by Pam Zubeck
After a delay of several months, El Paso County announced Friday that it has sold the former Department of Human Services building at 105 N. Spruce St., which will be repurposed into an 80-room Holiday Inn Express hotel.
The buyer is the Jarosz Family Partnership, which runs the Clarion Hotel nearby at Bijou Street and Interstate 25.
The partnership has indicated it will invest about $4 million to renovate and furnish the building — expected to open next summer, the county says in a news release.
The county sold the property for $2.4 million, which will be used "to retire lease-purchase securities associated with facilities provided to the Department of Human Services." Translation: The county borrowed against the building several years ago, and will pay off that debt.
From the news release:
"The County no longer needs this building and we're excited to see a local company put it to good use,” said Commissioner Sallie Clark, who represents the area in District 3. “With the official closing now behind us, the building is under private ownership. The reconstruction and renovation is starting soon and will immediately generate a hundred or so construction jobs with another 40 or so permanent jobs projected for the operations of the hotel. It’s good for the taxpayers, good for the county, good for business and good for the neighborhood.”