New Project: 1st Avenue Residences

A vacant historic building along Broadway in the Baker neighborhood is getting a new life as a $32 million project by Zocalo Community Development is underway. The First Avenue Hotel, former home to the very popular El Diablo restaurant which closed in 2013, is being transformed into an affordable housing project with a total of 102 units along with 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, perfectly suited for Broadway. To orient yourself, here is a map of the area with the project site outlined.

As you may have seen in the above aerial, this project also includes a small surface parking lot and an existing building. There was a former two-story annex attached to the 1st Avenue Hotel which has since been demolished to make way for a five-story addition to the historic building. Here are a couple preliminary renderings of the five-story addition courtesy of JG Architects.

Construction is already underway for the five-story addition which will contain a total of 56 units; the remaining units will reside in the the historic building. Below are a few photos of the construction progress from this past weekend.

As you can see in the photos, the cores have topped out, and the wood framing has started to go vertical. Here are two additional photos from West 1st Avenue.

To wrap up, let’s head over to Broadway to check out the progress of the historic building. A significant amount of exterior renovation is taking place along the ground floor, with interior work also underway.

Here are two more photos looking south showing the brilliant red brick wall on the north side of the historic building.

This project will be a great asset to Broadway and Baker once it is complete and open. The new ground-floor retail and additional residents will breathe new life into this already vibrant intersection.

By |2018-11-11T14:50:32+00:00November 8, 2018|Categories: Baker, Historic Preservation, Infill, Renderings, Residential|Tags: |6 Comments


  1. James November 8, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Great addition.
    Nice to see new developments along Broadway, for years it’s been in decline.

    Any news about development north of this project, 2nd and Broadway.
    It would nice to see the whole block redevelop ed

  2. Tom Harper November 8, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply

    It’s such a handsome building. I’m thrilled to see it getting a new life. And I’m happy to know that young people will have an opportunity to afford rent in the neighborhood where they will probably work.

  3. Brett November 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    That was eerily serendipitous. I deliver mail in this area. I pulled up right in front of Punch Bowl Social as this new project showed up at the same time while I was checking Denverinfill. Creepy

  4. Jim November 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    This building has always been special to me. Many years ago it was totally dilapidated. An architect friend of mine was involved with the restoration of the facade. Shortly afterwards he was tragically murdered by some gay bashing gang bangers. It’s saddened me to see this building empty for all these years. It’s emptiness always reminded me of my friend absence. I hope it is brought to life and becomes a happy home for many years to come.

  5. Ryan November 9, 2018 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Still miss late-night carne asada at El Diablo. Staying out on South Broadway past 2:00 am has never been the same. Hopefully a crane falls on Punch Bowl during construction.

  6. steve November 9, 2018 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    unless something big has changed, this project includes a 2-story parking structure west across the alley, with a small “retail” nook at the sidewalk

    i want to commend Zocalo for being very proactive in connecting with the community; for example they have given multiple updates on what to expect for sidewalk and alley closures, and are clearly working to minimize the disruption — they have already partially re-opened the Broadway sidewalk and (if they haven’t already) they will soon install a covered walkway along 1st Ave.; contrast this with Holland Partner Group at 99 S. Broadway … the last communication from them was August *2017* when they said “We will continue our efforts to be a good neighbor that is well integrated in to the Baker neighborhood”; a construction worker told me Holland plans to keep the sidewalks around the site closed for “about a year” (meaning many transit users will have to cross Broadway twice to reach the bus stop at Bayaud)

Leave A Comment