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Bargain-hunters looking at Chase building

Thu, Dec 3, 2009

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Looks as if the JP Morgan Chase building at Pikes Peak and Tejon won’t be sitting forlornly on the market for $56 per square foot for too much longer. One of the bigger players in the local real estate market sent me this email:

“…coincidentally, I’m in the process of putting a group together to buy the Chase Building. We calculate that with all renovation costs, we can be in that deal for $100 psf, including new, underground parking…”

Sounds like a brilliant real estate play to me, since building new would cost between $250-300 psf. And a new downtown building wouldn’t have the location of the Chase Building, superbly situated on the northwest corner of Pikes Peak and Tejon.

Interestingly, that corner was home to the leading bank in the Pikes Peak region from 1874 until JP Morgan Chase vacated it a few days ago. During the Cripple Creek boom, the First National Bank erected a superb structure of stone quarried from Red Rocks (now city open space). The building was designed in imitation of one of the great Florentine palazzos.

The palazzo still stands-the bank building was torn down during the late 1950’s, and replaced by a strikingly ugly greenish pseudo-modernist hulk designed by a local architect whose name, in respect for the deceased (de mortuis nihil nisi bonum, after all!) I won’t mention.

During the early 90’s, the building was gutted, reskinned, and reborn as the present uninspired but inoffensive office building that some canny bottom-fisher will most likely acquire within the next few weeks.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Dick Burns Says:

    And who are the mystery “big players,” John? Ray Ray and his buddy Lionel?

  2. FactFinder Says:

    So, if the Chase building is available for $56 a square foot, how come the City Council is paying 10X that amount for a building (aka USOC building) that bombs people with ice falls? Fiduciary responsibilities anyone?

  3. MC Pennica Says:

    John, interesting reporting. I believe this is one of the reasons why 2C failed–consistent bad decisions with taxpayer money! People want to trust their government leaders, however, “back door” deals erode trust. I cry for our beautiful city–we can (and deserve) much better!

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