DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver City Council approved a reallocation agreement for the historic Loretto Heights campus Monday night. Council members first voted to approve the development plan in 2019.
The Loretto Heights property dates back 130 years when it was bought by the Loretto sisters in 1888. It served as the Loretto Heights Academy, a Catholic boarding school for girls. A hundred years later it was sold to Teikyo University and then to Westside Investments Partners, Inc.
City officials say Monday’s vote on the rededication will set the stage for a redevelopment on campus and will follow the community’s vision.
“From the beginning of the planning process, community members came together in good faith and open spirits to find a future for the campus that honored its history and continued to operate in southwest Denver,” said Laura E. Aldrete, Denver Community Planning and Development Manager. “This regulatory package is the muscle behind that vision.”
The building is full of intricate designs and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The southwest Denver community has for the past four years expressed a clear desire that this historic and beautiful site honor and respect the spirit of service embodied by the Loretto Sisters,” said Kevin Flynn, councilor for the district 2. “The plan that came out of our hard work will give us that – a place where we can live, work, gather and play in a diverse community of people, the kind of complete neighborhood that our goal is was. “
According to the city, the new zoning offers affordable housing for sale and rent, including family units, for a range of incomes. The agreement includes a maintenance plan for the maintenance of the historic buildings, new cycle paths and road improvements, and a climate-friendly construction. Officials say the development will be the first in town to test Denver’s Green Code.
Construction began in October to convert Pancratia Hall into affordable housing. The 1929 building near South Federal and Dartmouth will have 72 apartments.