Investors Near and Far Drawn to Portland

    Investors from all over have their eyes on Portlandportland multnomah county

    The right mix of rising rents, falling vacancy rates and an overall economic and employment upswing have swirled together to make the Portland metro region a popular spot for real estate investors these days.

    And as a few transactions from recent weeks have shown, it’s not just investors from far away or nearby, but a mix of both who are placing some of their eggs in the Portland basket. On top of that, it’s a range of properties — apartments, offices, suburban corporate campuses — that are grabbing attention.

    “We’re seeing strong interest from commercial real estate investors in properties throughout the Portland metro,” said Paige Morgan, a senior vice president with JLL.

    Morgan’s comment came on the heels of the $13.2 million sale of Summit at Cornell Oaks, a Class A office property in Beaverton. The investor there was Zurich Alternative Asset Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss insurance company Zurich Insurance Group. Liking what it sees here, the foreign investment firm also snatched up Museum Place last month, a 140-unit apartment building anchored by a Safeway in downtown Portland. That went for $59.5 million, up from its 2011 sale price of $55.3 million.

    Californian investors have been hot for Portland real estate, as well. This week,Scott Finney and Nick Chessar of Norris & Stevens Inc. wrapped up the $5.3 million sale of a two-building corporate center in Wilsonville. The buyer: McLellan Estate Company of California. And on Tuesday, Los Angeles investment firm TruAmerica Multifamily LLC bought a 210-apartment complex in Tualatin for $28 million — just a month-and-a-half after it paid $16 million for The Haven at Charbonneau in Wilsonville.

    Closer to home, Vancouver’s Holland Acquisition Co. LLC bought two Beaverton apartment communities for $63.9 million, and just this week, Menashe Properties added to its investment empire with the $8.6 million purchase of Parkway Plaza IV, an office property in Vancouver.

    Morgan said the strong fundamentals in Portland, including the nation’s second-lowest office vacancy rate and job growth that’s outpacing many other West Coast cities, is making investments like Parkway Plaza appealing to investors both near and far.

    “Due to the continuing upward trend in job growth here in the metro area and ongoing demand from a broad range of tenants, including technology firms, Parkway presented a compelling opportunity for investors,” she said. “The buyer now owns an institutional quality office building . . . in one of the country’s most desirable investment markets.”


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