200 Market Building: Portland, OR
John Russell purchased the 200 Market Building in downtown Portland, Ore., in 1988 and made a bet. He believed that improving the mixed-use office building's efficiency and sustainability would save money, attract tenants, increase occupant satisfaction and help retain tenants. Soon Russell started a $25 million renovation project to remove asbestos and reconstruct the building's ground level. Over the years, building management has replaced the HVAC, lighting and life-safety systems; installed a 30 kW microturbine; and retrofitted restrooms with low-flow toilets and faucet aerators. Two decades later, the return on investment includes steady utility bills despite rising utility market prices and a higher than average occupancy rate. The building is 97% occupied at a time when the average downtown Portland vacancy rate nears 10% and national vacancy rates are in the teens.