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.