From the City of Denver's press release:
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) board of commissioners has approved the purchase of the 194-unit Best Western Central Park hotel located at 4595 Quebec Street for conversion to permanent supportive housing. The acquisition — which is still pending City Council action — supports Mayor Mike Johnston’s emergency declaration to help 1,000 unhoused residents move indoors while also permanently decommissioning encampments.
Pending successful closing, the recently renovated property will be purchased for $25.95 million using approximately $11 million from the DHA Delivers for Denver (D3) bond funds made possible through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City and County of Denver, as well as a bridge loan of $16 million through Northern Trust. Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) will submit a resolution request to Denver City Council in the coming weeks to provide $16 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the acquisition via payment to the bridge lender.
“Unsheltered homelessness is an emergency situation in Denver, and we are laser focused on bringing 1,000 people safely inside while permanently decommissioning encampments by the end of 2023,” Mayor Johnston said. “This acquisition is the first key piece of that puzzle and puts us on a solid path to achieving our goal, connecting our unhoused neighbors to housing and low-barrier shelter, and improving quality of life in neighborhoods across our city.”
“This important work gets done through communication and partnerships,” said David Nisivoccia, DHA chief executive officer. “This project will support our goals to give people an affordable and safe place to live."
DHA will lease the building to the City via HOST for a nominal annual rate and basic maintenance costs. HOST will then contract with a partner to provide non-congregate shelter with supportive services until the site is ready for conversion to supportive housing in a few years. The hotel includes 194 units, one of which would be reserved for staff. More than half of the units already have kitchenettes, making the space ideal for supportive housing. Consistent with the IGA, at the time of conversion to supportive housing, at least 40% of the units will be restricted for tenants earning 30% of Area Median Income. The purchase closing is anticipated to occur by mid-August with the City’s lease planned to begin Sept. 1, 2023.
“Partnerships are essential to creating stable housing options for those exiting homelessness in our community. The acquisition of hotels for conversion to supportive housing helps expand the pipeline quickly by leveraging existing buildings,” said HOST Executive Director Laura Brudzynski. “We’re proud to help move another hotel acquisition forward for supportive housing, and are excited about the opportunity to provide non-congregate shelter as an interim use at this site prior to its conversion to housing.”
The acquisition is the 11th site made available with land acquisition resources from the D3 partnership between the City and County of Denver and DHA. D3 utilizes property tax mill levy revenue from Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund, in part, to expedite and expand a pipeline of supportive housing residences.