PORTLAND, OR-Scott Langley has been running Ashforth Pacific, the locally based West Coast subsidiary of the Stamford, CT-based Ashforth Co. for years as its president and top local executive. The former top-producing broker is now its chief executive as well, a title that most recently belonged to Stamford-based Hank Ashforth Jr. III, who is now chairman of Ashforth Pacific and executive vice president of the parent company, which was founded 112 years ago by his grandfather.

Langley, previously a senior managing director for Cushman & Wakefield, was lured away by Hank Ashforth in 2001 to take from him the role of president and expand the company’s real estate portfolio in Portland and break into new West Coast markets. Since that time, Ashforth Pacific has gone from having a dominant position in the central city’s Lloyd District to being one of the largest owners of class A office space in the entire CBD, with additional assets in Seattle and San Francisco.

Ashforth Pacific now owns or as an interest in 3 million sf (net rentable) in eight mid- and high-rise buildings on the West Coast. Langley tells GlobeSt.com that a lot of energy has been spent on the operations side in the last couple of years, making sure clients and tenants are happy and that leases are current by way of expansions and early renewals. As a result, average occupancy in the portfolio is approximately 97% with little near-term rollover, and the company’s tenant retention rate is a lofty 90% in an industry that averages closer to 60%.

“[The promotion] shows the confidence and trust we’ve earned with our parent company,” Ashforth tells GlobeSt.com. “We’ve assembled a great team of about 100 people here and this is recognition of the things we’ve accomplished.”

Given he’s been handling the job duties of a chief executive for “some time now,” Langley says that while he’s “real proud” to have been given the title he’s more focused on finding the next opportunity to continue the expansion. That will be accomplished through additional acquisitions – as soon as sellers become more motivated — and several development parcels the company owns in the Lloyd District – as soon as demand returns — including a superblock on the city’s light rail line that is slated for a major mixed-use redevelopment, and another parcel near the Oregon Convention Center that is part of a would-be convention center hotel development.

With regard to additional acquisitions, Langley says the market still has not gotten to the point where there are motivated sellers, but it will arrive shortly and the company is well capitalized to take advantage, “whether it’s all cash or levered, direct on our own or with partners,” he said, adding: “There is a great unknown number of owners who have taken out a short-term debt instruments that, by most people’s estimates, are coming to maturity in the next couple of years.”

With regard to the development opportunities, Langley calls the superblock the “crown jewel” of the company’s development portfolio. “We’re forging ahead with planning the development of the site, waiting for the market to ripen for this site, which from our planning to date with architecture firms we know will be a mixed-use site – office, retail and residential,” he says. “It’s not on the front burner bubbling away but it’s definitely heating up.”

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