Multifamily developer buys shuttered gay bar

  • Denver Wrangler at 3090 Downing St. (Thomas Gounley)

    The owner of a gay bar in Five Points that recently closed has sold the property to an entity affiliated with a California-based real estate firm specializing in subsidized housing.

    According to county records, 3090 Downing Investors LLC paid $2.95 million in late June for the former Denver Wrangler bar at 3090 Downing St., as well as an adjacent parking lot — a total of 0.57 acres.

    The LLC’s mailing address matches that of Sherman Oaks, California-based GHC Housing Partners, which purchased other parcels on the block — 3004 and 3030 Downing St. — earlier this year. GHC did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

    GHC says on its website that it acquires and develops affordable housing communities throughout the United States, with a portfolio that includes 20,000 units across 24 states.

    The company is active in the Denver market. Last year, GHC made at least three local purchases: $19.5 million for 121 Section 8-subsidized units in Capitol Hill and Uptown, $8 million for 49 Section 8 units in Jefferson Park and the Highlands, and $6.3 million for a 50,000-square-foot multifamily complex in Aurora.

    The firm also owns the Halcyon House at 1955 Arapahoe St. in Denver, which has 197 Section 8 units. 

    The latest purchase involves property at the intersection of Downing Street and 31st Avenue. No redevelopment plans have been submitted to the city.

    The 14,658-square-foot building at the site dates to 1958, according to records. Gay bar Denver Wrangler moved into the structure in 2016, and announced in May that it would close at the end of June. The bar did not give a reason for the closure at the time. 

    The site was sold by JoelChip LLC, which earned a 24 percent return in just over a year, having paid $2.38 million for the parcels in April 2017.

    According to state records, JoelChip LLC was formed by Chris Dawkins, who owned Denver Wrangler.

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