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Purgatory Resort owner purchases Mercury building in Durango

No plans have been finalized for repurposing the 81,380-square-foot commercial space
James Coleman, the managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners, which owns Purgatory Resort and several other ski areas in the Southwest, purchased Mercury Village on Friday. The 81,380-square-foot building features about 60,000 square feet of office space, a small medical clinic, a cafe and a fitness center with locker rooms. It will likely be turned into mixed-use commercial, office and residential space. (Courtesy of Mountain Capital Partners)

Mercury Village has changed ownership, but is staying in local hands.

Businessman James Coleman purchased Durango’s largest commercial building from FIS Worldpay on Friday after the space lay vacant for many months.

Coleman

“The building is symbolic not only of Durango ideas and progress, but also the beauty of outdoor and work space blending together,” Coleman said in a news release announcing the sale. “This building is significant to our community and it’s important that it’s used to its fullest potential for Durango.”

Coleman, the managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners, which owns Purgatory Resort and several other ski areas in the Southwest, bought the 81,380-square-foot building at 150 Mercury Village Drive just south of Durango Mall in a private transaction separate from Mountain Capital Partners.

The terms of the transaction, including the price Coleman paid for the building, were not disclosed, but conversations had been ongoing for several months, a spokeswoman for Coleman said.

Coleman and his team are weighing options for repurposing the property, but the plan is to turn the building into mixed-use commercial, office and residential space, said Tracy Reynolds, structural architect and principal engineer at Durango-based architecture and engineering company Reynolds Ash + Associates.

Reynolds, the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance and other community partners are working with Coleman on the project.

“The building is great. It’s just immaculate (and) in perfect condition; it’s kind of amazing,” he said.

“It looks like it’s brand-new, inside and out. It’s got very high ceilings, lots of windows and a lot of square footage. It’s a big open floor plan right now, which is perfect for dividing up into condos and offices,” he said.

The 81,380-square-foot Mercury building at 150 Mercury Village Drive just south of Durango Mall. (Durango Herald file)
The Mercury Payment Systems building, which eventually became home to Vantiv, then Worldpay, then FIS Worldpay. It has since been bought by Durango resident James Coleman. (Durango Herald file)

The building sits on 13.5 acres and backs up to the Animas River. It features about 60,000 square feet of office space, a small medical clinic, a cafe and a fitness center with locker rooms.

Mercury Village also received a LEED silver designation for environmental building practices when it opened.

“(Mercury Village) represents where a lot of homegrown ideas were born and that’s important to Durango,” said spokeswoman Stacey Glaser. “James lives in Durango. He wants to see the best for Durango and wants (the) community to thrive. This building is certainly an opportunity for that.”

Glaser said there are no immediate plans to change the name.

Mercury Payment Systems Inc., a Durango company specializing in payment processing services, built the massive complex for $19,800,000 in 2014, according to Architecture Magazine.

Mercury Payment Systems Inc. changed ownership multiple times and was purchased by Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) in 2019.

In November 2020, FIS Worldpay announced it would permanently close Mercury Village, transitioning its 250 Durango employees to remote work.

The move left the building vacant for about a year.

FIS Worldpay executives looking to offload the building and create a community asset found a willing partner in Coleman.

“It’s a commitment to Durango and wanting to see (Mercury Village) used to the benefit of Durango,” Glaser said.

“This is an important resource. It does represent Durango’s progress and where it’s headed,” she said.

The Mercury building, purchased Friday by James Coleman, who also owns Purgatory Resort. (Courtesy of Mountain Capital Partners)

Local business groups supported the purchase and saw the revitalization of the property as a way to boost the local economy.

“It’s a catalyst to getting things going again in the mid-south part of Durango,” said Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. “The building sitting vacant for as long as it did definitely had an impact.”

“Having James who knows our community purchase the property will be a huge benefit,” Llewellyn said.

Now that the sale is final, Coleman and his team plan to move quickly, Glaser said.

However, it will take time to revive the building.

“There’s still a lot of work left to do,” Reynolds said. “But it’s been underutilized or not utilized for a lot of years and it’s exciting to see something happen.”

The hope is that a renewed Mercury Village can be a pillar of the Durango community.

“There’s been a lot of pride associated with that building, and that’s something that we want to continue however this space ends up being used,” Glaser said. “We hope it continues to be inspiring for everybody.”

ahannon@durangoherald.com

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