The Fruitdale School building—now called Fruitdale School Lofts—is located at 10803 W. 44th Avenue. The property was deeded to the Jefferson County School District in 1883, and the first school was built on the site in 1884. This original building was destroyed by fire in the 1920s, after which noted Denver architect and developer Temple Buell designed the existing red brick school building in 1927. Additions on both sides of the building were constructed in the 1950s. The facility served as a public school until 2007 at which time Norma Anderson Preschool was constructed next door, and Jeffco Schools decommissioned Fruitdale.
The Wheat Ridge Housing Authority (WRHA) owned the property from April 2011 until December 2017, but their involvement in potentially acquiring the property dates back to 2007 when the school was decommissioned. During their ownership, the Housing Authority explored a variety of redevelopment options, and ultimately sought a development partner to repurpose the National Register property.
The Authority began working with Hartman Ely Investments (HEI) in February 2015. HEI thoroughly vetted several reuse scenarios before ultimately pursing a redevelopment of the site into 16 apartments. The Authority sold the property on December 9, 2016 and work is well underway to repurpose the interior of the school and to restore the exterior.
Funding for the Fruitdale School Lofts includes multiple sources, including significant funding from both the City and WRHA, as well as developer equity, a commercial loan from Citywide Banks, federal and state tax credits, federal HOME funds through Jefferson County Community Development solar power production credits from Xcel Energy, and a State Historic Fund grant.
The slideshow below shows the progression of the property and will be updated throughout construction. Newspaper articles are also linked below, including a timeline that summarizes the 10 years of events that ultimately led to restoration of the site.
Media Coverage and Updates
- Timeline of events-2007 to 2017
- February 2017 State Historical Fund Grant
- December 2016 HEI closes on Fruitdale Property
- July 2016 Denver Post – Fruitdale school restoration effort in Wheat Ridge gets potential $2m boost
- December 2016 FOX31 Historic Fruitdale school to be converted into affordable housing
- March 2017 Wheat Ridge Transcript Fruitdale School’s renovations taking shape
- Winter/Spring 2017 Connections Newsletter Page 5 – Fruitdale School Awarded State Historical Fund Grant and Fruitdale Rehabilitation Underway
- Fruitdale's Green Updates