Call it horse-trading, but it was not totally kumbaya. However: From the beginning, the three people want to save the Channel7 building to undergo adaptive re-use. Save the exterior, and figure out a new interior for a new use.
The Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee met Tuesday to decide whether the Channel7 octagonal building for landmarking and to be moved to the full City Council.
Actually, the discussion was on point most of the time, though the owners of the Channel7 building still want the land to be sold and eventually scraped. The developer Property Markets Group – go on their website for buildings in New York City and Miami – and they listened, though one of the developers from PMG said that adaptive re-use was not their specialty.
A story in today’s Denver Business Journal, noted this:
“District 1 Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval said during the LUTI meeting Tuesday that she hoped to see the two sides reach a win-win solution.
” ‘I hope that these two parties can come together and stop talking in absolutes, and what you feel are absolutes, and start talking about maybe having a compromise, because this doesn’t work in our community, having these absolutes, either demolition or 100% preservation,’ Sandoval said. ‘I really do think that there can be both.’ “
Sandoval also said that developers need to know more about tax credits.
Consider the fact that even the Denver Community and Development agency that rules over development and zoning was getting involved in terms of the relevance of the Channel7 building.
One of the city planners spoke up about the land at 123 Speer Boulevard, in BusinessDen’s story today:
“The block is currently zoned for up to 12 stories. But Andrew Webb, a Denver city planner, told the council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Tuesday that Denver7 could have success if they requested rezoning that would allow Property Markets to build higher on the bulk of the site, in exchange for preserving the tower.
“ ‘If the owners were interested in applying, then it is possible that we could get support for additional height — potentially up to 16 stories, which is what is permitted in the Golden Triangle area, whose boundaries do technically include this site,’ Webb said.”
That’s a big carrot, but the bottom line is this: The Channel7 building is an important part of our city’s architectural fabric. A lot of people apparently think Brutalism is one step away from hell. Of course, they are wrong, and Brutalism instead is a step linking to different types of styles.
P.S.: At the end of the meeting, all seven members of the committee approved to move the landmark designation to the full city council. But at the very beginning of the meeting, the City Council Representative Kendra Black (District 4) saw the photos of several Brutalist buildings in Denver, and she proclaimed they are “unwelcoming.” Several council members not on that committee still attended the meeting virtually to comment or listen. But it’s unfortunate that the city council member (Chris Hinds) representing District 10 apparently did not attend, since the Channel7 is located in District 10. Perhaps there was a conflict, but District 10 cares quite a bit about architecture.
There are some links below: stories from BusinessDen and Denver Business Journal, an email from Community Planning and Development about the Channel7 situation, and a link to the meeting yesterday. And, I learned that the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission meetings are on YouTube; the April 6 commission meeting can be found below. Who knew?