A second act for a building entering its second century (Photos)

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An undated photo fo Portland General Electric employees, taken at the Hawthorne Building in the Central Eastside Industrial District. Vancouver-based Killian Pacific is buying the building and transforming it into a modern office for an undisclosed Portland firm.

The oldest building in Portland General Electric’s real estate portfolio is getting a modern makeover as it enters its second century.

Vancouver-based Killian Pacific has an agreement to buy the Hawthorne building, 1510 S.E. Water Ave., from PGE in a deal that includes a total environmental cleanup and a LEED Platinum makeover for an undisclosed tenant.

The deal, subject to Oregon Public Utility Commission approval, is expected to close by the end of the month. Terms were not immediately available.

The project has multiple moving parts, but generally falls in the category of “adaptive reuse."

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Click through the images to the right for a look at the building's history as well as a rendering of the makeover

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PGE, or rather, a predecessor, constructed the all-concrete, 60,000-square-foot building in 1911. Over the course of a century it was used as a railway depot and a parking garage, storage facility, maintenance yard, machine shop and office space. It is the last remaining property in what was once a 26-acre PGE complex in the Central Eastside’s South-of-Hawthorne neighborhood. In its most recent incarnation, it housed PGE’s “underground crews,” the teams that service downtown’s buried infrastructure.

The underground crew relocated to Northwest Portland earlier this year to ensure it wouldn’t be cut off from critical systems in a natural disaster, according to PGE spokesman Steve Corson.

The three-story building is a regulated asset, which means PGE ratepayers have paid for it over the years through its relationship with the Oregon Public Utility Commission. As PGE contemplated disposing of it, it sought a solution that preserved the unique historic building while maximizing the return to ratepayers.

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