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OFF LIMITS

The wrecking crew: Coors Field continues to go up, but a 108-year-old building a stone's throw from the new ballpark apparently is about to go down--to make room for a parking garage. The North Denver Transfer and Storage Building at 2125 Market Street, the first building in the ballpark neighborhood to be targeted for the wrecking ball since a city-imposed moratorium on demolition expired last year, could be leveled any time by owners Joe Golinsky and Vince Boryla.

The two-story white-brick structure from 1886 is "a nice-looking building," acknowledges real estate broker Gerald Erlich, who represents the property owners. But he says Golinsky and Boryla, the former general manager of the Nuggets, believe there's a "desperate need" for parking in the area.

Karle Seydel of the North Larimer Business District worries that the site may wind up as a surface parking lot--a use allowed under current zoning. "Sometimes it's valid to tear a building down," says Seydel. "But we don't have any specific development proposal for that site."

The senior planner who signed the demolition permit last Monday, Ellen Ittelson, did so "very reluctantly," she says. "We're sorry to see a building like that torn down." On the other hand, she adds, the city has "no mechanisms" left to keep the building in the game.

Fly the unfriendly skies: Maybe the Continental attendants were cranky because their colleagues at United Airlines had finally succeeded in their attempt to buy the company. More likely, they still smarted over their own airline's recent announcement that it was cutting back on flights from Denver and canceling this city as an employee base altogether--exactly one day after the deadline had passed for those employees to accept Continental's early-retirement option (free flights for the rest of your life--or at least the airline's).

Whatever the reason, passengers on last Tuesday's early-morning flight leaving Denver for Boston were stunned when they were herded off the plane (equipment problems) and told that, since the only other plane heading to Boston was considerably smaller, some of the passengers would have to be rerouted. "Women and children first," the flight attendant announced. And the unlucky men? They could go down with the ship--or accept a connection through Newark.

At least the delay gave them a chance to enjoy Stapleton--which everyone becomes fonder of by the second--and appreciate its many marvels, including the electronic sign updating the public on the progress at Denver International Airport. As of Monday, DIA was still "opening in May 1994."

That's just more of the town's enviable optimism that Mayor Wellington Webb cited in his State of the City address. For those who couldn't believe their ears, the just-released printed version of Webb's June 30 speech repeats this classic observation: "In terms of DIA, I would simply say that for years we have all--two administrations, the media, the business community--made the mistake of taking the most optimistic view of every aspect of DIA. In our enthusiasm for the project, we consistently discounted logistical problems, technology issues and scheduling delays. But starting in May, when we announced the delay of DIA, we entered a new era. It will be an era of realism and conservatism."

Women and children first.

 
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