Denver plans to buy former East Colfax strip club for $1.3 million

DENVER -- The city of Denver is planning to spend $1.3 million on a former strip club with hopes to rejuvenate the East Colfax Avenue corridor.

The purchase of the site formerly known as PT's was approved by a city council committee on Tuesday. The strip club at 8315 E. Colfax Ave. was shut down in the winter.

The city said the plan is to demolish the building and add affordable housing to the neighborhood.

"East Colfax is definitely an emphasis," said Derek Woodbury with Denver's Office of Economic Development. "Housing is a critical element for residents and having an affordable place to live helps build vibrant communities where you have people of all different incomes and different walks of life.

"It contributes to a healthy vibrant community."

Woodbury said the development would also likely include ground floor retail.

Lauren Stewart, the vice president of the East Colfax Neighborhood Association, said the group has been lobbying for help from the city for quite some time.

"We are really trying to take back the East Colfax name," she said. "We want to take back that reputation and really own it as a developing community."

Stewart believes the planned purchase of the former strip club is a good first step.

"The first really large parcel of land right in the center of an area that attracts a lot of negative behavior and a lot of negative activity," she said.

"We are hoping that once we have affordable housing or even just new development in the area it will encourage commercial developers to come in and take a second look at some sites they may have overlooked in the past."

The city plans to fund the purchase with federal housing funds. The final approval, with a full city council vote, is expected sometime in September.