MISSOULA, Mont. -

NBC Montana has confirmed the historic Missoula Mercantile is for sale.

Octagon Partners, a Virginia-based firm, purchased the building for $2.3 million in 2011, after the Missoula Macy's store pulled out.

But, after years of demolition, abatement and improvement, the realty company in charge of the listing confirmed today the property is on the market, at a list price of $4.5 million.

Octagon specializes in development of historic buildings. The vision for the building was mixed space with retail stores, professional offices and nonprofits. But realty staff confirmed difficulty leasing office space in the building's upper floors.

Jed Dennison, owner of Zillastate Realty, is helping to oversee the listing and sale of the property. He tells NBC Montana that Octagon would be willing to not sell the building if they could lease the upper floor.

"We have no shortage of people inquiring about retail space. What we need is someone to take off about 15,000 square feet, 10,000 square feet, on the second level professional office space. That has been a challenge for us," said Dennison.

Meanwhile, some local business owners are hoping that the situation gets sorted out soon, so other shops can set up and start attracting more customers to downtown.

“Since they went out, having the empty building just cuts down on foot traffic,” said Michael Patterson, owner of the Dark Room camera store in downtown Missoula. His store is nearby, and he says he was surprised to hear the Merc was on the market again.