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Historic Inner Eastside Building Sold to Firms with Plans to Retain Original Character

January 13, 2016

ScanlanKemperBard and William Harris Investors, Inc. Acquire The Iron Fireman Building

PORTLAND, Ore. — ScanlanKemperBard (SKB), a Portland-based industry leader in acquiring and repositioning real estate projects, has recently partnered with WHI Real Estate Partners L.P. (WHIREP) to acquire the Iron Fireman Building, a 1920s-era industrial warehouse in the close-in eastside submarket of Portland, Ore. The acquisition of the 115,000 square foot building closed on Wednesday, January 13 for $5.3 million ($46 per square foot).

Originally built in 1924 by the Iron Fireman Company as a heating and furnace factory, the property on SE 17th Ave south of Holgate is one of only a handful of buildings still standing that represents Portland’s 1920s and 1930s industrial era. The property is a time capsule, with exposed brick, old-growth timber beams, and large, multi-light exterior windows, in addition to its irreplaceable and intact, original interior offices, with plaster-molded ceilings, hand-crafted, wood paneling, hidden closets and compartments, and stained-glass windows. SKB and WHIREP plan to invest more than $10 million over the next 12 to 18 months to transform the property into a dynamic and valuable addition to Portland’s burgeoning creative industrial and office space market. SKB will market the property for lease, including an adjacent industrial flex building on a separate parcel from the main structure.

“In 2015 SKB acquired or recapitalized approximately $465 million of real estate,” said SKB President Todd Gooding. “The Iron Fireman Building is SKB’s first acquisition in 2016, a year which we target to be one of the most profitable in our 23-year history.”

“We’re excited about our plans for the property. . We’re retaining the history and integrity of the building while also providing a unique, synergistic and creative space for local light-industrial, light-manufacturing and maker businesses within the Close-In Eastside,” said SKB Senior Vice President John Olivier.

“We are very pleased to be investing with SKB in this opportunity. Once improved, we believe the property’s unique characteristics coupled with the dynamic Portland creative industrial and office markets will produce an attractive investment for our investors,” said WHIREP Managing Principal, Jim Orth.

About ScanlanKemperBard Formed in 1993, SKB is a fully integrated real estate merchant banking firm based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in Seattle, Denver and Phoenix. Investors include leading financial institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals. Investment types include office, retail, industrial and hospitality. SKB does bridge loans and also periodically provides equity to select developers of ground-up development projects located in the Western United States.

About WHI Real Estate Partners L.P. WHI Real Estate Partners L.P. is a real estate investment firm focused on repositioning high-potential real estate assets throughout the United States, through a series of private, institutional investment funds. WHI Real Estate Partners is based in Chicago, Illinois, and is affiliated with William Harris Investors, Inc., the private investment office established by the late Chicago-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Irving B. Harris. Visit online at