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Old Town-Chinatown Attracts Another Creative Tenant

The PIA Agency has inked a lease at the New Market Theater building, marking the San Diego-based creative content agency's expansion into the Portland market.

New Market block

The 9,300 SF lease is the latest creative-industry tenant to come to the Old Town-Chinatown historic district. The area is already home to Guidespark, Ankrom Moisan, Airbnb, Puppet Labs, moovel, the University of Oregon and Pacific NW College of Art.

"We were drawn to its downtown location, close transit connections and proximity to the waterfront," PIA Agency CEO Cheryl Pia said. "We will build our agency presence and become part of the creative community by hiring outstanding Portland talent.”

New Market Theater lobby

At 115 SW Ash St., the New Market Theater building was developed in two phases in 1872 and 1875. Originally a marketplace and 1,200-seat theater, the building now is leased to multiple creative office and retail tenants. 

Swift Real Estate Partners acquired the property as part of a portfolio in 2015. The New Market Theater has been extensively upgraded through the years, including the revamping of common areas such as the lobby, but it has retained historic aspects, such as arched windows and ornately detailed façades. The building is one of the last remaining examples of cast-iron Victorian Italianate buildings in Portland.

Trevor Kafoury, Michelle Franceschi and Autumn Brice of CBRE’s Portland office repped the owner, Swift Real Estate Partners. The PIA Agency was repped by Colliers International's Jennifer Medak.