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DENVER-Historic building developer Charlie Woolley is paying about $15.3 million to Mutual of New York Real Estate for the 108-year-old Equitable Building in the heart of the CBD at 17th and Stout streets.

Woolley, who heads St. Charles Town Co., plans to convert the 173,417-s.f building into office condominiums. Woolley believes the structure is the nicest historic office building in the southwest. “You may be able to find a building as nice as this in San Francisco, but maybe not,” Woolley told GlobeSt.com.

He says office condominium purchases should equate to about the same as leases, but tenants will have the privilege of sharing in appreciation value. The building’s market rate is about $24 per sf. According to Woolley’s calculations, buyers should reap a 50% benefit over a 10-year period through their ownerships.

Smaller office conversions have taken place in the region, but never one of this proportion, says Woolley. MONY is providing a three-year, floating rate loan for the nine-story building.

The building features Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, Tiffany stained-glass windows, Verd de Alps marble from the south of France and bronze trim. Constructed in 1892, the structure cost $1.7 million and was the most expensive built in Colorado in that time period and one of the costliest in the nation in the early 1890s. “The Equitable Building, which is a historic landmark, is one of the most elegant buildings both inside and out in this region,” says Kathleen Brooker, president of Historic Denver Inc.

Denver-based Hexagon Investments is Woolley’s equity partner in the deal. Hexagon had provided about $5 million in equity.

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