A now-vacant building proves to be a lucky location for politicians

Want to run for political office? Have we got a deal for you! The luckiest address in Denver, 1100 Bannock Street, has a "for lease" sign on the door, and this golden spot in the Golden Triangle doesn't rent to losers.

The most recent occupant of the space was the mayoral campaign of Michael Hancock, who ran away with the prize (such as Denver is these days) in a crowded field; a few vestiges of the race — including big "thank you" messages to supporters — were still visible through the big windows early this week.

Seven years ago, this address served as headquarters for Ken Salazar's Senate campaign; Salazar won — but later surrendered his seat to become Secretary of the Interior. The next occupant? Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, who based his campaign in the spot when he ran for governor in 2006. Ritter won, too, but declined to run again in 2010.


Michael Hancock

Mark Udall, then U.S. Representative for the 2nd Congressional District, used the office as the base for his 2008 Senate race. He won, of course.

The Democrats established a Coordinated Campaign Headquarters for the 2010 election in this spot, and used it to push Michael Bennet, who'd been appointed to Ken Salazar's vacant seat by Ritter. And Bennet beat Ken Buck — an upset that stunned pundits across the country. But not anyone who knew the history of this building in Colorado politics.

Because so many candidates have used this address, it's already wired for all the technological tools a race needs these days. But the lucky political pedigree could be its real selling point.

Golden oldies: Just a few blocks away from that lucky campaign office, Craig Nassi and the Beauvallon Corp, one-time owners of the beleaguered Beauvallon building, finally got lucky themselves. Last week they won a round in the Colorado Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel reversed the findings of Denver District Court Judge Norm Haglund and tossed a verdict worth more than a million to Matrix Fitness, which had moved into a corner of the building in 2004.

Matrix had sued the original Beauvallon owners for promising exclusive use of 150 parking spaces for its customers but only delivering on 75 exclusive and 75 shared spaces. Ruling in favor of Matrix in the summer of 2009, Haglund came up with his million-plus in damages based on how much Matrix could have made subleasing those 75 spaces (at $130 each per month) — but the Court of Appeals judges determined there was nothing in the lease that would have allowed the spots to be subleased. "We conclude that the lessee did not provide competent evidence of its damages and, thus, failed to prove its claim," Judge Russell Carparelli wrote for the court.

At least Matrix and the Beauvallon's other remaining tenants can take heart in the fact that the Christo-like bandages are off the building and all the exterior repairs complete.

Scene and herd: Don't miss the first installment of the new season of Project Runway on Thursday, July 28. Fallene Wells, a Denver designer who 2010 MasterMind, will be one of the contestants. Although hometown hero (and July 2010 Westword cover boy) Mondo didn't win last year, he won fans across the country and paved the way for Wells to dress for success!


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