Tower Time at St. Anthony’s?

West View

West view from roof of St. Anthony’s Hospital. A tower could be four times or so taller than the existing building.

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A question that has been debated for years, and continues to be discussed, is whether it would be appropriate to construct one or more towers in the center of the site.

Doug Elenowitz, the project manager for EnviroFinance Group, the Denver company that recently paid $9.5 million for the 18.4-acre site, said whether it would be appropriate for one or more high-rises to be built in the middle of the site, will continue to be a topic of conversation with the community and politicians.

The height of new buildings would be scaled down as they approach Sloan’s Lake, he noted.

EFG expects the demolition of many existing buildings on the site to take 12 months and parcels will not be ready for redevelopment until they are demolished. When built-out, the site is expected to house 900 to 1,200 residential units, as well as much as 300,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, with a total private investment to exceed $300 million.

One longtime proponent of tall buildings on the site is Kathleen Genereux, a broker with Cherry Creek Properties and a longtime resident of the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood.

She said that views from a 20-story building would surpass those at the Pinnacle at City Park South, two luxury towers in east Denver known for the chamber-of-commerce views of downtown from its condo units

The St. Anthony site overlooks the largest lake in Denver, as well as providing postcard-perfect views of the downtown Denver skyline and the mountains, she said.

“It also would open up West Colfax in the way the Pinnacle revitalized East Colfax Avenue,” she said. “It would be the most stellar high-rise in the city.”

However, her enthusiasm for tall buildings on the site is not shared by all the area’s residents, she said.

“Rocks and tomatoes have been thrown at me,” for supporting high-rises on the site, she said.

Some observers, however, said it is a moot point, as it is highly unlikely a developer could get financing for any high-rise project in today’s market.

Genereux disagrees, saying there is such a shortage of housing inventory in Denver, especially in such highly sought after neighborhoods like Sloan’s Lake, there would be enough demand to generate the needed pre-sales to get a tower off the ground.

Genereux is such a fan of a high-rise on the St. Anthony’s site that she would like to work with a developer to market the units.

“I’d probably buy a unit myself,” she said.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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