to the company’s brokerage firm, Grubb & Ellis. The locally based company with 61 stores and an Internet site will occupy 17,000 sf on the third floor of the 30-story KOIN Center office and residential tower owned by the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The 84-month lease commences on March 1. CalPERS will spend upward of $850,000 ($50 per sf) preparing the space for office use. The full-service asking lease rate for space in the building ranges from $26.50- to $29 per sf per year. The negotiated lease rate was not released by the parties involved.

Acquired by VF Corp. last year, Lucy is consolidating and expanding operations from approximately 10,000 sf in multiple locations in Portland’s northwest industrial district. “We selected this space because it was unique in the marketplace,” says Lucy president Michelle Lantow. “The high ceilings and very creative feel is perfect for our designers.”

KOIN Center is a mixed-use building with 23,000 sf of street-level retail, 324,000 sf of office space on floors four through 19 and 44 condominiums on the top 11 floors. Below grade are the studios and broadcast facilities (68,000 sf) of KOIN-TV, the local CBS affiliate and parking for 300 vehicles.

Acting through investment manager CommonWealth Partners, CalPERS acquired the building in mid-2007 for $108 million. The deal included 140 SW Columbia St., a full-block immediately east of the office tower that is slated for a high-rise office tower, and 202-218 SW Jefferson St., a half-block parcel immediately north of the office tower that currently holds the former headquarters of Pendleton Woolen Mills but is envisioned as a residential high rise.

KOIN Center office vacancy at the time of the sale was approximately 13%. The Lucy lease drops office availability in the building to approximately 8% (28,918 sf), not including 12,000 sf on the 15th floor that is being marketed for sublease through 2010 by Columbia Forest Products.

Eric Haskins of G&E represented Lucy in the transaction. Mark Carnese and Tom Usher of Cushman & Wakefield represented CommonWealth Partners.

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