That would be District 10 City Councilman Chris Hinds, asking one of the people who live in a neighborhood where a company wants to build a hotel, because the resident missed the last go round of this situation.
The situation: The developer wants to be granted a tiny piece of land at Chestnut Place and 29th Avenue through the process of vacation. It’s a total of about 6,000-square feet, and the developer has been hoping it could push into that land via an overhang to allow more hotel rooms. For years, the open land has had B-cycles in place, and has served as a sort of entryway to that busy area north of Union Station.
The city cannot sell the land, but the city can vacate the land. The city has controlled this land for 150 years. The cost of vacating the land has been tagged at $1,600, an amount that has not been updated for several years.
But this is the Ballpark neighborhood, and it became apparent that that amount seemed a bit, um, low, considering that that part of Denver has boomed with residential and commercial structures. In the Denverite story today, real estate records note a value of about $2 million.
So this became a thing. First, there was a committee meeting in August, and then a public hearing in September, which was continued so the applicant could have time to have more conversations with people who wanted to keep that open space. The city council meeting set a date to hold a vote for Oct. 28.
For those of us who occasionally watch these meetings, the two yes votes were cast by Chris Herndon of District 8 and Kendra Black of District 4. The no votes totaled 11.
I saw the tail end of the discussion last night, but watched it again this morning. Nerdy or not, it was interesting, convoluted, involving a registered neighborhood organization, the issue of last-minute documents, with the hint that getting cheap land from the city of Denver may not be quite as easy any more.
The most interesting comment was made by District 6 Councilman Paul Kashmann: “I’ve never had a call in four years from someone begging me for a hotel room.” He said he gets calls and comments all the time about housing. “It’s difficult to live in Denver.”
There are two links below that cover this issue.