Great Western Bank

Center on N, at 1221 N St., which houses Great Western Bank as well as several other tenants, is for sale for nearly $21 million.

FRANCIS GARDLER, Journal Star file photo

One of downtown's largest office buildings is on the sale block, and if it gets anywhere near its nearly $21 million asking price, it would be one of the biggest downtown property sales in recent history.

Center on N, which technically is a four-building complex that includes a 268-space parking garage, is being offered for $20,995,000.

The complex at 1221 N St. has about 210,000 square feet of leasable space, which is more than the 20-story US Bank building or the 15-story Sharp building.

The complex houses a mix of both private businesses and state government agencies. Tenants include Great Western Bank, Davis Design and the Nebraska Attorney General's Office.

It was previously the home to TierOne Bank, which was closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in June 2010. The FDIC sold the building in 2011 to Woodbury Corp. of Salt Lake City, Utah, for $9.3 million.

Broker Chris Vasek of NAI FMA Realty said Woodbury is seeking to sell the building because it has other holdings in Lincoln it wants to focus on and also because there is a strong commercial real estate market right now, making it a good time to sell.

Vasek said there has been a lot of strong interest both locally and from out of state in the property.

He said the building currently is 83 percent leased, but there is a deal in place with an existing tenant that wants to expand, which would bring occupancy up to 91 percent.

According to NAI FMA's most recent market report, the downtown office vacancy rate at the end of the second quarter was 12.4 percent.

If Woodbury gets its asking price or anywhere close to it, it will be one of the largest downtown real estate transactions in at least the past 20 years and the biggest sale of an office building.

According to Lancaster County property records, Marcus Corp. paid $30 million for The Cornhusker Marriott and the adjacent Cornhusker Square office complex in 2012. However, the bulk of that price was assuming a $25 million mortgage from the previous owner.

Chicago-based AJ Capital partners paid $22 million for the former Holiday Inn at Ninth and P streets in 2015. The 16-story hotel underwent a massive renovation and reopened as the Graduate Hotel in June.

There have been a few sales of downtown office buildings over the past couple of decades, with the biggest being the sale of Assurity's former headquarters at 15th and K streets to the state in 2011 for $12.2 million.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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