Makeover and coworking set for S. Gaylord eyesore: ‘It looks like a bad dream out of the 1970s’

The one-story office building at 1040 S. Gaylord St. for $2.9 million. (Amy DiPierro)

Coworking is coming to East Wash Park.

Elea Development purchased a one-story office building in the heart of South Gaylord Street for $2.9 million on April 17, city records show. The company – which previously has focused on residential scrape-and-builds in surrounding neighborhoods – plans to gut, reface and refurbish the 1965 building’s 6,900-square-foot frame into a humming coworking space.

“I think there’s a lot of people in Wash Park East, like myself, that got tired of crying babies in loud coffee shops,” said Aaron Grant, Elea Development owner. “There’s a gap there.”

Elea Development secured a $2.17 million loan from North Valley Bank to finance the purchase, according to city records.

Aaron Grant

The seller is De Sena Investments LLLP. The property, 1040 S. Gaylord St., has been controlled by James C. De Sena since at least 1987, according to city records.

“It’s completely functional, but it just looks like a bad dream out of the 1970s,” Grant said. “I’m putting as much glass as I can on the front.”

That way, he said, passersby can admire a set of conference rooms as well as a coffee bar that Elea Development plans to build fronting the sidewalk.

Inside, the company’s redesign calls for two-, four- and six-person office spaces with a removable wall system and set of central workstations. And in keeping with the trappings of other coworking spaces around town, Grant said he plans to install adjustable standing desks and put a gaming area with a shuffle board and a pingpong table on the ground floor. He’s even considering a rooftop deck.

Grant estimates renovations will cost $750,000. Design Edge is the architect, and Kahn Construction is the general contractor.

Grant, who aims to start construction in August and open the coworking space by December, has not yet set monthly rental rates. The office is fully leased, he said, including a chiropractor and a massage therapist.

Grant got into the real estate business 15 years ago, following the example of family members at DJforay Development.

He started Elea Development in 2013 to do scrapes and new builds primarily in Bonnie Brae, Belcaro and Wash Park. He also owns a commercial and residential brokerage, Grant Real Estate, with offices at 1040 S. Gaylord.

Grant’s project on South Gaylord shows the coworking craze creeping farther south in Denver. The nearest shared office spaces include a cluster in Cherry Creek and Red Owl, a project underway in northwest Wash Park.

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Todd Bradley
Todd Bradley
4 years ago

You sure that building only has one story? The windows at street level aren’t for the downstairs room?

4 years ago

Remember, history repeats itself and at one point, that ’70s’ nightmare’ was someone’s nice dream and it’d be cool to be able to keep some of that 70s charm since everything old is new again. I mean at least keep the rocks, they are so cool. 🙂

Ronda Terry
Ronda Terry
4 years ago

I agree with Todd… It might be a nightmare to some but not to people who like to see the older buildings with a little refurbishing. There is always history behind all old buildings. It is out with the old and in with the new. I’m happy it’s not being scrapped for another apartment building. Thank you Aaron!

Kaye Moss
Kaye Moss
4 years ago

I worked in that building for a couple of decades. South Gaylord Street was like a small town and was such a lovely place to work. There are two floors. I am wondering about the businesses, like Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Santistevan, who are currently in the building, and have been there for years. I realize that change happens, but people have enjoyed that building for over fifty years.