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Unico, ARA JV Sees Congress Center As Value-Add

Unico Properties and American Realty Advisors acquired the 385k SF Congress Center in Downtown Portland recently, which the partners said is a value-add opportunity in a strong market.

“Portland is one of our key five markets, primarily due to the solid economic fundamentals we look for: strong job growth, strong net in-migration, focus and attention by major employers looking to set up outposts here, and relative affordability compared to San Francisco and other gateway markets,” Unico Properties SVP of real estate services Brian Pearce (above) told us. 

“The location and the bones of the building make this an attractive value-add investment opportunity,” American Realty Advisors senior director, investment group Drew Hess said. The partners plan to make building improvements "to elevate the asset’s competitive position and raise occupancy," he said.

Built in 1980, Congress Center has high-quality features but is in need of key cosmetic upgrades, Pearce said. ARA and Unico plan to upgrade the lobby, the fitness center and bike parking, and add amenities such as an outdoor deck, with the goal of encouraging creativity and collaboration among tenants.

HFF's Nick Kucha and Michael Leggett repped the seller, Shorenstein Properties, while Tom Wilson and Erica Christensen at HFF assisted ARA and Unico in securing a floating-rate acquisition loan through RBC Capital Markets. The building traded for an unspecified sum.