MANCHESTER — Buying the renovated Citizens Bank building on Elm Street is going to take a big bank account.
Seacoast businessman Bill Binnie is selling the iconic century-old building after spending millions renovating it.
Whispers suggest a potential $40 million price target for 875 Elm St. — once owned by Citizens Bank — and the attached parking garage.
Bob Rohrer of Colliers International, which is handling the sale, isn’t naming a figure.
“There’s been some significant interest” from both inside and outside New Hampshire, Rohrer said last week.
Much of the 10-story building is now taken up by 91 apartments, with rents for one-bedroom units starting at $1,400 a month and two-bedroom apartments beginning at $1,500, according to the building’s website.
Rohrer said the building at times has had a waiting list for apartments, some which offer views of the Millyard and Elm Street.
“I think it’s going to garner a lot of interest,” said Thomas Farrelly, executive director of the New England region for Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm not involved in the sale. “I think that project captured the energy and the momentum of that desire to be downtown. It was beautifully executed repurposing, converting it from office to residential.”
Farrelly said he couldn’t say what the building — whose tenants also include Citizens Bank and the 110 Grill restaurant — could fetch in a sale without knowing its net operating income.
Apartment buildings are “a white-hot asset class” across the country, and institutional investors may think they can secure better returns on their money in New Hampshire than in Boston, Farrelly said.
The building has been on the market for about two months, Rohrer said.
Neither Binnie, who owns a collection of radio stations and ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, nor his son, Adam, the building’s project manager, returned phone messages left last week.
In 2017, Binnie Media also sold off its television broadcasting rights for WBIN-TV to the Federal Communications Commission. The company valued the transaction at almost $100 million.
Robert Gagne, who chairs the city’s board of assessors, declined to speculate on what the building might sell for.
“Based on some of the activity we’ve seen, nothing would surprise me,” Gagne said.
“Some apartment buildings, multifamily properties have sold for significantly more than their assessment.”
Gagne said the current $8.1 million assessment on the building doesn’t reflect its value today.
The building, owned by 875 Elm LLC, received a five-year tax break under a program adopted by aldermen for community revitalization. It allows the owner not to pay any property taxes on the value of improvements made.
The building was purchased in 2015 for $8.175 million.
One city building permit alone valued work to convert the building into apartments at $8.2 million, Gagne said.
Doing the math, that would save the building owner more than $170,000 a year assuming the cost of renovations listed on the building permit equals the impact on the building’s market value.
The assessment doesn’t include the attached parking garage, which is assessed for more than $1.7 million, Gagne said.
Coincidentally, the two properties are to be merged at the request of the city’s Planning and Community Development Department.
In 2017, Binnie bought three Millyard buildings on Dow Street — including the one hosting technology company Dyn + Oracle — for $11.2 million. The acquisition included more than 600,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, according to that announcement.
“Carlisle Capital was the main driving force behind the acquisition,” Adam Binnie, son of Bill Binnie, who is president of Portsmouth-based Carlisle Capital Corp., said at the time.
“With this purchase, we will own almost 1 million square feet of space in Manchester,” Bill Binnie said. “We are committed to this great city.”