Former bank building sold

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

One of the tallest buildings in Suffolk recently changed hands to a couple of downtown real estate magnates who say they plan to continue its history as an office building.

The National Bank building at the corner of Main and Washington streets was purchased by Tower 112 LLC, whose principals are Andy Damiani and Ralph Nahra. Former owner Frank Sheffer and company sold it.

“We’re expanding our portfolio,” Damiani said. “It will add to the inventory of office space.”

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The building is 100 years old and used to host a bank on the first floor. It still has two vaults in place, which Damiani and Nahra hope will help entice a bank to locate there again. Nahra also envisions a for-profit college taking up several floors.

Damiani’s not concerned about the age of the building, he said.

“Everything is concrete, steel and marble,” he said. “It will be there for another 100 years.”

The building consists of seven floors and a mezzanine. It has two elevators, one for freight, and also still features a fallout shelter, which until recently remained stocked with food, Nahra said.

“There’s 100 years of history in there,” Nahra said. “Greatness and great leaders.”

Former Gov. Mills Godwin had his law office there once.

“It has a history in itself,” Damiani said.

Damiani and Nahra are bullish on the idea of filling the building with office space once again, just like in its heyday.

“We think it’s an ideal business venture,” Damiani said. “There’s some risks, but Ralph and I are used to taking those risks.”