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DENVER-Triumph Market Center LLC has paid $13.3 million for the historic Market Center office building at 17th and Market streets in the Lower Downtown area. The 120,919-sf complex was built in the 1890s and is five historic buildings joined together.

The building typically is 95% leased, compared with an overall occupancy rate in Downtown of about 80%. The vacancies in the building only are subject to rents rolling over, Paul Ruff, president of Triumph Real Estate, tells GlobeSt.com.

Ruff says the building is the “equivalent of ocean front property,” due to its prime location. He notes it is two blocks from Denver Union Station, four blocks from Coors Field and is walking distance to all of the boutiques and restaurants in LoDo along Market, Larimer and Wynkoop streets. It also is just down the street from the Tabor Center, with its shops and restaurants, as well as a Westin Hotel.

Market Center was sold by a group formed by local investor Gary Dragul and Alan C. Fox, a real estate investor from southern California. The building is in good shape, but his group will spend more than $1 million upgrading it, Ruff tells GlobeSt.com. For example, the group wants to make sure the building has a state-of-the-art life safety center.

Asked if he considered Market Center a class A property, Ruff admits that would be subject to debate. “I don’t know if you call a building with exposed brick walls and original beams a class A building,” Ruff says. “This is the quintessential LoDo building. It certainly has a class A location.”

A portion of Market Center is below grade, but Ruff says that is not a problem, because the space receives so much natural light. He adds he would not consider them “basement” units. And of the retail space in the building, there is only one space empty, which accounts for only 7% of the retail in the building.

The building has a colorful history. In the early 1980s, it was redeveloped by Allan S. Reiver, who combined the buildings and gave them a common lobby and corridor. He later sold Market Center, but in 1989 it was foreclosed upon by the lender that had taken over the assets of the failed locally based Silverado Savings & Loan Association. Silverado, which made many aggressive commercial real estate loans, cost taxpayers more than $1 billion when it failed. Neil Bush, the brother of President George W. Bush, used to be on the board of Silverado.

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