What’s Going on with the United Way Building in LoHi?
The old United Way building in LoHi is one of those buildings that we know will be redeveloped, but no one really knows what’s going to happen with it. Well, we did some research, and here’s what we found: no one’s really sure yet!
What we do know is that the United Way has moved to the Morgridge Center for Community Change in Curtis Park. This facility (63,000 square feet) is much larger than the LoHi location, and includes the CoBank Leadership Center, which is a large collaboration space to work with the United Way. Curtis Park has a need for a community building center such as the United Way, and Mayor Hancock has called this project a “turning point” in the community.
The United Way has been housed in LoHi since the late 1980s, but with land values rising and the organization needing to expand, it was time to move to Curtis Park. The land has sat empty since the 1980s, when residents turned down a plan to build a Greyhound bus maintenance facility (can’t imagine why they’d do that). DHA has owned the land since then, as well as the majority of the land in Curtis Park. Recently they’ve been integral in transforming Curtis Park into useable, urban environments. For example, 25 acres near 24th and Curtis is now a lab for small urban farming and housing. The new United Way has also given this piece of Park Avenue a facelift it so desperately needed; it really is a beautiful building!
So what’s going on with the old building? If you’ve been reading our blog, I bet you can take a pretty good guess! What else happens in these old buildings? Why, mixed use development of course! Come on now, you knew that.
The building was sold for $10 million to Southern Land Co of Franklin, Tennessee. This will be Southern Land’s first development in Colorado. Their website states that this will be an apartment community with over 271 apartments in two buildings, 9,300 sqft of retail space, parking, and restaurant space. It’s currently in the design phase and is scheduled to be completed next year. Construction seems to be moving right along on taking the old United Way building down.
This area seems to be popular with new apartment buildings. Lumina is going in blocks from there, too. Southern Land’s website points out that this is a good place for downtown commuters to live, as it provides very quick access (since you’re virtually right on 20th Street). It’s a moderately underdeveloped area that’s begging for some redevelopment. The only thing we have to consider is the traffic. Will this bog the area down? Will these small side streets be able to handle 500 or so renters? Will 20th Street become an impossible way to reach downtown with all of these commuters? I guess we’ll have to see! We’re just hoping some good restaurants go in. ;)