Big question for East Colfax strip club redevelopment: three floors or five?

Last October, the city of Denver bought itself a strip club on East Colfax for $1.3 million.
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A closed strip club on East Colfax, 8315 E. Colfax Ave. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Last October, the city of Denver bought itself a strip club on East Colfax for $1.3 million. Now, the city government is deciding what to do with the former home of PT's and Saturday's.

The city's economic development office is targeting the site for redevelopment. Staffers recently joined Councilman Chris Herndon to listen to comments from residents who wanted to see everything from a grocery store to a coffee shop or child care at 8315 E. Colfax Ave.

"I was really excited that we heard a litany of ideas. We heard affordable housing, we also heard mixed use," Herndon said.

Later this year, city officials plan to solicit interest later from private developers who could rebuild the site. They also may seek a rezoning to allow more intensive development on the site.

Right now, the site is zoned for buildings up to three floors of "Main Street"-style development. Staff are considering requesting that the building be rezoned for five-story construction.

"People were really engaged. I think there was some difference of opinion about whether or not it should be three or five (floors)," said Andrea Morgan, housing development officer for the city.

City staff already have requested five-story zoning at 7900 East Colfax, a vacant property that the city bought last year. "It would be really difficult to build affordable housing at three stories," Morgan said.

Herndon said that he'll keep a close eye on the rezoning process. The rezoning ultimately would have to go through the Denver City Council.

"We have to make sure it’s within the justifying circumstances," he said. "I just want to make sure that the community is involved with that."

Ultimately, the question of what happens to the property will partially depend on what developers propose to build there.

"We're going to try not be too prescriptive," Morgan said, "and see what the developers propose in terms of creative ideas about what to put there."

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