What was once an old Catholic school dormitory is now affordable housing for residents in southwest Denver.
The restored Pancratia Hall, or the Pancratia Hall Lofts, located in the Loretto Heights redevelopment, opened Thursday and offers 74 affordable units. The campus at South Federal Boulevard and South Lowell Boulevard was originally founded by the Sisters of Loretto in 1891 and includes 15 historic buildings. Loretto Heights College and Colorado Heights University were also tenants at one point.
The roughly 65,000-square-foot gothic-style building constructed in 1929 houses studios through four-bedrooms units for those making 30% to 80% of the area median income. For a single person, that income range would be $22,050 to $55,950.
“This historic property has been restored to house dozens of families in our community, and through vital partnerships, we are able to ensure these units are kept affordable for Denver families for decades to come,” said Mayor Michal Hancock in a press release.
The project was funded by the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, Colorado Division of Housing, the Denver Housing Authority and the Department of Housing Stability, which provided a $3.3 million cash flow loan toward the restoration from the Affordable Housing Fund. DHA will be the leasing agent and property manager.
The project was also a joint venture between Hartman Ely Investments, Proximity Green and Westside Investment Partners.
The Pancratia restoration is the first phase of the bigger Loretto Heights redevelopment. The project has been in the works for well over three years, ever since the property was purchased in July 2018 by Westside. Mark Witkiewicz, principal at Westside, previously said he wasn’t interested in changing the neighborhood but was looking to “enhance” it with this development project, which also includes plans for a grocery store, a theater and the planting of over 1,000 new trees.
“The people of southwest Denver and the larger Loretto community have a strong emotional attachment to this campus, not only to the iconic architectural significance of the site but, more importantly, to the spirit of Loretto and the thousands of lives that were shaped here,” said Denver City Council member Kevin Flynn, who represents the area, in a press release. “The transformation of Pancratia Hall into housing for the hard-working families of southwest Denver perfectly embodies that spirit and gives permanence to Mother Pancratia’s vision for this prominent hilltop.”