Design plans for a five-story addition west of the boarded-up, historic First Avenue Hotel building were approved Tuesday by the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission, leaving only a few hurdles left before construction can start.
Altogether, the historic building that formerly housed El Diablo restaurant and the new addition could bring more than 100 apartments to the northwest corner of First Avenue and Broadway, near Punch Bowl Social, and restore restaurant and retail space that’s sat vacant for four years.
El Diablo and neighboring Sketch Food & Wine were forced to close in 2013 due to structural issues with the First Avenue Hotel. Restoring the roughly 110-year-old space could cost upward of $30 million.
Zocalo Community Development told Denverite this spring that it planned to ask the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and the city to kick in $7 million in assistance for the project that would include affordable housing units. The Denver developer could not be immediately reached Tuesday and DURA has not yet brought a proposal to Denver City Council.
City planners still need to approve a site plan for the First Avenue Hotel property before construction can get underway. Zocalo hoped to start work on the hotel project before the end of the year and wrap up in 2018.
Zocalo is working on restoring the First Avenue Hotel with John Gagnon Architecture and a frequent buyer of dilapidated Denver properties, Jeff Oberg via Digital Cowboy LLC.
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