It’s sort of like someone gives you a great bottle of wine, but you can only look at the label.
But last night, the Denver City Council opened a public hearing, and the council members had a lot of questions and comments. Why? The land at 4700 East Evans Avenue was to change the zoning classification, from 5 stories to 8 stories, which the applicant requested. But it was almost impossible for anyone to not talk about – yes – Carvana. (As well, there were concerns that this change was not compatible with the city’s main plans involving Denver’s development.)
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Carvana commercial, though it sounds like a lot of fun. You buy the vehicle, you get a token, you put the token in a slot in the Carvana tower, and then the car comes to you while you are standing there (or to your home). Sort of like when you were 5 and your mother gave you a quarter, and the grocery store had a big glass box that had a claw and you could nab a teddy bear and get it out of the glass box, but more expensive.
Some council members wanted to talk about both issues: the rezoning and the type of business that would be built on that rezoned land. This glass tower would be seen far and wide, and just off I-25. But somewhere in the wings, there might be an affordable housing project.
Perhaps the best part of the meeting was District 10’s representative, who was on a roll, as quoted in BusinessDen (and I watched the public hearing and comments, too):
“ ‘I’m sure in the media, it will show “City Council voted to approve Carvana,” ‘ Councilman Chris Hinds said with a chuckle. ‘Even though what we’re voting to approve is the rezoning. This is a conundrum.’
“Hinds, at that point, was nearing the end of a fairly good-humored diatribe during the comments portion of the hearing wherein he had bemoaned the limits of the conversation and the manner in which it had been presented to the council.
“ ‘I’m irritated that we’re discussing a business but that we can’t discuss the determination,’ ” he said prior to his comment about the likely headlines. ‘But it is how it is. The applicant has a clear business type and has already put interest and thought into how to use it, but we can’t talk about that. Can’t talk about Carvana, a company whose business model seems to be counter to Blueprint Denver. I’m excited to hear there are wide setbacks and wide sidewalks proposed, but that’s not zoning-related either, and we can’t consider that. After all, the developer could, when we approve rezoning, say never mind.’ ”
Ten of the council members voted for the rezoning, although a couple did not seem happy about it. Three of the council members voted against it for various reasons. One might think that it would be necessary for city council members to want to know more, especially since a representative from Carvana was there to discuss information. Perhaps Denver’s Planning and Development planners should discuss rezoning, but also what might go there.
Two links today, in BusinessDen and Denverite, but also two last month.