An apartment building on the corner of 16th Avenue and Washington Street, historically known as the Essex Apartments and more recently as the Denver International Hostel, is getting the treatment it deserves after years of neglect.
Denver-based GM Development recognized the gem-in-the-rough and purchased the property for $2.1 million, according to property records.
Built in 1908 and designed by Denver’s beloved architect William E. Fisher, it was prime for restoration. GM Development, who has met with Historic Denver and History of Colorado/State, intends to restore it as close to its original state as possible. The group has also submitted plans to the National Park Service so that standards for renovation are met.
“We enjoy preserving the fabric of our cities with unique buildings like this one that was designed by Fisher and Fisher,” said Ben Gearhart, principal of GM Development. “We are working to put this on the National Register of Historic places, and have already received our Part I and Part II approvals through the National Park Service.”
The project’s expected completion date is October 2018. Of the available apartments, which will include one-and two-bedroom units, 50 percent will be long-term market rate rentals, 50 percent short-term rentals. Both unit styles will have modern amenities without disrupting any historic features. A B&B is also planned for the west wing of the building. The original porches on the north facade will be rebuilt to their original architectural design.
This is GM’s fifth historic development project, but its first one in Denver. Past local projects have been new construction.
“We are always looking for historic buildings to renovate and bring back to their original use, character and story,” said Gearhart.
From Denver Metro Media: “LIFE Development, April 2018: 16th Avenue & Washington Street, The Element Hotel, Emerson Place Fire” by Stacey Dole.