The private Northwest Academy middle and high school had a contract to buy the building from the YWCA of Greater Portland and turn it into a permanent home for its scattered downtown campus. But the sale and needed structural upgrades would have been a seven-figure venture, and the school balked at paying off an outstanding $2.7 million debt to the city of Portland as part of the deal. The needed upgrades won’t be as significant for commercial use, Zhang said. His real-estate attorney, Gregory Dolinajec, said the debt to the city had been paid off as part of the transaction.
Though plans for the building haven’t been finalized, Zhang said one possibility is adding a residential tower over the existing building. The lower levels would be used for offices and art-centric commercial space for galleries or studios.
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