2005 - Luxury hotel plan survived two-decade odyssey
Building a high-end hotel at Ninth Street and Canyon Boulevard in downtown Boulder had been in the works since 1985, when Boulder developer and designer Sina Simantob envisioned a public/private partnership to build a hotel and underground garage on the site — which the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority declared blighted in 1988.
San Diego-based R.B. McComic Inc. bought the land in 1989, hoping to build a 275-room Sheraton hotel and conference center on the site. Finally, the tract was purchased in 1994 by Bruce Porcelli and his St Julien Partners. Hutchinson, Black and Cook, a Boulder-based law firm, helped the partnership broker a deal with the city to put a 656-space parking garage underneath the hotel. A complex vertical ownership structure allowed construction of a parking structure funded through Boulder’s Central Area General Improvement District, which owned all the subsurface rights to the property.
The improvement district raised $12.5 million in municipal bonds for the parking project.
Meanwhile, Colorado Business Bank stepped up to orchestrate the financing for the $25 million hotel through a loan from Pullman Bank of Chicago. 42/40 Architects of Denver designed the hotel, including its spa, business center, three banquet rooms and the hotel restaurant, Jill’s.
G.E. Johnson Construction Co. served as the contractor on the project, stepping up to the challenge of building the hotel on top of the 120,000-square-foot concrete slab that covers the two-level parking structure. The company won an award for Outstanding Concrete Project from Colorado Construction Magazine for its work on the garage, constructed in the middle of winter, as well as the hotel.
A key ingredient to the hotel’s luxurious look was the 80,000 square feet of marble and granite installed by the craftsmen of Marino Tile & Marble Inc. based in Colorado Springs. Its 60-man crew endured five months of sometimes tedious work installing 21 different types of stone — mostly quartzite, a sandstone with marblelike qualities, and the marble Jerusalem Gold. The stonework appears on floors, steps, walls, bathrooms an even in the barrel ceiling above the bar.