The owner of the former Loreto Heights complex in the southwest area of the city has sold nearly a third of the site to a Denver-based homebuilder.
According to public records, Thrive Home Builders paid $14.4 million, which CEO Gene Myers described as approximately 25 acres along the north and west sides of the complex.
The company is planning to build 322 houses, some isolated and some townhomes.
“Our hope is that it will be a real asset to the neighborhood,” Myers said, adding that construction could begin by mid-2022.
Glendale-based Westside Investment Partners, led by Andy Klein, purchased the 72-acre Loreto Heights complex in 2018 for $16.5 million.
The campus’s educational roots date back to the 1890s, when the site was home to the girls’ school Loreto Heights Academy, run by the Sisters of Loreto, a Catholic religious order. The elementary and secondary programs were phased out in the 1940s, and the school became known as Loreto Heights College.
That school closed in the late 1980s, and Japan-based Takeyo University Group purchased the property and operated it as Colorado Heights University until 2017.
The land was redeveloped in May, paving the way for major redevelopment. A project is already underway. The 72-unit Pancratia Hall is being refurbished for use as income-restricted housing, and is expected to open by the end of the year.
Klein said over the years it had hosted more than 200 meetings for residents to give commentary on development plans.
“The input from the community has been overwhelming and wonderful,” he said. “What we envision is a neighborhood plan drawn up by the community and in a process that facilitates discussions with neighbors.”
More deals in progress. Denver-based multifamily developer Grand Peaks is expected to close the second part of the campus later this month. Klein said he’d also like to have a grocery store, though no deal has been finalized.
In total, Klein said he expects 1,000 residential units to be built on the Loreto Heights campus. According to a development agreement with the city, at least 12 percent of all residential units on the land must be income-restricted. Around 14 units manufactured by Thrive are expected to be placed within that lower price range.
In addition, Denver voters will be asked in November to decide whether to dedicate $30 million to the rehabilitation of the 1,000-seat May Bonfils Stanton Theater, which is also located on campus.
“I didn’t even know it when we bought it, but the Loreto complex is a big part of a lot of people’s lives,” Klein said. “Many people have attended and visited the campus for various weddings and events.”
Westside is also attempting to develop land at the former Park Hill Golf Club, which closed in 2018. The effort has led to double-ballot measures this November – one supported by Westside and the other by individuals who want the course to remain in some form. Of open space