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Fruitdale School Lofts has received a Community Development award from the Mountain Plains Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

The NAHRO awards are given annually to recognize outstanding places, people and programs affiliated with NAHRO agency members. The awards recognize best practices among housing, redevelopment and community agencies.

The transformation of the Fruitdale School to solar-powered affordable housing culminates a decade of community effort to save a treasured historic landmark.

Fruitdale’s redevelopment is the first adaptive reuse project of its kind for the City of Wheat Ridge. The project is seen as a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheat Ridge’s 44th Avenue corridor, which is one reason why the city made a significant investment to help ensure Fruitdale’s success. An adjacent property has already been redeveloped as a direct result and improvements to other properties are underway along the corridor.

Fruitdale’s community includes former students (one that played basketball on the backboard that remains as a feature in his loft), a former city council member, a resident that is starting her own on-site community garden (to add to Fruitdale’s existing fruit trees and berry bushes), and many families with young children.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious NAHRO award on behalf of the entire Fruitdale School Partners team,” said Jim Hartman, principal of Hartman Ely Investments. “The rebirth of Fruitdale resulted from a monumental effort by countless team members and is a great testament to community will.”

“The restoration of the Fruitdale School into rental lofts offers a unique residential opportunity for Wheat Ridge,” said Patrick Goff, Wheat Ridge city manager. “With the use of solar power, free electric vehicle charging stations and edible, low-water-use landscaping, Fruitdale School Lofts provide our city with an example of how to create sustainable and affordable housing in a repurposed historic landmark that is very important to our community.”

To view the video record of the Fruitdale School Lofts project, visit