Jonathan Rose Companies
The Yeon Building
Portland, Oregon

In February 2011, an affiliate of Jonathan Rose Companies, in partnership with the Rose Smart Growth Invetment Fund IA (a separate account for TIAA-CREF), acquired the Yeon Building, a historic office and retail asset in Portland, Oregon, for $8.9 million.

At 123,000 s.f., the Yeon Building was the tallest building in Portland when it was constructed in 1911.  The property has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1994, and its white terra-cotta cladding and raised colonnade have made it an iconic part of the downtown Portland skyline.  The property sits in Portland’s vibrant central business district, adjacent to the MAX light rail.

The Yeon Building is prime for repositioning.  An affiliate of First Independent Bank, a local, family-owned bank, took ownership of the property from a bankrupt seller. At acquisition, property occupancy was 51%.  First Independent provided interim financing and leased 3,000 s.f. of anchor retail space.

The JV will conduct a targeted capital improvement program to modernize the Yeon Building and make it competitive in Portland’s “Class A Historic” office market.  The retrofit will include mechanical system upgrades, a redesign of storefronts, cosmetic changes to common areas, and LEED certification.  The JV is also bringing professional leasing and management to the project.  It has retained the Urban Renaissance Group (URG), an experienced environmentally-responsible local firm as property manager.

The Portland market is strong and its reputation as a progressive, thriving city continues to attract innovative companies. Portland Central Business District occupancy as of Q3 2011 was 91%, 8% higher than the national average (Cushman & Wakefield).

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Firm Role
Joint Venture partner with TIAA-CREF

Project Profile
Retrofit and rebranding of historic office asset in downtown Portland

Project Team
MEP Engineer: PAE

Architect: Sera

Property Manager: Urban Renaissance Group


Total Project Size / Budget
123,000 square feet / 

Property Acquisition: $8.9 million

Capital/Leasing Costs: $7.8 million

Financing Sources
First Independent Bank

Renovation on-going