A group of local investors recently bought the Union Printers Home near Memorial Park for $18.5 million to revitalize and preserve the property.
Seven local families bought the 26-acre campus at 101 South Union Boulevard at the end of June and expect to renovate the buildings, although they have not settled on a development plan for the property yet, said Susan Pattee, a member of the ownership group.
Pattee's mother, Kathy Loo, a former Colorado Springs city councilmember and philanthropist, and her brother, James Loo, are also part of the group, along with the O'Neil Group and All Pro Capital, both local companies, she said. The group bought the property as UPH Partners.
"This is a project that’s so critical to the community and it’s something that needs to be done by people who care about all the legacy of it," she said.
While the group has not determined how the property will be used, they may draw some inspiration from Denver's Union Station, another historic building that's privately owned but open to the public and a hub of activity, with shops and restaurants.
"Our plan is to make it a community asset so it’s available. ...We are not planning to make anything that would be gated off or walled off," Pattee said. They also want to preserve open park-like qualities of the campus with its older trees, she said.
The property includes four buildings, and the group aims to preserve all of them, Pattee said. The original structure was built in 1891 and 1892 by the National Typographical Union out of limestone and sandstone, to house retired printers who were sickened by the ink, according to the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs.
Three brick buildings were added later, she said.
Most recently the campus housed a nursing home and assisted living facility that was closed last year after a resident died of hypothermia the grounds. The state revoked the company's license to operate and all the residents were moved.
The new ownership group may announce its plans for the building next year. Renovation is expected to take a minimum of five years.
"We’re very excited and feel very grateful to be stewards of the property," Pattee said.