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Building owner hopes to see restaurant, other businesses move in by year's end

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Icon built a new building to be anchor of downtown Willamette."The heart of West Linn" — the city's historic Willamette District — has grown a bit bigger over the past year and a half— 25,675 square feet of restaurant, store and office space bigger.

Icon Construction's recently completed Willamette Building will soon be home to a half dozen business tenants, Icon owner Mark Handris hopes.

Handris said he'd like to see an Italian restaurant take over the building's large space on the main floor. He also said a doctor's office is looking at another large space on the main floor, while an accountant and a financial firm have expressed interest in spaces upstairs.

Icon will take 7,000 square feet of the top floor for its own offices, Handris said. The building has room for six or seven businesses.

"We've gotten quite a bit of interest from other prospective tenants, from salons and other medical-type of use," Handris said.

He expects the building to be about half full by June and hopes it will be 100% occupied by the end of the year.

"It's a unique opportunity for a small business or office use," Handris said. "It's nice to be able to walk out the door and stroll to a restaurant for lunch and have great access to freeways."

According to Handris, the building adds to the presence of the historic Willamette area.

"We've put large letters around the rotunda that say "Willamette" which is very visible from the entrance into the willamette area," he said.

Icon owns several buildings on the historic main street portion of Willamette Falls Drive.

"It was probably 20 years ago that we built our first building," Handris said. "Our inspiration stems from the historic overlay zone in the commercial district there, which dictates that we build a certain style of commercial building. Now that we've got several of them up and down the strip, the whole area is starting to come together."

To help curb the problem of limited parking on Willamette Falls Drive, Handris said the new building will have an underground parking lot with 35 spaces and five spaces of street-level parking, in addition to adjacent street parking (which will reopen after streetscape construction is completed).

Handris mentioned his excitement for the completion of the streetscape project.

"(The new building), coupled with the large bond that the community has put forward to redo Willamette Falls Drive, I think it's going to lend to a really nice walkable area for the community," he said.


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