Former Asurion building has new owner and is available for lease

The building that has housed the Paris of Montana, the Bon Marche, NEW and Asurion is now under new local ownership.

The 1928 building at 321 Central Ave. was featured in the Clint Eastwood movie, “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” and was completely remodeled when the call centers moved in, but still features art deco architecture and an original fleur-de-lis above a window facing Central Avenue in what is currently a conference room.

Justin Madill, a practicing emergency medicine physician, purchased the building through an auction in November and the sale process has been completed.

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Madill listed the building on LoopNet, a commercial real estate website, and said he’s extremely flexible with possible tenants.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

The building was featured in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. A screenshot from the movie, courtesy of Justin Madill.

The call center layout, complete with work stations, offices, break rooms and a server room remains in place, but Madill would consider any possible use, such as returning at least part of the space to its retail and restaurant days.

“There’s a lot of fabulous things you could do with a building like this,” he said.

The building is kitty corner from the former Strain Building, or Four Ten Central, owned by Madill’s brother Jason.

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Counting the basement and the mezzanine, there are six available floors in the building or a total of 81,549 square feet. Each floor has a number of windows with views of the city and allowing a significant amount of natural light into the building.

The floors are detailed individually in the LoopNet post, with photos and virtual tours.

“Each floor has its own characteristics,” Madill said.

The building is largely painted in purple and yellow, but depending on the next tenant or tenants, Madill said that could be updated.

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The first floor has cathedral-like ceilings and the original art deco capped pillars remain in place. There are also art deco arches in the area in front of the elevators and metal railings in the stairwell that Madill said could be original to the building.

“There are neat little finds throughout the building,” he said.

321 central

The building at 321 Central as it was being completed in the 1920s. Photo courtesy Justin Madill.

The mezzanine level is currently laid out as office space, and Madill is replacing some flooring and painting, but said it could be a neat space for a restaurant or bar. Madill said he’s heard from people who lived here when the building was the Paris that the mezzanine space was a French restaurant.

The nods to the building’s 1920 origins are tucked in what is an updated high-tech work space, which is fiber-optic connected, a dedicated server room with an uninterrupted power supply.

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The power generation and connectivity in the building would be ideal for tech or communications companies, cryptocurrency start-ups or mining operations, call centers, financial institutions and more.

Asurion announced in 2015 that it was closing the call center and that resulted in the loss of about 350 jobs in downtown Great Falls. That was a major impact to the city’s parking system. If the building were to be occupied again, tenants would need to use street or garage parking. The city’s north garage is just across the street and the south garage is a block away.

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The building has been vacant since Asurion left.

Madill said he’s hoping that once one tenant moves in, it will entice others to fill the space.

“This is really the center of the center,” of Great Falls, Madill said, and he’s excited to bring traffic to downtown.