Office space

Highland Commercial Company converts old newspaper building into executive suites

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— A building that once housed the hospital, newspaper, forest service and even doctors is looking for new clientele.

After three years of sitting vacant, the old Steamboat Pilot & Today building at 1041 Lincoln Street has been turned into office space and renamed Lincoln West Executive Suites. The Highland Commercial Company is putting the finishing touches on the renovations it started when it bought the building in October.

Starting in June, building manager Ken Ursell said, the company will be ready to lease 20 executive suites with a shared kitchen area, conference room, receptionist and phone system. Ursell said potential tenants like the idea of an all-inclusive package that comes with an office at Lincoln West.

"It's one bill for everything. You don't have to work out janitorial services, cleaning and heating bills. It's all inclusive," he said.

The outside of the office retains its 1940's art-deco architecture with glass brick windows. But the inside has been renovated for a more rustic and open feel with a mixture of glass and wooden doors, stone tile and wide wooden staircases. The effort is the result of five months and $400,000 worth of remodeling, Ursell said.

The building has been vacant since the Pilot & Today moved into its new plant on Curve Plaza in April 1999. Highland Commercial Company bought the building from WorldWest LLC, which owns the Pilot & Today, in October.

Ursell said that a third of Lincoln West's 20 offices are already leased. Businesses like Strong and Associates and Greenwood Construction have already committed to office space. The real estate company has been advertising lease space since April.

The building holds 6,600 square feet of space in its first and second floors and 3,300 square feet in the back of the building, formerly the newspaper's old production room. Ursell said a local furniture company is looking to move its store into the large back room.

Offices range in size from 100 square feet to 250 square feet and some of the smaller offices were designed to serve as reception areas for larger offices. Leases range from $300 to $700 a month, Ursell said.

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