Unitus Expands Into Downtown Portland, Renames Building
26 Sep, 2005, Portland, OR
Former Columbia Financial Plaza Now Unitus Plaza
Unitus Community Credit Union, a full service credit union with approximately 52,000 members, will expand operations and move its headquarters to the Columbia Financial Center, located at 1300 SW Sixth Avenue in the core of downtown Portland. The building name has changed to Unitus Plaza effective immediately with Unitus planning to move in on April 1, 2006.
Columbia Financial will move out at the end of the year to consolidate operations with new parent company Bank of America. The ownership agreed to change the name of the building to reflect the presence of their new anchor tenant.
"The name change on this building will be reinforced through significant signage surrounding the building," says Mark Carnese of Cushman & Wakefield, who along with Tom Usher, represented Unitus in the transaction. "They will have eight signs identifying Unitus."
Approximately 100 employees will move to the new location in the Spring of 2006. Unitus will occupy the majority of space in the new location and also retain the ground floor branch at the 4th Avenue location. The floor footprint in the new space will allow Unitus to gain efficiencies in their overall operations.
"We are fortunate to have found a space that already had major renovations done to it," says Laurie Kresl, VP of Planning and Business Development at Unitus. "The fact is, we are taking advantage of the improvements put in place by the previous tenant."
Unitus built their current building on 4th Avenue in 1976, when the credit union was known as Oregon Telco Credit Union. They changed to Unitus Community Credit Union in 2004 to unite their history with the telecom industry and the community they are now chartered to serve.
"Since Unitus was established in 1937, we have been a downtown business and this additional move renews our genuine and ongoing commitment to the people in this community," says Patricia Smith, CEO of Unitus. "We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our members with this additional location."
Members will reap the biggest benefits from the new location. Member parking is quadrupled,
with an underground garage off of Fifth Street. Members will also have access to a Unitus ATM
machine at the entrance of the building and the ground floor offices will be occupied by the
mortgage department and traditional branch service departments. In addition, the long-standing
branch at 2121 4th Avenue will remain available for full service for the members who want to
continue to do their business at that location, which also has a drive up.
"It's been great to watch Unitus grow their business in this community," says McDonough. "This move to the downtown core signifies their long-term commitment to Portland - it's a positive signal for the city."
The Unitus transaction is first to involve a major building renaming since Umpqua Bank landed in the former Benjamin Franklin Plaza last year.
Tom Usher and Mark Carnese of Cushman & Wakefield represented Unitus in the agreement. Sean Turley and Chris Johnson of Norris, Beggs and Simpson represented the landlord, Erickson Realty Ltd, who bought the Pietro Belluschi designed building in 1999.
Cushman & Wakefield is the world's largest privately held real estate services firm. Founded in 1917, the firm has 175 offices in 50 countries around the globe, and 11,000+ talented professionals. Cushman & Wakefield delivers integrated solutions by actively advising, implementing and managing on behalf of landlords, tenants, and investors through every stage of the real estate process. These solutions include helping clients to buy, sell, finance, lease, and manage assets. C&W also provides valuation advice, strategic planning and research, portfolio analysis, and site selection and space location assistance, among many other advisory services. To find out more about Cushman & Wakefield, please call 1-800-376-3133.