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First building on iconic Loretto Heights campus in southwest Denver reopens as affordable housing

City celebrates rebirth of iconic Panratia Hall
Posted: 6:24 PM, May 12, 2022
Updated: 2022-05-12 21:22:59-04
Pancratia Hall

DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock and other city leaders celebrated the restoration of a historic landmark Thursday.

Pancratia Hall on the Loretto Heights campus has been converted into 74 income-restricted apartments.

Pancratia Hall was constructed in 1929 and served as part of a Catholic school for decades. They served students from 1891 until 2017 — first as an all-girls boarding school on the prairie, and later in several iterations including colleges, a high school, nursing school and military training ground. 

The building was designated a historic landmark last year. It’s now been fully restored as lofts and will be geared toward individuals and families, featuring studios and up to four-bedroom units. Each unit will be income-restricted to those earning 30 to 80 percent of the area median income.

First building on iconic Loretto Heights campus in southwest Denver reopens as affordable housing

While the redevelopment of Loretto Heights is being applauded by some, neighbors are still guarded about what’s to come.

“Traffic is already bad,” said Loni Cramer who lives in South Harvey Park. “The whole area’s going to get crowded. We’re concerned about chain stores moving in and changing the neighborhood. If it were more unique mom-and-pop stores, that could be fun.”

She’s not alone.

“A lot of people said they wanted no low-income housing or not a lot of low-income housing,” said Vern Bell, who also lives nearby.

Bell supports affordable housing, but also worries about his own property value.

“Mixed feelings,” Bell said. “I’m not sure if the people who worked on the project really listened to us.”

“We’re also concerned how densely populated it will be,” Cramer said. “How close the buildings will be and if there will be enough park space and trees in between.”

The historic buildings of Loretto Heights stand prominently on a hilltop site in southwest Denver, with stunning panoramic views of downtown Denver, Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains. 

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