Re:Denver: Reimagining Hospitality

Tuesday, November 19
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carla Madison Recreation Center
2401 E Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

CM | 1.50

Join us for a look at some unique revitalization projects throughout Denver. As housing prices rise, we are looking at highlighting several projects that are taking advantage of existing density, as well as breathing new life into spaces that were previously less desirable.  Innovative projects have taken former motels and hotels, and reimagined them as spaces that can accommodate affordable housing as well as market rate units, and creating spaces that are appealing to home owners and renters. We will be speaking with panelists from who led projects as the 1st Avenue Hotel and Circa West. This will be a great opportunity to explore these unique solutions.

Learning Objectives:

1. how motels and hotels can be reimagined into new spaces
2. from architects and developers who are responsible for several new projects in Denver
3. the challenges and opportunities these projects provide for our community


  • Ben Hrouda, Managing Partner, Flywheel Capital:  Ben has over 15 years of real estate finance, capital markets and executive experience with over $1.2 billion in closed transactions. Ben was previously Vice President of Investment Accounting and Reporting at Sage Hospitality in Denver. His responsibilities included coordinating all corporate tax filings, partnership waterfalls, five-year long-range plan, and investor communication. Previously, Ben has held positions at UDR, a $10 billion publicly traded company and Continental Realty Advisors (CRA), a start-up multi-family real estate fund with equity committed from a Boston hedge fund. A licensed CPA and graduate of the University of Denver, Ben is a fourth generation Colorado native and current Vice Chair of the Colorado Society of CPAs.
  • David Zucker, Co-Founder, Zocalo: David co-founded Zocalo spurred by a commitment to real estate development that balanced investment returns, community, and environmental impact. David focused on downtown redevelopment as soon as he arrived in Denver in 1990. David’s first project was the Lofts over the Wynkoop Brewery where he lived until 1995. Since the Wynkoop, David established a vision for historic conversions such as the Downtown Denver and Downtown San Diego Courtyards by Marriott, both of which utilized the Historic Investment Tax Credit. In Denver, David was one of the first developers to work through, develop and sell deed-restricted, for-sale units, a program that codified in the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Of the four IHO projects in downtown Denver, David was responsible for developing three. Since formation, Zocalo has quickly become among the best-respected development companies in Colorado, recognized for thoughtful, innovative, well-timed and skillfully-executed projects. As such, Zocalo has twice set the Colorado records for price-per-unit multi-family sales. As a LEED®-Accredited Professional, David oversees all aspects of project development and management to ensure they meet project specifications, budgets, and timelines. As recognition, David received the Denver Business Journal’s Developer of the Year award for 2012.
  • Alison Shunneson, Owner, Runt & Bro, LLC: Alison Shunneson studied history and business at the University of Colorado in Boulder (1987 - 1991) and graduated from law school at Southwestern University in Los Angeles, California in 1994 (passed the Colorado State Bar in 1997). Passionate about real estate, she began to purchase and remodel homes upon her arrival in Denver. After practicing law for 20 years and with the encouragement of family and friends, Alison started Runt & Bro, LLC in 2012 and purchased her first building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. One year later, Alison purchased her second property in Arvada and then her third property in Aurora. Alison discovered The Branding Iron Motel for sale in 2018 and completed that purchase in February 2019 intent on converting the motel into micro-unit apartments.
  • Annie Levinsky, Executive Director, Historic Denver: Annie Robb Levinsky is the Executive Director of Historic Denver, Inc., a position she has held since 2009. Through her work at Historic Denver Annie seeks to inspire ideas and actions that support the city’s historic fabric and contribute to a vibrant and dynamic community with a unique identity. During her time with Historic Denver Annie created the award-winning Denver Story Trek program, co-chaired Doors Open Denver and launched Historic Denver’s re:Denver forum series and Action Fund. She is also responsible for the organization’s advocacy agenda and has worked extensively on issues such as the National Western Center, City Park, and the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. After attending three Denver Public Schools, Annie graduated summa cum laude from Colorado College with a degree in history and has subsequently studied urban planning.


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