DENVER (KDVR) — On Thursday, the City of Denver announced it is pursuing a master lease of the former DoubleTree hotel at 4040 Quebec St.

The effort is part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s homeless initiative to bring 1,000 people without homes indoors and permanently close encampments by the end of the year. According to the city’s dashboard, 168 people are currently connected to housing, with 61 of those individuals in leased units and two in shelters. Another 79 are housed in motel/hotel conversions.

“This milestone marks a critical advancement in our commitment to providing units and services for those experiencing homelessness,” the city stated in a release.

The master lease, if secured, would be for the third property in this initiative. Earlier this year, the Denver Housing Authority acquired the Best Western Central Park hotel at 4595 Quebec St. for conversion to permanent supportive housing and is now in use as individual shelter units. The city also closed on the Stay Inn at 12033 E. 38th Ave. for supportive housing.

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to get 1,000 unhoused neighbors into transitional housing,” Johnston said in a release. “This property will help us get hundreds of Denverites off the streets and into dignified and stable converted hotel units that will allow us to close encampments and keep them permanently closed.”

Location to provide hundreds of beds

The site will have 300 rooms with 450 beds, a commercial kitchen and laundry facility and wrap-around services for residents, which include things like help with job searching, access and information about other programs, and other aid.

Rocky Mountain Communities is set to purchase the site at 4040 Quebec St. and lease the property to the City and County of Denver. This agreement was passed without objection by the Denver City Council Safety Committee on Wednesday. The agreement now moves on for full city council approval.

“As part of the lease agreement, the city will also pay $10,000 for an option to purchase the hotel,” the city said.

“Pending city council approval, individuals currently living in encampments may be able to move into the site as early as December 2023,” the city said. Additionally, the council will be asked to approve a service provider to manage the site, “ensuring that residents receive the support they require to transition toward stability and improved well-being.”

Denver “will invest approximately $3.9 million of the 2023 Homelessness Emergency Budget to lease and operate the site. This expenditure is part of the $5.4 million allocation for hotels announced Sept. 12,” the city said.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded $24.4 million under its Denver-Metro Regional Navigation Campus funding to the city. The funding will be used to operate an Encampment Resolution program in the Denver region, the city said.

“The site is a critical element of this program, and the state funding will help make the lease, and potential purchase option, possible,” the city said.

The city said it continues “to leverage existing units and bring more hotel units online as well as leverage micro-communities that will allow the city to scale moving people indoors quickly and cost-effectively.”