Historic Denver Building Transformed into Affordable Housing

Published on May 12, 2022

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and City Councilman Kevin Flynn joined with Pancratia Hall Partners today to celebrate the grand opening of 74 affordable housing units at the newly restored Pancratia Hall, located within the Loretto Heights redevelopment. Constructed in 1929, the building was designated a historic landmark last year and has been fully restored to provide affordable housing for future generations.  

“I continue to be impressed by the innovation our Department of Housing Stability team shows in creating new, affordable housing projects in Denver,” said Mayor Hancock. “This historic property has been restored to house dozens of families in our community, and through vital partnerships, we are able to ensure these units are kept affordable for Denver families for decades to come.” 

Located at 3144 W. Frances Walsh Pl., Pancratia Hall Lofts is geared toward individuals and families. Units range from studios to four bedrooms, and all units offer unique layouts to complement the building’s historic character. All units are income-restricted to those earning 30 to 80 percent of the area median income.  

The project is a joint venture partnership between Hartman Ely Investments and Proximity Green. Westside Investment Partners, the campus developer, as well as the City and County of Denver were critical to the success of this project. The Denver Housing Authority is the leasing agent and property manager. 

“The people of southwest Denver and the larger Loretto community have a strong emotional attachment to this campus, not only to the iconic architectural significance of the site but, more importantly, to the spirit of Loretto and the thousands of lives that were shaped here,” said City Councilman Kevin Flynn. “The transformation of Pancratia Hall into housing for the hard-working families of southwest Denver perfectly embodies that spirit and gives permanence to Mother Pancratia’s vision for this prominent hilltop.”   

Pancratia Hall Lofts is the first phase of construction at the 70-acre Loretto Heights campus in southwest Denver. The adaptive use of Pancratia Hall is a direct result of an extensive community engagement process, led by Westside. Pancratia Hall is the first step in addressing the community’s request for affordable housing and historic preservation at Loretto Heights. 

“After many years of hard work by our dedicated team, the culmination of Pancratia Hall's adaptive reuse into affordable housing is a tremendous success. This historically protected landmark is now preserved at the highest standard, and has a new mission in life to serve lower income individuals and families with unique, light-filled loft apartments,” said Grant Bennett, principal of Proximity Green. “Our large team of partners, designers, contractors, public agencies, lenders and community supporters made this challenging project possible. The beloved building provides us with a reminder of Mother Pancratia's work, celebrates the history of women's education on the campus, and serves people through this new mission.” 

Building amenities include a landscaped courtyard, fitness room, business center, free electrical vehicle chargers, as well as close proximity to the Loretto Heights park, historic open space and future shops/restaurants.  

The building is named for Mother Pancratia Bonfils. Designed by noted Denver architect Harry W. J. Edbrooke, Pancratia Hall has served as a campus dormitory and classrooms for generations.   

Denver’s Department of Housing Stability provided a $3.3 million cash flow loan toward the restoration from the Affordable Housing Fund. Other public financing partners include the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, Colorado Division of Housing and the Denver Housing Authority.  

Pancratia Hall Lofts is the latest city-supported affordable housing development to open in Denver. A total of 1,202 affordable units that have received city financing are currently under construction at 25 sites throughout Denver. An additional 779 income-restricted units are in the planning stage.