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92-year-old Iron Fireman building purchased

By Garrett Andrews
DJC Oregon

The onetime home of two significant Eastside industrial businesses has been sold to an owner committed to preserving the building’s historic character.

Portland-based ScanlanKemperBard (SKB) and William Harris Investors Inc. of Chicago have purchased the Iron Fireman building at 4784 S.E. 17th Ave. for $5.3 million, or $46 per square foot. They plan to convert the vacant industrial warehouse into “creative space for local light-industrial, light-manufacturing and maker businesses,” according to a news release.

The buyers declined to name the seller, but the city assessor’s website lists Steven Michaelis of Cleveland as owner.

The 115,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1924 as the factory of the Iron Fireman Co., a manufacturer of residential heating units. Later it housed Product Engineering Co. (PECO), whose name remains on the side of the building.

SKB and William Harris Investors plan to invest $10 million in building improvements over the next 12 to 18 months. The warehouse contains a number of old-time features owners wish to retain, including exposed brick, old-growth timber beams, handcrafted wood paneling and stained-glass windows.

The property is located along TriMet’s new MAX orange line, near the stop at Southeast 17th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.