Simpich Lofts nearing completion

       In a second floor that once included Bob Simpich's office, an employees' breakroom, a filled-in horse alley and a maze of stairs and hallways, four new condominum residences are nearing completion.

Janelle Walston stands inside one of the four Simpich Lofts units.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The Simpich Lofts at 2411-2413 W. Colorado Ave. is a project by builder Dan Robertson and real estate agent Janelle Walston, who have previously collaborated on loft developments downtown and above Meadow Muffins in Old Colorado City.
       Robertson is also the contractor for the simultaneous first-floor Simpich Showcase art gallery, museum and marionette theater, (which is slated to open in late March or early April, according to David Simpich).
       Each with two bedrooms and one bathroom, the residential lofts range between 950 and 1,300 square feet in size and $205,000 to $275,000 in price.
       It has been an interesting project, with the complications of two joined buildings, a horse alley between them, the upstairs and downstairs commonalities, the past add- ons, the age of the structures (both buildings dating back to the late 1800s) and the demands of the Regional Building Department, Walston explained. “But in the end we'll have a cool product.”
       Robertson essentially gutted the upstairs space and rebuilt from scratch, although the old brick walls were left exposed wherever possible to retain the historic style, she said.
       The condos will have modern security, appliances, ventilation, floors, doors, windows and soundproofing. The latter feature was a challenge in the unit next to Thunder & Buttons. To test its effectiveness, Walston stood inside and told the nightclub to “crank up the bass”; the soundproofing was greatly enhanced after the first such test, she said.
       Each condo will have a covered parking space off the alley in back.
       One unit will have access to an outdoor deck off the alley, another to a balcony overlooking the avenue.
       Selling the upstairs space was part of the Simpich plan to make the downstairs Showcase project affordable, David Simpich has explained.
       So far the condo units are proving marketable, with strong advance interest. But Walston said she feels a special joy from playing a part in the Simpich family returning to the building where Bob and Jan Simpich created and manufactured character dolls for nearly 30 years (as part of an overall 54-year career) before retiring in early 2007.
       “It's nice to see the Simpiches coming back,” she said. “We were heartbroken when we heard they were going to close.”

Westside Pioneer article