Property Closing Clears Way for Demolition Activity

January 15, 2013

The latest chapter in a major Denver redevelopment project is being written with the sale of the former St. Anthony’s Central Hospital campus to EFG-South Sloan’s Lake I, LLC (EFG), an EnviroFinance® Group company, which intends to change the nature of the site with the creation of a vibrant residential mixed-use district.

 The nearly 19-acre property, on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake in west Denver, was sold by Catholic Health Initiatives of Colorado.  Terms were not disclosed.  St. Anthony’s moved from the location in June of 2011, into a new 224-bed hospital on a 50-acre campus in Lakewood, along with its renowned Level 1 Trauma Center and Flight For Life® Colorado helicopter ambulance operation.

 “This is a remarkable opportunity to make excellent reuse of a site that offers ease of access to downtown, scenic mountain views, and established neighborhoods.  Our goal, short-term, is to acquaint the builders interested in this very special property with how the site can work to their best advantage,” said Doug Elenowitz, EFG’s executive vice president and director of development.

 Elenowitz said EFG has been working with city planners, elected officials and established neighborhood groups over the past year to settle upon a design scheme that will include a variety of housing styles, residential amenities, and some elements of retail.  The advent of the West Line light-rail service later this year, just four blocks to the south, also adds to the site’s accessibility.

 “We’re very excited to hear this news. The community is eager to see the property redeveloped in a way that opens up new economic development opportunities for the whole area, and enhances the character of the neighborhood,” said Denver City Councilwoman Susan Shepherd.

Because of the proximity to Sloan’s Lake, the new building designs are expected to capitalize on the lakefront and both mountain and downtown views.  Plans also call for extending Raleigh and Quitman streets through the property from Colfax Avenue to West 17th Avenue to create six full city blocks and improve access to the park.  While the main hospital building will be demolished, many of the buildings once used by St. Anthony’s, including a former chapel, a parking structure and an office building that once housed nursing students will be retained.

EnviroFinance Group, LLC and its affiliated companies have a proven track record of redeveloping once challenging sites into more successful new and thriving locales. They repositioned the Dahlia Square shopping center in north east Denver, and are also managing the cleanup and development of the former ASARCO smelter site in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. They also have projects underway in California, New Jersey and Maine.

 Planning is underway in earnest for management of the year-long demolition process.  Some of the buildings contain asbestos and other materials that will require thoughtful abatement techniques.

 A construction fence and video security system will be installed shortly, said Cameron Bertron, EFG’s vice president of development services.  Bertron, who will supervise the demolition, said salvage of re-usable building materials is a priority as part of the company’s overall approach to sustainable redevelopment practices.

 Concurrent with site demolition, EFG has been working with area residents, the City and the development community on a project site plan that is expected to pave the way for more than $300 million in direct private investment in the coming years.

 “They’ve been very deliberate in engaging the neighborhood along the way and I think by and large the community is both supportive and excited about what an opportunity the project represents,” said Ben Stetler, president of the West Colfax Association of Neighbors.

 “We consider ourselves stewards of the work and ideas that have created a new vision for this property,” said Elenowitz, “People in Denver are used to seeing this done right.”  He pointed to the changes in uses at Mercy Hospital and Lowry that have been extremely successful, as well as a number of hospital campuses that are being reshaped.

 EFG has received intense interest from a number of builders and developers, with experience in housing that ranges from apartments and condominiums, to townhouses, and single-family structures.  Over the next year it expects to have contracts on specific parcels within the 18.85 acres so that the potential builders can obtain planning approvals and building permits.

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About EnviroFinance Group:

EnviroFinance Group, LLC invests in, manages and develops brownfield and urban infill redevelopment projects across the United States. Guided by socially responsible land use and development practices, EnviroFinance Group and its affiliated companies collaborate with local, state and federal governments, community groups and private developers aligning stakeholder interests and creating positive changes to communities. For more information please visit www.envirofinancegroup.com.