DENVER -- The Denver City Council took a rare step Monday by denying a hotel developer’s controversial attempt to acquire a valuable piece of public property downtown nearly for free.
At stake was a roughly 5,000-square-foot bit of concrete public right-of-way near the King Soopers by Coors Field, at 29th Avenue and Chestnut Place. The Chestnut Place LLC owns the adjacent land and is planning a 192-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel there. The LLC sought to develop on a small portion of the right-of-way as well.
It’s a tricky slice of property: It currently features some trees and a bike-share rack, and because it’s been designated for transportation and utility purposes, the Denver City Council can’t just do with the land whatever it wants to. No public plaza or park could go there, for instance, under current rules. In order to amend the designation, the city must vacate the land — an action that would automatically award the land to the adjacent owner, Chestnut Place LLC.
This award would’ve seen Chestnut Place LLC acquire the land essentially for nothing. The proposed $1,600 price tag is less than 0.1% as valuable as the attached land slated for a Marriott.
The land falls in District 9, which is represented by Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca. She strongly opposed the vacation and said than more than three-quarters of constituents she’s spoken to opposed it, too.
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