Home Back Issues December 2010 Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists

Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Article Index
Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists
Page 2: The real estate landscape is littered with deals
Page 3: Companies are looking for deals
Page 4: Consumers are looking for deals
Page 5: It’s a good time to buy technology
Page 6: Opportunity on the digital frontier
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

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Fork & Bottle

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

National media can’t get enough of Oregon’s pinot noir, artisan-food purveyors and lively, independent film scene.


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