KPFF Consulting Engineers
In 2010, with roughly two years left on their existing lease at the US Bancorp Tower, KPFF Consulting Engineers wanted to secure their long-term office space requirements. With limited alternatives available, it became critical to start the evaluation process immediately.
Broker Tom Becic, who had represented KPFF for years, prepared a detailed market overview identifying existing and future space availability, considering several alternative properties. Through Tom, KPFF continued to pursue the alternatives, working through the space planning process, evaluating construction costs, estimating relocation expenses and performing a legal review of the lease. By creating a balanced negotiation, Melvin Mark was ultimately able to secure favorable terms for KPFF.
Umpqua Bank leased 18,813 square feet of office space on the second floor of the 1631 NW Thurman Building to house administrative operations. Melvin Mark Construction Company is coordinating the tenant improvements in collaboration with Umpqua’s architectural team. The extensive build-out marries the historic character of the 1900s-era building with a modern industrial aesthetic. Tall steel panels and movable aluminum mesh drapes blend neatly with the original exposed brick and substantial timber supports, and a distinctive natural wood floor.
Frustrated with the parking situation at their former location in the heart of downtown Portland, McClenahan Bruer — a well-established technology-focused marketing firm — decided to make a move. Melvin Mark’s Water Tower building not only provided great parking, it also gave McClenahan Bruer wood floors, exposed beams, and an abundance of historic charm that was just right for their creative needs. They also enjoyed the bike parking, showers and other amenities. And their partners enjoyed a much easier commute.
In 2012, the family law firm of Gevurtz Menashe purchased the historic Fleischner-Mayer Building, along with an adjoining parking lot, in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown district. Once Melvin Mark brokers Peter Andrews and Nick Ehlen helped Gevurtz Menashe complete the transaction, the legal firm moved their entire staff into the top two floors of the 38,000 square foot building. Melvin Mark handles property management duties for the new building owners, while Peter and Nick continue to co-market the remaining space to prospective tenants.
eBay, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, evaluated Melvin Mark’s Fifth Avenue Building as part of its citywide search for office space. The challenge for broker and landlord rep Tom Becic was to quickly understand exactly what eBay needed and respond without hesitation. eBay wanted innovative changes to the building that would reinvent the space, taking out the existing improvements and creating a custom workplace from the ground up that would accommodate their office space requirements and long-term expansion plans. It was clear that Melvin Mark needed to show that they could think outside the box and do something different. eBay was thrilled with the company’s flexibility and ultimately chose the Fifth Avenue Building — starting with 20,000 square feet that has now grown to 70,000 square feet. In the end, Tom did his legwork and helped create value in the space that benefitted both parties.
North, a creative advertising agency, was looking for either a building to purchase or space to lease. Tom Becic, Melvin Mark broker, found the old Lane Myles Standish printing offices in NW Portland—which was being redeveloped into contemporary office space. North’s owners immediately fell in love with it and leased the entire building. Tom knew he had a client with creative vision, but he helped them to see beyond what was there to envision how it could translate into a customized space that worked for them.
More than a simple office space deal, it involved core and shell improvements, tenant improvements and the blocking and tackling of a full-blown construction project. The result? A one-of-a-kind space worthy of North’s creativity.
Cappelli Miles, a long-time, full-service marketing and communications firm, has been a client of Melvin Mark broker Tom Becic for more than 20 years. After years of doing business in a Class A office building in downtown Portland, the agency wanted to relocate to a suburban space more convenient to their other office locations and clients in the Willamette Valley. As a creative firm, they also wanted to capitalize on the latest trends in office design. They decided on a location in Kruse Way — an area not known for unconventional or creative office spaces.
The challenge was finding the right space and the right landlord — one who understood what Capelli Miles wanted to do and was willing to do the work involved in remaking the space to meet their needs. Tom’s job was to help the new landlord understand Capelli’s goals and negotiate a deal that worked for everyone. And that he did. Their new space is built like a studio, with concrete floors and contemporary, interesting finishes — all within minutes of the freeway.
Dull Olson Weekes – IBI Group Architects, Inc.
