Portland firm buys four West End buildings for approximately $3.8 million
July 31, 2013
Daily Journal of Commerce

Portland firm buys four West End buildings for approximately $3.8 million

by Lee Fehrenbacher

Published: July 31st, 2013

Harsch Investment Properties has purchased a block of buildings in Portland’s West End and is planning to conduct a creative makeover.

The Portland-based development company paid approximately $3.8 million for four buildings, which have a total of 101,550 square feet and are bound by West Burnside and Alder streets and Southwest 15th and 16th avenues. Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties, sees the property as a strategic link between downtown’s west and east sides.

“This is a superbly located block,” he said. “It bridges the burgeoning West End and the established Pearl District on the other side, and it has long-term potential for significant development.”

Schnitzer said Works Partnership Architecture was hired to redesign some of the spaces in the old, airy and light industrial and retail buildings. He said the initial idea is to pull back some of the facade, clean the windows and re-engineer some of the spaces.

“To basically go back and honor more of the original design, and improve the aesthetic along Burnside,” Schnitzer said.

One of the former retail tenants along West Burnside was an adult video store that had blacked-out and boarded many of the storefront windows. Dann Wonser and Todd Collins of Macadam Forbes represented both Harsch and the seller, Midtown Properties LLC, and Wonser said the new ownership would undoubtedly have ideas for a higher and better use.

“(The purchase) definitely tells you that Harsch believes in the area,” Wonser said. “They have several other properties nearby and this shows their long-term bet is for this area to continue to improve.”

Schnitzer has ambitions to turn West Burnside Street into the grand thoroughfare he said was intended originally.

“It’s going to take a little more time,” he said. “These things don’t happen overnight, but with the further urbanization of downtown I think this is a well-positioned block.”

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