Local Roseville icons up for sale

Telephone building, Bank of Italy hit real estate market
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
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So you’d like to buy a Roseville icon. Here’s your chance to own a slice of the city’s history – if you’ve got the right bankroll. Two marquee city buildings – the old Roseville Telephone building at 200 Vernon St., and the historic Bank of Italy building at 341 Church St. – have put up “for sale” signs. Price of admission? Try $1.475 million for the 1929 BOI building, and $5.9 million for the old telephone headquarters. Both are being represented by broker Marcus & Millichap. Ron Rogers, a spokesman for SureWest Communications Inc. (formerly Roseville Telephone), said the effort to offload the site is intended to “add more value to shareholders and save money.” “Slowly over the years we’ve been moving groups over to our new buildings on Industrial Boulevard and consolidating,” he said. So selling off a second major office building, he said, “makes sense.” Indeed, the three-level, 66,000-square-foot Vernon building hasn’t been fully utilized for several years. Completed in 1964, it currently houses executive and boardroom space, but most of the company’s workers are at the Industrial campus, which opened in 1993. Of course, in a downtown district already plagued by high vacancy rates, potential buyers already have plenty of options – and south Placer is full of vacant office space, including newer facilities. But city officials said the building could be a unique opportunity for the right buyer. Mixed-use projects, incorporating residential over retail or residential over office, are being encouraged through a pending Downtown Specific Plan, said redevelopment manager Jan Shellito. The building’s size and high-profile location could make it a candidate for such an endeavor. Shellito said the city hopes for something to complement a burgeoning entertainment scene with the Bank of Italy building. A listing for the landmark 4,250-square-foot building notes its Italian Renaissance revival style and craftsman details. Most recently housing a mortgage operation, agents are pushing the building as an ideal retail restaurant space (bonus: an original safe from its old banking heyday). The building underwent a renovation last year before the city completed a $15-million streetscape project in the area. “What we would really like to see there is upscale dining,” she said. “Maybe a lunch place but certainly a dinner house.” Brokers agree, saying in a listing that it “could easily become a destination restaurant, bar, or night club.”