From the week of February 12
I'm afraid that Craig Nassi's plastic palaces are just the start of the problems Denver will see as our boom goes bust. Many of the new loft projects in northwest Denver and around Coors Field look like they were made out of paper.
Several years ago, Craig Nassi gave me a tour of some units in one of his buildings. He proudly stated that they had hot-water heat. I told him that the absence of radiators and the presence of lots of air vents were evidence that, although hot water might be how the heat got to the units, it was actually a forced-air system with heat exchangers.
I was already pretty dubious about the cheap construction and bizarre floor plans, but for the developer himself to lie to my face extinguished any last spark of interest I might have had in the project.
At the end of the nineteenth century, there was a spirited debate over whether Chicago should go forward with the construction of neoclassical buildings or embrace the future with a more modern style of architecture. At least what they did build was of stone; Nassi has besmirched our skyline with cardboard and plaster wedding cakes that are already falling apart.
As a resident/owner at the Beauvallon, you can imagine my reaction when I saw the headline "Fool's Gold." Really? Did Lisa Rab or the editors at Westword think for a second about how this headline, and story, could affect the people who actually live there? It amazes me that the reporter, throughout almost the entire story, quoted former residents or former business owners located in the building, but was conveniently unable to contact anyone who currently lives there.
Obviously, as a homeowner at the Beauvallon, I have been dealing with issues relating to Craig Nassi's bad construction, but I was also not fully aware of the extent of the problems until after purchasing the unit. I don't think it's fair for your paper to print such an article about a building where people live and where those people have spent quite a bit of money. Do you? I even believe that if the article had been more fairly written, and without the headline "Fool's Gold," it could have almost worked in the Beauvallon's favor, but that's not the case. I think Westword and Ms. Rab owe the owners and residents at the Beauvallon an apology.
Those of us who are long enough in the tooth know that it's in the nature of the journalist not to let the facts stand in the way of a good story. Your piece on Craig Nassi and the Beauvallon building was a fine example of the art. Comprehensive on the negative, yet with just enough positive to give an air of balance. Mark Anthony would have been proud!
I, on the other hand, wonder whether, in attacking Mr. Nassi so roundly, you have given any thought to the further damage that you may have done to many of the poor souls whose lot it is to have purchased apartments in this building at the top of the market in the early 2000s. People who cannot now sell because prices are so depressed — not only by the overall state of the property market, but by sensationalist reporting of the type in which you are presently indulging.
What you did not appear to consider in your reporting was that the legal action will be resolved one day in the not-too-distant future, and the defects, such as they then are, will be addressed. Indeed many have already been dealt with. When that day comes, the property owners in Beauvallon will find themselves in much the same position as others who own similar, smart, up-market condos elsewhere. They will not be worse off, nor should they be.
In the interests of fair and balanced reporting, you can help by pointing out that there is now much to be said for this fine building, with its excellent amenities and wonderful location. Running it down is of no help to anyone.
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