Carrie Rengers

New user for the former McCormick Armstrong building, but what are his plans?

The former antiques space at Douglas and Emporia isn’t the only historic property developer Paul Jackson plans to buy and transform.

By the end of this month, he expects to close on his purchase of the former McCormick Armstrong building at 1501 E. Douglas.

“It’s really an interesting property in a great location,” says Jackson, who owns Vantage Point Properties.

The printing company built the 1923 building, which it then added to several times over the decades.

“It’s been McCormick Armstrong from the get-go,” Jackson says.

The building shares a wall with GLMV Architecture.

“It’s so cool down there,” Jackson says of GLMV’s space.

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He also likes nearby Greteman Group and Central Standard Brewing around the corner. Jackson also likes that Hyde Park is immediately behind the 2-acre property, which is in the heart of the Douglas Design District.

“The Douglas Design District is really coming into its own.”

Jackson says he and his team are brainstorming what to do with the 51,000-square-foot building and its 25,000-square-foot warehouse.

“We’ve got a lot of space to play with there. It really affords a lot of flexibility. A lot of interesting possibilities.”

He says he’d like to stay true to the district, perhaps including an art or entertainment element.

“We’re trying to understand what’s the highest and best use for this property given what’s around us.”

Jackson says he hasn’t made any firm decisions, but he does plan an office component and possibly some retail space as well.

With its size, location and building features, Jackson calls the McCormick Armstrong space a “rare opportunity.”

The 1923 building has tall ceilings, brick walls and lots of concrete for a possible industrial look.

There’s also what Jackson calls an “old saw-tooth ceiling.”

The jagged design alternates between glass and solid ceiling. Jackson says it was a way for the building to get ventilation at one time. Part of it is roofed over, but Jackson says he would take that down to reveal the ceiling.

He’s already gotten the building listed on state and national registries.

“It’s just an interesting old building.”