Owners of condo complex off Speer apply for demolition eligibility

The condo complex at the corner of 1st Avenue and Emerson Street dates to 1925. (Thomas Gounley)

A six-unit condominium complex just off Speer Boulevard might be the neighborhood’s next redevelopment opportunity.

The owners of the units in the structure at the southeast corner of 1st Avenue and Emerson Street in March applied to the city for a certificate of demolition eligibility, which would make it easier to demolish the structure within five years.

The structure dates to 1925 and sits on an approximately 0.4-acre lot that is zoned for up to five stories, according to property records. The units, which are across the street from a small park, have the addresses of 900, 908 and 916 E. 1st Ave., and 76, 84 and 90 N. Emerson St.

Reached by BusinessDen, one of the property owners said she had been advised by an attorney not to comment. The attorney listed on the application to the city — Caitlin Quander of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck — did not respond to requests for comment.

Property owners sometimes apply for a certificate of demolition eligibility when a developer is under contract for the site, or they think a developer might be interested.

In this case, the redevelopment possibility may extend beyond the condo complex. City records show the owners of three single-family homes just south of the complex recently applied for and already were issued a certificate of demolition eligibility.

City staff have determined that the condo complex, however, has the potential for historic designation. That finding, posted at the site on March 24, kicked off a three-week window for members of the public to express interest in having the city designate the building a landmark, which would effectively prevent demolition. If no one expresses interest by April 14, the city will issue the certificate.

In justifying why the building has the potential for historic designation, city staff wrote, among other things, that it “represents a unique hybridization of the Pueblo Revival and Spanish Revival architectural styles.” It also said it is the work of a recognized architect, Bert L. Rhoades, once chief engineer of the Gates Rubber Co.

The full report can be found on the city’s website.

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