One of the best moves of the year -- both literally and figuratively -- was the city's last-second save of theDenver Civic Theatre for Su Teatro
, which just opened its first production in the heart of Denver's historic Santa Fe Drive area.
Su Teatro was already in the process of creating a new home a dozen blocks south and things weren't going well in this economy. Now, the theater company is out from under that burden. But it leaves behind yet another home: the Elyria School, the building at 4725 High Street that Su Teatro had bought back in 1989 for $142,000, and is now selling for $435,000.
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What's it leaving behind there? A lot of concern from neighbors, who complain that Elyria, already in the shadows of the I-70 viaduct, is being ignored by the city altogether.
The city had been looking for buyers for the school; developer James Mercado stepped up. He wants to make it a center for female military veterans returning to civilian life, including the Odyssey Family Residences, a new building that would be constructed in the parking lot with housing for 32 families, and in the former school, a community center with a health clinic and cybercafe open to the neighborhood.
But the neighborhood isn't entirely thrilled with the concept. Tom Anthony, president of the Elyria Neighborhood Association, fired off an angry e-mail last week in response to Mayor John Hickenlooper's gubernatorial campaign request that citizens send him ideas. Anthony has a lot of them, the primary one being: stop ignoring Elyria.
Mercado, who's pushing the Odyssey plan, will hold a neighborhood meeting at 6 p.m. tonight; for more information, call 720-394-0972.