JoeAnn and John Falco closed the sale on the Brittany Hill building at 9350 Grant Street, a massive structure with sweeping views of the Front Range, in spring 2009, prompting buzz that the space would rise again.
Almost a year and a half later, though, the spot still sits dark.
That's because after the Falcos took over, the city of Thornton asked for a list of upgrades -- and the couple realized the repairs the property required to meet inspections were much more extensive than they'd originally thought.
"The building sat vacant for two years," says JoeAnn. "We found wild animals, broken entrances, graffiti -- there was a lot to clean up."
John owns a contracting company, and the couple took on the renovations themselves. They've also been working with the former owner, a company based in California called Specialty Restaurant Corporation, to determine who is responsible for footing the bill for the repairs. JoeAnn says they're close to resolving that issue.
The Falcos are itching to put the construction behind them and open for business. "I'm a Colorado native, and I always dreamed of owning Brittany Hill," says JoeAnn. "It's a dream come true."
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The couple is reviving the space with a sports bar, special events center and full service restaurant. And they've brought on Ken Blackmon, a 22-year veteran of the Crystal Rose, 9755 East Hampden Avenue, a similar venue, as head chef.
As for a timeline, things are still vague, but JoeAnn hopes that they'll be ready to welcome their first guests in early 2011.
"I would love to be open for New Year's Eve," she says. "But realistically, it will probably be more like Valentine's Day."
She is talking with parties who would like to hold events at Brittany Hill, though, and can be reached through the property's website.