Business owners stand up against what they call 'Eminent Domain Abuse' in Glendale

City Council approves plan Tuesday night

GLENDALE, Colo. - The City of Glendale has big plans for a major makeover and on Tuesday night, the City Council voted to approve a plan that would wipe out several businesses for a new multi-million dollar project.

The project know as "Glendale 180" will cover 42 acres between Colorado Boulevard on the west end to Cherry Street on the east. 

However, the plan is not sitting well with the owners of Authentic Persian and Oriental Rugs who opened their business 25 years ago on Colorado Boulevard.

"They're abusing eminent domain so this is to stop the abuse," said Co-Owner Nasrin Kholghy while showing 7NEWS Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski a sticker she was wearing.

Kholghy says their family bought an additional 5.3 acres in 2006 with dreams of developing the land behind their business along Cherry Creek.

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"We wanted to make it better, more beautiful, make more use of the creek," she said.

Kholghy said in the last nine years they have submitted several development plans to the city, but says all of those plans were denied. She says Glendale now wants to take their land and business against their will using eminent domain.

Mike Gross is the project coordinator for the Glendale 180 project.

"There's been no plans over the years that have been submitted that have been denied by the city to my knowledge," he said.

Glendale 180 is a $175 million entertainment and dining development that would replace what the city says is blight or a rundown area, even though it includes a hotel and the Kholghy's business.

"How is this not a land grab?" asked Kovaleski.

"Because it's not -- I don't know what the definition of land grab is, but this is a normal process, a statutory process, a legal process within the state of Colorado to acquire property for the purpose of eradicating and curing blight," said Gross.

Gross said there are no plans for the businesses to stay in their current locations, but it is possible they could become a part of the new Glendale 180 plan.

The Kholghy's said they have not received an offer from the city to stay a part of the development. They plan to do whatever it takes to keep their business on Colorado Boulevard.

"Our business is not blight, and we have every right to be here," said Kholghy.

The rug store held a rally on Tuesday where participants wore stickers that read "stop eminent domain abuse." Following the rally, a group of more than a dozen marched in protest to a City Council meeting where they plan to voice their concerns during a public hearing.

"Hopefully to give them our side of the story, and I have high hopes that the City Council will see the right thing and do the right thing," said Kholghy.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the fate of the businesses after the public hearing.

The institute for Justice in Washington, D.C. sent two activists to Tuesday's meeting. The non-profit group is working with the property owners to help protect against what it calls an "illegitimate land grab."

Glendale says it is within its legal authority to acquire the properties and improve what it calls blighted areas. 

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