Mansion-To-Office Trend Alive And Well In Denver, As Titanic-Linked Estate Hits Market
Denver's iconic Crawford Hill Mansion, built in 1906 for a Victorian industrialist, recently hit the market and is zoned for a number of uses.
“The Crawford Hill Mansion was one of the largest Denver residences at the time of construction, and it has been lovingly restored and renovated into one-of-a-kind office space by the current owners, who have occupied the property for the past 30 years," CBRE’s Monica Wiley said. "The result is one of Denver’s most well-preserved and unique historic properties."
Located at 150 East 10th Ave. and 933 Sherman St., it was last purchased in 1990 and renovated into office space. It was originally built for early 20th century Denver businessman Crawford Hill, who made a fortune in publishing, industry and land, and his wife, Louise. They were among Denver's most prominent citizens and had both local and national influence, Historic Denver Executive Director Annie Levinsky said.
For those of you who have seen Titanic, you're probably familiar with one of their contemporaries, the "Unsinkable Molly Brown." Louise Hill wasn't a fan of including Molly before the ship sank, but rectified that quickly post-tragedy, Levinsky notes.
This might sound unique, but the city’s historical mansion-to-office scene is alive and well.
“Capitol Hill is home to the densest number of historic landmarks in Denver, and the area near Crawford Hill Mansion is no exception, especially in terms of ‘office mansions,’” Levinsky said.
The conversion trend began in the 1970s and '80s was a way to save and reuse existing historic homes that were considered too large for single-family residences, she said. A zoning overlay was created, known as the Historic Use Overlay 3, that allows for a variety of uses for individual landmarks in a number of zone districts, especially districts that already have a mixed-use "flavor.”
These spaces are popular for small businesses, including developers, architects and engineers.
“The Crawford Hill Mansion would be a great fit for a law or financial services firm, foundation or any office user who appreciates the property’s rich history, close proximity to the State Capitol and amenity-rich urban environment,” CBRE Capital Markets broker Jeff Wood said.
The building is almost 20K SF on less than an acre of land, and includes a separate lot that is zoned for mixed-use up to five stories. What could be built there is dependent on the buyer, but Levinsky said the new construction would be reviewed by the Denver Landmark Commission.
"The Mansion is in the Sherman-Grant Historic District, a relatively small district, but which further ensures that adjacent new development will have good design quality and compatibility," she said.
It's important that the new development respects the context of the landmark, and doesn't overpower the site, she added.
Other offices turned mansions in the area include the Zang Mansion, which recently sold for $2M, and the Bosworth House, Bailey Mansion and Mullen Mansion.