Denver Cathedral High School complex could be converted to boutique hotel

GFI Development Co. and OZ Architecture are working together on redeveloping the Seton House and historic School near Grant Street and East 19th Avenue.

A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street from a bird's-eye view. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)
A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street from a corner angle. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)
A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street from a southwest corner angle.
(Courtesy of OZ Architecture)

Developers submitted plans Friday to convert the Cathedral High School complex in uptown Denver into an 11-story boutique hotel.

GFI Development Co. and OZ Architecture are working together on redeveloping the Seton House and historic School near Grant Street and East 19th Avenue. The companies did not immediately share a timeline for the project, and city officials still have to sign off on the redevelopment.

The New York-based development company did not return an inquiry from Denverite about the project. Denver-based OZ Architecture said Rebecca Stone is heading up the design for the firm.

“Adaptive reuse such as this is the perfect way to retain Denver’s historic buildings during this period of unprecedented growth, while still creating the infrastructure we need as a city, including more hotel rooms,” Stone said in a statement.

A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street from a bird's-eye view. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)
A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street looking southeast. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)

Cathedral High School and the nearby convent were constructed in 1921. In the ’70s, the convent closed and reopened as the Seton House, named after canonized Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton. The building was used for nuns visiting Denver until 1989 when Mother Teresa sent missionaries to the building to care for AIDS patients, according to Historic Denver Inc. The mission moved and repurposed in 2003, according to the Denver Catholic Register.

The Cathedral High School was forced to close its doors in 1982 due to dwindling enrollment and growing debts. The building later held the Samaritan Shelter for the Homeless and was leased out to other organizations and companies, according to Historic Denver.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver sold the property in 2013 to Sagebrush Capital for $3.3 million. In December, GFI nabbed the land for $2.7 million, according to city records.

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Developers plan to include restaurant, office, retail and parking space in their hotel project, according to the plan submitted Friday.

The school’s former gymnasium located across the alley mid-block on Logan Street is expected to be preserved and transformed into a portion of the hotel. The parking lot north of the gym is expected to be replaced with another portion of the hotel, according to OZ.

A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street from a bird's-eye view. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)
A rendering of a hotel planned near East 19th Avenue and Grant Street looking northwest from Logan Street. (Courtesy of OZ Architecture)

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.