Portland Business Journal reports:
Gallery: Scientologists settle into Portland
It took two moves, but the Portland branch of the Church of Scientology is finally at home.
The church completed its move into the historic Sherlock building Sunday following a top-to-bottom renovation that turned one of Oregon’s oldest office buildings into a center for the church’s followers in the Willamette Valley.
Grand opening: Scenes from the unveiling of the new church
Church officials declined to disclose the renovation budget, but the organization paid $6.4 million for the seven-story, 69,000-square-foot building at 320 S.W. Oak St. in 2010. The prior owner, Urban Renaissance Group, paid $9.75 million in 2007.
Gensler was the architect; P & C Construction was the general contractor. Church spokesman Nick Banks said the renovation included a seismic update, a new foundation and the discovery of the foundation of a building that occupied the site before the Sherlock was built in 1893. The Sherlock is on the National Register of Historic Places as a standout example of Sullivanesque-style architecture. In its new life, it will serve as a spiritual center for Scientologists and other faiths.
The sale and renovation led to the departure of its signature tenant, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which had occupied the street-level retail space at the Sherlock for many years.
The restaurant parted ways with its new landlord and moved to new digs at Harsch Investment Properties’ Pacific Center, at the corner of Southwest Broadway and Taylor streets, in 2010.
The Church of Scientology purchased the Sherlock about two years after it paid $5.38 million for the Stevens Building, a 12-story historic structure at 812 S.W. Washington St.