Food News

Sale of First Avenue Hotel Set to Be Finalized Today

The First Avenue Hotel has seen a lot over the past century, but the wildest chapter started three years ago, in July 2012, when the city slapped a notice to vacate on the circa 1906 building that developer Jesse Morreale had purchased in 2008 and renovated, arguing that the structure was unsafe because Morreale had failed to make all the repairs required when a temporary occupancy permit was issued in 2010. Morreale appealed the action to the Board of Appeals, and was allowed to re-open his two restaurants, Sketch and El Diablo, in the first floor of the building. But the problems were only pushed aside temporarily; the city posted another notice on the building again in January 2013. After more legal maneurvering, Morreale held one last bash in May that year and then boarded up the whole building.

And the boards stayed up through the building's standing-room-only auction in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on December 3. After heated bidding, the winner was Digital Cowboy LLC, headed by Denver developer Jeff Oberg, who bid $6.55 million.

That sale is schedule to be finalized today....when the winning bidder pays for the prize in cash.

What's the next chapter for the First Avenue Hotel? It's definitely going to stick around, because the building is a designated Denver landmark. But what will be inside? Stay tuned.


KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun