December 3, 2013

JLL closes the $41 million sale of the LEED-certified Commonwealth Building

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets experts closed the sale of the Commonwealth Building, a 219,557-square-foot, creative class office building in downtown Portland, Oregon. An investment fund sponsored by Unico Properties LLC purchased the 14-story building, which was designed by world-renowned architect Pietro Belluschi, from Commonwealth Acquisition LLC for $41 million. Unico will remain the property manager of the building.

Managing Directors Buzz Ellis and Michel Seifer and Vice President Paige Morgan led the Jones Lang LaSalle team on this transaction. JLL will continue to lease the building, and Senior Vice President Joe Vaughan and Vice President Kristin Hammond will oversee those efforts.

“Investor interest in the Commonwealth Building was extremely strong, and it’s perfectly clear why,” Ellis said. “This asset boasts outstanding operating fundamentals, and it has experienced the strongest absorption of any building in Portland’s downtown over the past five years.”

Built in 1947 and renovated from 2008 to 2010, the Commonwealth Building is currently 93.1 percent leased, with 54.5 percent of its space leased through 2017. The building is LEED EB Gold certified and has also achieved an Energy Star designation for operating efficiency. An extensive window-line provides an abundance of natural light, and on-site amenities include Starbucks, secure bike storage, conference room, shower facilities, tenant storage units and a private rooftop deck. The building provides convenient access to numerous restaurants, shops, parks, hotels and Portland’s comprehensive multi-modal transit system.

The Commonwealth Building is located in a very healthy office market. Limited new construction is underway in Portland’s Central Business District (CBD), and the vacancy rate for creative class office space in the city is just 9.2 percent. The CBD features 3.2 million square feet of creative space, and the properties have outperformed the broader market in terms of absorption and rent growth, with the average asking rent for creative space in the CBD currently 17 percent higher than for traditional Class B and C space in the same area.

“This listing presented buyers with a truly rare opportunity: to acquire a one-of-a-kind core office asset in downtown Portland,” Morgan said. “Technology and creative class tenants have and will continue to flock to the Commonwealth Building, as its modern design, emphasis on sustainability and central location are attributes they find extremely attractive.”


Learn more about the JLL Capital Markets team,  a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers.

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