Sponsored by Oregon Business

Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The real estate landscape is littered with deals

Barry Menashe likes to say he started out in the real estate business 35 years ago with 25 cents in his pocket. Now he owns more properties than he can name. In September he bought the historic Police Headquarters building in downtown Portland for $2.5 million, half of what it sold for 10 years ago and less than a third of the boom-time asking price. As always, he moved quickly and paid cash.

“Is that a beauty or what?” Menashe asks as he strides purposefully across a parking lot to the lobby of the stately 1912 brick historic structure, the original home of the city’s police force, remodeled into office space in the 1980s. “When I bought the building a lot of the lights were out. Within two hours I had them fixed.”

The entrance to the building is gorgeous, and the floor occupied by the Stoll Bern PC law firm shows the building’s potential. But three floors are entirely vacant. Asked what he plans to do about the vacancies, Menashe smiles. “I’m going to fill them.” He nods his head. “And I can do it at very affordable rent levels.”

Not long after buying the police building, Menashe bought a 27-lot subdivision near Washington Square that had reverted to the bank after foreclosure. He plans either to resell the subdivision for a profit or build starter homes there and sell them. Asked about the risk of buying foreclosed property when the market is already flooded with more of the same, he says, “I have faith in this particular location and this particular market… Everything I buy, there’s a situation, and there’s a story. I want to know the story and understand the story.”

Menashe built his real estate empire piece by piece, starting out with $17,000 rental homes and making his first foray into downtown Portland with a lender-owned property that he still owns. He attributes his success to buying cheap for long-term value, paying off debts quickly and managing all his properties with a small staff of seven people. Most importantly, Menashe says he avoided over-buying during the boom years of 2004-2006. “People were spending way too much,” he says. “But they were spending other people’s money. I’ve never done that.”

When prices began to plummet in 2009 and 2010 he was able to bid low and pay cash. “My favorite thing has always been acquisition,” he says as he walks back to his office passing several other buildings that he owns along the way. “I’m looking to do some more right now.”

Menashe is a distinctly urban buyer, but the real estate deals in the current economy are by no means limited to downtown. It is also a busy time for John Rosenthal, president of Realty Marketing NW. His business auctions off a wide variety of properties throughout Oregon and the West, much of it bank-owned. The longer the real estate slump lasts, the better the deals become: a 26-acre mixed use property on 82nd Avenue in Portland for $4.65 million, 85 acres in Clatsop County for under $100,000, a residential lot on the Coast for $20,000 and dozens of parcels of timberland in Lane and Douglas counties for under $100,000.

Rosenthal is particularly optimistic about the opportunity in Oregon timberlands. For years large timber companies dominated the market, buying up land hungrily and selling rarely. That has changed dramatically as the timber industry has weakened. Several of Rosenthal’s clients have seized the opportunity to purchase large properties they would not have been able to afford in the past. “Even in this market, Oregon timberland is an attractive investment,” says Rosenthal. “And you can get in the game for under $100,000.”



 

More Articles

Letting Go

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

As baby boomers sell their businesses, too many forget the all-important succession plan.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

Where do Portland demographics rank among the largest 50 cities in the US?

The Latest
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
thumbpdxinperspectiveBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Portland in Perspective study, done by the City Budget Office, was released Tuesday.


Read more...

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS