By Keith Loria
In an off-market, all-cash deal, a joint venture between Harbor Associates LLC and Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Real Estate has acquired a 115,000-square-foot historic commercial building in downtown Denver.
“This building is an incredible piece of Denver’s history and an exciting office choice for tenants who recognize and appreciate unique value,” Joon Choi, principal at Harbor, said in a prepared release. “Its local legacy is perhaps best represented by the many impressive vaults on the building’s lower levels. From its commercial banking lobby to its subterranean private dining rooms, the building and its vaults have boasted a wealth of history, stories, and legends for more than a 100 years.” It’s that history that inspired the building’s new name—The Vault.
Located at 821 17th St., in the heart of Denver’s business district, the mixed-use property is comprised of nine floors of offices above The Broker Restaurant, which occupies two basement levels.
Originally built in 1907, the building was added to the National Historic Register for being the first tower to be constructed of reinforced concrete west of the Mississippi. In 1927, a grand lobby was added to the building, and it still contains the original concrete structure, marble finishes, oak windows, ornate artwork, vintage chandeliers and historic bank vaults.
The Colorado Business Bank recently vacated its space in the building, leaving it at just 10 percent occupancy. Harbor has plans to renovate the space to create a one-of-a-kind creative office environment with onsite food and beverage amenities in an authentic, historically preserved setting.
Tryba Architects, which handled the recent historic, mixed-use Union Station renovation, will lead the repositioning of the building.
The property is centrally located close to mass transit lines including two light rail stops within one block, numerous bus stops, and bike lanes that run in front of the building. It’s just one block from the popular 16th Street Mall, and is within walking distance of the highly acclaimed Denver Union Station.
“We sourced this acquisition off-market, drawn to the architectural character of the building, and closed on the project all-cash,” Justin Loiacono, principal at Harbor, said. “We like the fundamentals of the Denver market and continue to find interesting opportunities to invest in the value-add space through our deep network of brokerage relationships and ability to move quickly. We have a robust pipeline of activity behind this transaction and look forward to continuing to build our Denver portfolio.”
The deal represents the ninth value-add office acquisition for Harbor in the last two years and is the firm’s first building in the Denver market. This summer, Harbor acquired the Tustin Corporate Center, a 43,517-square-foot office building in Tustin, Calif. from The Bascom Group. Also this summer, the company formed a joint venture with Stockbridge Capital Group to acquire a 33,000-square-foot Century City, Calif.-based office building.
Image courtesy of Harbor Associates