A solid four-story brick building measuring more than 140,000 square feet is on the verge of a historic transformation.
Members of the Denver City Council have approved plans proposed by the Stonebridge Companies to substantially upgrade the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School at 1250 Welton Street and several other structures on a surrounding 22-acre site.
The Denver-based Stonebridge’s plans call for redeveloping the main school building and site into a mixed-use project that will see the creation of a 250-room hotel, and more than 37,000 square feet of office and commercial space.
Plans also call for transforming a separate structure at the site into a parking garage with space enough for 120 vehicles.
The school was built in 1916 and subsequently named in honor of Emily Griffith, a pioneer Denver educator.
The school moved to another location in 2012, leaving behind a site that was given a historic designation by the city council last spring.
At the time of that designation, Stonebridge, which has a portfolio of more than 45 hotels, had purchased the property from the Denver Public Schools for $25 million.
But preliminary redevelopment plans submitted by Stonebridge were only approved by the city council this past August.
Those plans now include the building of up to 6,000 square feet of meeting space in the hotel, some site demolition, and office and retail space development on the north side of the site, keeping intact the campus feel of the overall property.
The transformation of the entire site is expected to cost at least $96 million. Funding support for the ambitious project includes $22 million in tax reimbursements through the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.
The project will also be eligible for up to $10 million in federal and state tax credits for preserving and maintaining a historic structure.
By Garry Boulard
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