A Busy Week of Trade-offs

Time to bring you up to date on some items around Downtown Denver from the last few days. News, notes and comment.

Lights Out! At a Denver Planning Board meeting last night, the marathon session ended with Sports Authority dropping their plan to string giant lighted letters of their name around the stadium on the east, west and north sides. Yes, it is officially Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but it will only be announced, presumably, on the south end for the world to see. And, we can continue to call it “Mile Hi”.  The neighbors banned together to get this accomplished. Lights off for the 9′ letters…power to the people!

Glacial Movement. A large car and truck-eating glacial lake opened up at the 15th Street entrance to the alley behind the Wazee Supper Club. Fear not, though, as it was whisked away in the middle of the night (2:30-4:00 a.m.) by a road grader. Not a plow. Not a bunch of guys with shovels. A road grader like they would have used to build the Panama Canal if they had had one. Noisy, but no cars are missing today. Seems over the years, residents and merchants near the intersection of 15th and Wazee have requested the city add storm drains to help with runoff and snowmelt accumulation. The city seems to think it unnecessary. Don’t stand here after a snow when a bus goes by. Calmly go inside and order your liquids from one of the Wazee’s 32 taps.

Dangerous Walk. Daytime and rush hours are particularly tricky if you are trying to navigate from Downtown over to Highlands via 16th Street and the Millenium Bridge.  Crossing 16th at Wewatta demands caution. No one driving is paying much attention. Be careful! Oh, but if you are lucky, speaking of 16th Street, you may get to ride on one of the new shiny Mall Shuttles. Catch one while it still has that “new Shuttle smell.”


What Could Have Been. Our "W"!

Whither the W?  Not only are we not getting a trendy new “W” Hotel, we won’t get the shop where you could buy nifty stuff like a $32 coin purse. Sage Hospitality has dropped its plan to develop the air space above Office Depot into the hotel in favor of several stories of office and residential. Something going in that space has been in the works, and the zoning, for years, much to the chagrin of residents of Larimer Place who have had their view for decades. Building on the site of Downtown Denver’s arguably worst looking building will cause a move for Office Depot. Of course, we all remember when that space was Dave Cook Sports, and no better looking.

LoDo’s new food corner. Work keeps moving along on part of the old Dixon’s space and the former Gumbo’s across the street at 16th and Wazee. The folks from The Kitchen will form a new corner foundation for the Sugar Building. They told Denver by the Slice a couple of weeks ago that they planned to be open in March. Signs in the window, in nice Boulder type lettering, use the more generous “Spring”. And, now, they are updating their FaceBook page about the spot. Meanwhile, the owner of Lucky Pie Pizza and Tap Room told one of our sources last week that they “would be open in three weeks.” If you have wandered by to look in, you’d say they would be lucky to accomplish that. There is a Port-o-Let on the sidewalk, though.

Opus Redux. And, if you wondered where the Chevy Nova standing on its nose across from the Museum of Contemporary Art has gone, you’ll have to keep guessing. It has been moved. The flower building will come down. And, the building fronting 15th at Delgany, the “Energy House” will go darker for demolishment. On that spot, 285 luxury apartments will be built by Opus, they of the 1401 Wewatta structure and the EPA Regional Headquarters. Key to the new structure, though, is a first floor space hopefully to be usable by the MCA. The popular Mixed Taste serics and other events stretch their available space.

The trade-off there? One of the more sublime views of LoDo and Downtown Denver will be greatly compromised as the new apartment building rises above the deck level of the MCA rooftop cafe. How do things look to you out there?