The upper two floors of the building at 1025 N. Broadway have sat vacant for about 40 years.
But that may soon change.
The three-story, 17,688-square-foot building changed hands at the end of July. GM Development, led by Ben Gearhart and Charles Moore, purchased the space for $3.4 million, or about $192 a square foot, according to public records.
A pawn shop occupies the first floor of the building, and has a lease that runs through 2026, Gearhart said. The upper floors, however, have been unused since the early 1980s.
The building was originally the Burte Hotel. GM plans to convert the 40 rooms on the second and third floors into 20 one-bedroom and studio apartments. Leasing will probably begin next summer, Gearhart said.
“With such large increases in rent growth and a high need for attainable units, we felt this project was a perfect fit for a conversion,” he said. “We are working with the National Park Service and the state to help with tax incentives to be able to offer a more attainable product.”
The National Park Service oversees the National Register of Historic Places, on which Gearhart hopes to get the building listed.
Gearhart said he is looking at building out the rooftop so tenants can get views of the mountains and downtown.
The Burte Hotel was first planned in 1909 and built by Gustave Burte sometime that same year or the early 1910s, according to an old newspaper story. The project cost $38,000.
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In today’s dollars, that would be around $1.2 million.
Before the hotel became vacant, it would often be used to house auto parts vendors who had come to town to sell their products, Gearhart said.
GM Development recently sold a former funeral home in Berkeley to a Montessori school. The firm also fixed up a former hostel in the Uptown neighborhood.
The building was sold by Trevor Pettennude, who runs a Denver-based company that provides credit card payment systems to businesses. Pettennude purchased the space in January 2014 for $925,000, records show.
This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.