Smiley's laundromat building on Colfax will be demolished

Owner plans to build apartments, local food market

DENVER -- A Depression-era art deco building that's been a part of Colfax Avenue for more than 80 years will be torn down and replaced with what some neighborhood groups are calling the future Union Station of Colfax.

Historic Denver fought to save the building and preserve its architecture, but in the end the new property owner said it came down to parking.

"We are disappointed that that is not what's going to happen," said Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver.

"It's going to change the face of the neighborhood," said Trevor Karstens, who lives in the area.

The building is located at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Downing Street, and was the former home of the famed Smiley's laundromat.

"We understand that there's a lot of interest in the building," said Tim Bertoch, vice president of Consolidated Investments Group, which owns the building. "By constructing below-grade parking underneath the existing building, it became economically just not feasible."

Bertoch said they plan to re-file paperwork within 30 days to demolish the building.

The developers plan to transform it into 180 residential apartments with co-work space and a first-floor local open marketplace.

"[It's going to] activate the neighborhood, and bring a lot of traffic and energy to Colfax," said Bertoch.

Both the Colfax Avenue Business Improvement and Swallow Hill neighborhood groups voted in favor of the plan.

"We can't always get everything that we want, but we're going to get something great," said Frank Locantore, executive director of the Colfax Avenue Business Improvement District.

They hope the now-rundown building can recreate its own history and once again become the center of the Colfax community.

"We want our own kind of Union Station here on Colfax where we've got great pockets of places to go, and this might just be that," said Locantore.

"We're really bullish on the future of Colfax and we want to be part of it with the community," said Bertoch.

Bertoch said demolition likely won't begin for eight or nine months. 

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