The developer that owns Denver landmark Loretto Heights has announced the first step in the transformation of the 72-acre campus on South Federal Boulevard: converting a former dorm and classroom building into affordable housing.
Westside Investment Partners in a news release Thursday highlighted the plans to convert 90-year-old Pancratia Hall into the Pancratia Hall Lofts, which figures to serve as income-restricted housing for working-class residents.
Just what income levels the future lofts will be reserved for was not covered in the release. Westside did name the team that will lead the project — Boulder-based Hartman Ely Investments and Proximity Green of Denver. The two firms have 40 years experience in renovating and adapting historic buildings for new uses, according to the developer. They will “utilize several forms of tax credit financing” to convert the 1929 structure into “a stately affordable housing community,” Thursday news release said.
Glendale-based Westside purchased the Loretto Heights campus — known for the steeple that sits atop its administration building at 3001 S. Federal that can be seen for miles in the south metro area — for $15.75 million last summer. Westside has vowed to preserve the administration building and an on-site cemetery that is home to the remains of 62 Sisters of Loretto nuns. The campus was originally a boarding school for Catholic girls and most recently served as a technical college.
Pancratia Hall was named for Mother Pancratia Bonfils and designed by Denver architect Harry W. J. Edbrooke, according to Westside.
“We believe this is a befitting reuse of a magnificent building that will continue to honor both Harry W. J. Edbrooke and Mother Pancratia Bonfils,” Mark Witkiewicz, a partner at Westside, said in the release.
William Brummett Architects and Palace Construction, both of Denver, will also be part of the team, according to Westside. The team will pursue tax credit financing at the same time it is moving forward with design and permitting for the project. The aim is to break ground in 2020.
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In December, Westside partnered with the city’s community planning and development office to launch a community outreach effort aimed at gathering input from residents of the Harvey Park and College View neighborhoods that surround the campus. A community meeting was held on Jan. 15. The presentation city officials delivered at that meeting is available on the city’s standalone Loretto Heights website DenverGov.org/lorettoheights. An online survey is available on the website until Feb. 15. Residents can also take the survey here dpo.st/lorettosurvey.
Denver City Councilman Kevin Flynn represents the area. His applauded the first portion of the redevelopment effort in Thursday’s release.
“For the past two years, the community has very consistently been telling me at least two must-haves. One is historic preservation and the other is housing that is affordable by working families,” Flynn said in the release. “Westside, HEI and Proximity Green have been able to achieve those two goals with one project.”
Updated Feb. 1, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. This story was updated to provide a full list of companies working on the project and an anticipated start time for construction.