Pearl District Historic Building Acquisition and Renovation

Client

WYSE’s investor Client needed to act quickly on an opportunity to evaluate and acquire a potential prime location property in Portland’s historic Pearl District. With only three weeks available under an option agreement, WYSE had to prepare and execute a fast-track due diligence and acquisition program.

Challenge

With little time available for the acquisition opportunity, WYSE had to assemble a due diligence team including legal counsel and engineering resources to evaluate the probability of gaining entitlements for a full scale renovation of a 50,000 square foot building. This included the potential for use of Historic Tax Credits, approval of adding access for an intended parking garage amenity, occupancy and energy code issues, full seismic and ADA upgrades, and re-construction of the property’s infrastructure systems. The property and its potential had to be understood as well as the projected investment costs for both the acquisition and renovations evaluated in an extremely rapid time frame.

Solution

WYSE relied on its experience and industry partners in the legal, engineering, title and construction industries to assemble a “SWAT team” that was up to the challenge of evaluating the unique opportunity presented by the prospective prime location investment. Since the underlying purchase contract could not be assigned, the legal team had to devise a way to facilitate a corporate transfer transaction under an option agreement, allowing for acquisition and a two-year design, entitlement and construction period. Mechanical, electrical and structural engineering team members had to understand the existing facility that was constructed in the 1940’s and evaluate the potential for a full-scale modern renovation as well as the cost feasibility of such improvements and the potential for gaining the required entitlements.

Results

WYSE’s team was successful in evaluating the property and its potential; WYSE assisted the Client with the corporate acquisition and the subsequent real property transaction, then helped prepare a complete budget for all hard and soft costs including design, entitlements and renovations. WYSE set about assisting the Client and its construction team with gaining all necessary entitlements, executing the renovation and preparing a strategic marketing plan for the lease-up of the renovated facility. Over a two year period, the project was entitled, the renovations completed and the property was 75% leased to credit tenants — with unusually high demand for remaining space.