Client Corner: Family of Juanita Pedotto
Central Denver Apartment Market Report: Page 4 of our 2018 Q3 newsletter
Some real estate transactions pay off in surprising ways.
In May I received a phone call from Carol who said that her Mother, Juanita, had just passed away at 102 years old. She had left her daughters, Carol, Donna and Jude multiple properties in the Denver Metro area.
Juanita grew up in the Denver neighborhood of Swansea during the Great Depression. A hard worker to the core even as a child, she walked the train tracks daily, collecting coal that had “fallen” from passing cargo trains so that her family could cook meals on their stove. It was years later that she found out a few kind strangers were looking out for her. Rail workers grew to know her over time and would toss coal from their trains so that Juanita could fill her pail each day.
Years later, Juanita worked her way from picking up coal as a child to a job at The Pentagon. Upon returning to Denver, she began her foray into real estate. Her first property turned into a portfolio of apartment buildings, a hotel, condos, and even a subdivision in Arvada.
Juanita welcomed tenants of all backgrounds into her buildings, including those that might have otherwise been rejected. Some had underpaying jobs, bad credit or had made mistakes in their past – Juanita took them in. Just like the rail workers had done for her, she did her best to help the less fortunate get back on their feet.
While selling their apartment building at 1361 York, I shared in the fun of going through “Mom’s” old collections. Vintage furniture, leaded glass windows, historic maps of Denver and old newspapers. With every day, another smile when an old trinket sparked a memory from years ago…. Helping “Mom” on the switchboard at the Mills Hotel which she owned at 13th and Logan or painting vacant apartments together as a family. Beneath the dust, memories poured out of the 118-year-old building.
Looking back, it was much more than just a piece of real estate. Each property that Juanita had left behind was a piece of their family’s legacy. Many, many thanks to Carol, Donna and Jude for allowing me to be a very small part of Juanita’s amazing story.