Ex-prostitution parlor prepped for auction

IRS Special Agent John Harrison holds a flashlight in one of the rooms of the former Fuji Massage building on Horizon Drive.

There will be no happy ending for this hot tub.

John Harrison, special agent with the Internal Revenue Service in Grand Junction, is betting there will not be many potential takers for the hot tub that is among the last remnants of Fuji Oriental Massage Therapy, 762 Horizon Drive.

“We’ll probably just go ahead and take it to the dump,” Harrison said.

It’s been dark for nearly two years inside the building, which authorities believe housed a prostitution business for at least 14 years before it was shut down in November 2008.

Several couches remain, in addition to a weight-lifting set. Towels still hang in a closet.

Federal authorities are preparing the building for an on-site public auction, but a final date hasn’t been scheduled, Harrison said. The IRS took custody of the building in September after a Denver federal judge issued final orders in a civil forfeiture case against Fuji’s former owner, 60-year-old Nan O’Reilly. She is serving a six-year probation sentence stemming from an investigation aimed at Fuji’s former activities.

“I’d like to sell it in the next 90 days,” Harrison said, when asked about a time frame for the auction.

As recently as August, the Grand Junction Police Department had expressed interest in possibly acquiring the building for conversion to storage space. Under that scenario, the IRS would have deeded the property to the city in exchange for written guarantees it not be sold within roughly a year’s time.

Police Department Deputy Chief John Zen said interest waned after a recent tour of the building.

“We decided it’s in our best interest to just go ahead and put it up for sale,” Zen said. “It didn’t fit a good need and would have taken investment on the city’s part to adjust it for our needs. The uses for us would be pretty limited anyway.”

The majority of the auction’s proceeds will go to the coffers of Mesa County’s forfeiture board, a group that divides revenue from crime-related asset seizures among representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department and Colorado State Patrol.

The building and land has a total assessed 2010 valuation of $418,350, according to the Mesa County Assessor’s Office.


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