Old grocery store turning into school


More progress is being made with the city’s efforts to revitalize the southern portion of Thornton.

Charter Stone Capital announced on July 9 that it has acquired and is redeveloping the former Albertsons’ grocery store at 88th Avenue and Washington Street.

The company is converting the 38,000-square-foot building, which has been vacant since 2006, into a state-of-the art charter high school, New America School.

“We are extremely excited to embark on this redevelopment project which we believe will provide many benefits for local Thornton area residents,” said Michael Searls, president and chief investment officer of Charter Stone Capital. “The completed building will not only provide a beautiful, safe, and much needed permanent home for New America School’s Denver campus, but will also enhance the aesthetic of the local neighborhood and provide a catalyst for additional redevelopment throughout the surrounding community.”

According to Chris Molison, the city’s development director, the redevelopment of the building has already sparked interest in the entire shopping area, approximately 19 acres.

“It’s big enough to house a variety of uses,” he said. He added those uses could be office space, small retail and multi-family housing. “It wouldn’t surprise me if something takes off in the near future.”

Workers have already started renovation of the building, and work should be finished by 2014. The gut renovation of the building will include both interior and exterior improvements.

“The school will move into the building upon completion of the renovation this December over their holiday break,” said Stephanie Cusack with Charter Stone Capital. “The school will operate in another location for the first half of the 2013-14 school year.”

Cusack said expected enrollment is more than 400 students.

Molison said 400 students at that school could spark additional revenue for surrounding retail and restaurants. He said the redevelopment of the building would have both short- and long-term benefits to that neighborhood and the city as a whole.

Charter Stone Capital is a real estate investment fund focused on the acquisition and development of education related real estate.


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