Buyers expect to pay $3.6M for downtown building

West Coast Bank had acquired the property in lieu of foreclosure

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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A downtown Vancouver office building is being sold for $3.6 million to local investors, about eight months after it was acquired by West Coast Bank in lieu of foreclosure.

Real estate broker and developer Michael Jenkins expects to purchase the site with Darryl Horowitz of National Investment Finance in Vancouver. It will become headquarters for Jenkins' two Vancouver-based companies, Coldwell Banker Commercial Jenkins Associates and MAJ Development Corp.

The building was previously owned by 314 West LLC. Tom Dennis, principal administrator of HDJ Design Group, and Brian Hopper, principal emeritus of the Vancouver firm were two registered owners of the LLC, which spent $4.1 million to expand and upgrade the building in 2007, just before the nation and Clark County slipped into the worst economic recession since the 1930s.

"The building just got too expensive for them," Jenkins said.

He said HDJ Design Group will continue to occupy 5,000 square feet of space as office tenants in the upscale structure on the corner of West 15th and Columbia streets.

Jenkins foresees profitability in his plan to purchase the building at a reduced price, as he expects the site to appreciate in value. "And there are tax advantages when you own your own building," he said.

Jenkins expects to move into the building in mid October, bringing four employees of MAJ Development Corp., which three years ago landed a lucrative contract as the West Coast's preferred developer for Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc.

Jenkins' company has so far developed more than 50 convenience stores, some with attached retail projects, for 7-Eleven. The projects include several stores in Clark County, where the chain continues to seek new market share.

Jenkins also will move 20 employees of Coldwell Banker Commercial Jenkins Associates from leased downtown space into about 8,000 square feet in the building he is buying. Jenkins recently became the sole owner of the commercial real estate company, buying out longtime coprincipal Bob Bernhardt, who remains a broker in the firm.

Horowitz' National Investment Finance will take up about 5,000 square feet of office space in the building and Compound Photonics will continue to lease space at the site. The deal to purchase the building is in escrow and has not closed.

Editor's note: This story has been modified to reflect correct information.