When paleteros ding their bells, kids across the east side run to the streets to buy frozen treats flavored with horchata, coffee, chocolate, mango, strawberry, coconut and more. Many of those paletas originate from Paleteria y Neveria Chihuahua on Bruce Randolph Avenue, a strip-mall Mexican ice-cream shop with dazzling desserts, a fleet of paleta vendors, and enthusiastic customers.
That shop, one of two locations, has been in the Cole neighborhood for over two decades, said a worker who declined to give her name. It is now being eyed as the latest spot for developers to build a mix of housing and commercial space.
The current structures on the site would be demolished, according to concept plans submitted by Open Studio Architecture and waiting to be reviewed by the city’s planning department.
The site would house a mixed-use development that would include 72 homes, 21 parking spaces and retail, restaurant and bar space. The new building would be five stories high. The apartments on site would be microhousing: studios that are 350 to 550 square feet each.
The strip of Downing Street cutting through the east side has seen a great deal of commercial and residential development over the years and is slated to eventually be the site of RTD’s L Line, if funding is ever found.
According to city records, the building’s owner is OG Capital Partners, LLC., which bought the property in April 2019.
Multiple employees said they were not aware of the plans but said there had been rumors about new development on the site for years.