Denver City Council signs off on taxpayer financing for St. Anthony redevelopment

Denver City Council unanimously approved a collective $12 million in tax-increment financing Monday toward two blocks in the Sloans project.

staff photo
A rendering of the senior and disabled housing project Vida slated for West Colfax. (Courtesy of the Denver Housing Authority)

A rendering of the senior and disabled housing project Vida slated for West Colfax. (Courtesy of the Denver Housing Authority)

Denver City Council unanimously approved a collective $12 million in tax-increment financing Monday to help build affordable housing, shops, stores and health facilities on two parcels that used to be part of the St. Anthony Hospital campus on West Colfax.

Neither the financing nor the proposed developments were contested. The vote to amend the St. Anthony Urban Redevelopment Plan and create the tax-increment areas was unanimous, and council members praised the developers for working with the city and neighbors and for bringing more affordable housing to the community.

Sloans Block 3 is at the corner of Perry Street and West 17th Avenue and houses the old Kuhlman Building, which used to be a nurses’ dormitory. Koelbel and Co. and Trailbreak Partners plan to turn the building into 49 units of affordable housing for people earning at or below 60 percent of area median income ($43,260 for a family of three). Kulman Auditorium will be turned into 5,000 square feet of stores and restaurants.

The rest of the block will be developed with 25 to 27 three- and four-story townhomes, an additional 2,200 feet of retail, a public plaza and surface parking.

The developers need an additional $6.5 million to fill a gap in the financing, and the city council agreed to cover that through tax-increment financing. TIFs work by taking a portion of the increased tax revenue from a site that has been redeveloped and using that money to pay for the redevelopment. Most often TIF money goes toward public infrastructure aspects of a project that the developer would otherwise pay for.

Sloans Block 9 sits at Perry and West 16th Avenue. On that site, Denver Housing Authority is building Vida, a 175-unit, seven-story affordable housing project for seniors. The units will be aimed at senior and disabled residents who earn 30 percent or less than the area median income ($16,830 for a single adult). The project will include a neighborhood health clinic and a dialysis center. For the $59 million project, DHA needed an additional $5.5 million, which will come from tax-increment financing.

Both projects are part of the larger 19-acre Sloans project, which includes the Alamo Drafthouse, to remake the former hospital site. St. Anthony moved to Lakewood in 2011.