For more than 20 years, Dull Olson Weekes Architects preferred occupying office space in historic buildings. Although they loved the classic architectural style of older properties, these spaces did not serve the changing needs of the firm. DOWA wanted a new work environment that would reflect their commitment to sustainable design and offer a more distinctive, creative work studio. These features would enable the firm to recruit and retain the best professionals and showcase DOWA’s talents to its clients.
Broker Tom Becic interviewed the firm’s key people regarding criteria for their new office facilities, which helped the principals focus on the alternatives that best accomplished their goals. Tom also researched a variety of locations and several property types, and prepared a lease vs. buy analysis.
Tom identified an ideal space in the former Federal Reserve Building in downtown Portland. The building needed a complete renovation but offered many features on DOWA’s wish list. Melvin Mark negotiated a long-term lease for 13,000 square feet.
The Water Tower
In 2008, a local investment group that includes principals of the Melvin Mark Companies purchased the Water Tower building, an 115,000 sf John’s Landing landmark. Built in 1903, the former furniture-manufacturing warehouse had been completely renovated for office and retail users. Melvin Mark was assigned the property management and leasing duties – and faced its first challenge as the pressures of the recession turned over nearly 70 percent of the tenant base.
Melvin Mark quickly addressed the tenant stability problem and developed a plan for restoring the Water Tower’s reputation in the market. The solution involved a strong tenant retention effort, excellent customer service from property management, additional amenities, and development of a strategic pipeline of quality office and retail tenants suitable for the building.
With the building roster stabilized, and long-term tenants happy with the refurbished property, Melvin Mark attracted renewed interest from a range of office users. In each of the last several years, the Water Tower has enjoyed occupancy rates of 95 percent or better, along with market-leading rents for the Macadam corridor.
Yost Grube Hall Architecture
After 27 years in a downtown Class A high-rise, Yost Grube Hall Architecture sought out new office space that reflected the company’s culture and met their sustainability and collaborative values. After scouring the market, they selected the 12th floor of the Union Bank Building, owned and managed by Melvin Mark. The quality and philosophy of building management was critical to YGH when making a final decision. Melvin Mark’s extensive building renovations, use of sustainable building materials, and implementation of energy efficiency measures scored high marks as the firm evaluated its options. YGH and Melvin Mark worked together to implement the firm’s design and ensure that building systems were in concert with their vision for the space. Walls were removed where possible to maintain an open work environment. Common areas are now infused with light thanks to abundant windows and glass. Other improvements include use of environmentally friendly materials, energy efficiency solutions, and water conservation practices.
The Oregonian Media Group
As part of a major reorganization, The Oregonian and its Oregonlive.com media operations, began a search for new space with “multi-media features that reflect the way journalism has changed.” Working with brokers Scott Andrews and Maria Duncan, the media company left its longtime location in downtown Portland and signed a 10 year lease for 40,000 square feet at Melvin Mark’s Crown Plaza property. With two full floors in the 11-story building, The Oregonian’s new offices house journalists as well as the advertising and marketing staffs. The redesign and tenant improvements were managed by Melvin Mark Construction Company, which include open-plan cubicle spaces, collaborative areas, private meeting rooms and a high-tech media training room. Natural light streams through huge windows with views over the Willamette. A large-scale O logo, mounted on wood panels made from reclaimed ship cargos, adorns the entrance. According to the media group, the Crown Plaza location gives them the opportunity to create a new work environment to foster the creativity and focus of their company’s new direction.
Jama Software, an enterprise software company that helps organizations build and deliver complex products, combined two of its offices in the Pearl District and relocated its headquarters to 34,629 square feet at 2&Taylor. The company needed to expand to accommodate its rapid growth and wanted a location that would help it realize its creative vision in Portland’s vibrant urban tech community. As the anchor tenant in Melvin Mark’s creative office redevelopment, Jama Software moved its operations in December 2015. The new location houses all company operations under one roof and provides expansion opportunities. An 8,000 square foot rooftop deck was an attractive amenity, which allows Jama the ability to host community events for technology groups local startups, and customers. Company founders are excited about their new headquarters in the heart of Portland, “in the backyard where many of us grew up.” Jama was attracted by the neighborhood feel of the Yamhill Historic District and the creative open, office space that blends modern amenities with an industrial feel.