On February 18, we told you about the latest phase of the 16th Street Mall reconstruction project, as well as the concerns of Denver City Council members, among others, that the city had been less than forthcoming about a plan that's expected to cost in excess of $100 million and impact one of the Mile High City's most iconic attractions for several years to come. The design is expected to be submitted in early 2021, with completion anticipated by 2022 or 2023.
The alleged lack of transparency related to the mall concept, which calls for eliminating the median from the 1.2-mile stretch between Market Street and Broadway to make more space on either side of the street, among other things, concerned critics given problems at other major ongoing construction enterprises in the city. The latter include Denver International Airport (a $1.8 billion contract to renovate DIA's Great Hall was terminated last August; council approved a new one on February 18) and the Colorado Convention Center (in December 2018, work on a $233 million expansion was stopped when improprieties were discovered).
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Denver officials attempted to blunt criticism by sending an update to councilmembers late on Presidents' Day, February 17, when city offices were closed and our questions started. That day, we'd learned of a stakeholders' meeting related to the project slated for February 18; the get-together was one of several on tap for that day and the next that weren't open to the public. To get more information, we contacted the Downtown Denver Partnership, which is teaming on the mall update with the City of Denver (via bond funding), the troubled Regional Transportation District and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. DDP soon connected us to Julie Smith, a city spokesperson who's serving as head of community outreach and communications for the venture. Smith shared plenty about what's happening — and then did likewise in an email to city council late the afternoon of February 17. The note began: "Pardon the holiday interruption."
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But before the city could hold further discussion about the mall project with councilmembers, it posted a fresh listing for a project manager in Denver that begins: "The secret is out."
The job listing, which boasts a starting pay range of $109,174 to $174,678, goes into even more specifics about the plan than does the message to council:
About Our Job
The City and County of Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is seeking a Project Director for the 16th Street Mall Project. The 16th Street Mall Project Director will serve as a critical and leadership position to drive and oversee the delivery of the 16th Street Mall Project.
The 16th Street Mall Design-Build Project will reconstruct and renovate the Mall to increase opportunities for public use of the Mall, address deteriorating infrastructure, improve safety for pedestrians and vehicles, and maintain mobility for desired transit operations for all users. The project will include replacement of the granite pavement system, utility relocations, realignment of the transit way, development of Public Life elements, installation of new trees and landscaping, drainage and water quality enhancement, and cross street improvements.
The successful candidate is a leader skilled with managing large professional teams through highly visible, political projects.
Job duties include:
• Performs "core" operational level management by directing functional and/or operational areas for a division.
• Represents the division’s positions, initiatives and interests with a focus on the delivery of superior customer service; ensures staff is sufficiently knowledgeable and dynamic regarding customer service protocols and performance expectations.
• Works with the management team and staff to recommend strategic initiatives, goals, and objectives for the division and once approved, to implement them. Directs the performance of the division by implementing the strategic plan, and the associated division level key performance indicators (KPIs). Develops and implements strategies for optimizing performance of the division with the goal of meeting or exceeding the established KPI performance benchmarks.
• Establishes and implements division’s standards, procedures, systems and guidelines. Provides expertise and consultative guidance to internal and external stakeholders as assigned which may include elected and appointed officials, citizens, and members of the business community.
• Implements policies, programs, operating procedures and practices for the division and effectively manages operating costs. Ensures all budgets remain at or below established targets.
• Coaches, mentors, and challenges staff. Champions continuous improvement, including devising new strategies and new opportunities. Leads staff development initiatives that include training, development, and succession planning.
• Develops goals, documents performance, provides performance feedback and formally evaluates the work of the employee; provides reward and recognition for proper and efficient performance. Assists staff to achieve performance standards and identifies opportunities for continual improvement to performance standards.
• Fosters an atmosphere of innovation in order to challenge the organization to think creatively, especially as it relates to positive citizen and customer experience opportunities.
• Performs other related duties as assigned.
Any one position may not include all the duties listed. However, the allocation of positions will be determined by the amount of time spent in performing the essential duties listed above.
Our ideal candidate will have the following skills:
• Leadership and management skills necessary to lead a project committee and manage professional teams on highly visible and political project with multiple stakeholders.
• Collaboration, organizational and communication skills necessary to be an effective contributor in the joint management of large complex projects.
• Thorough organizational and analytical skills including skill to provide high quality control.
• Detail oriented to accurately proof contracts and other documents.
• Ability to identify and balance resources for producing or delivering project deliverables.
We realize your time is valuable, so please do not apply unless you have at least the following minimum qualifications:
• Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Chemistry, Architecture, Planning or related field based on a specific position(s).
• Experience: Three (3) years of experience at the type and level of functional or operational management (comparable to at least "Manager" in the City's internal management classification series).
• Education/Experience Equivalency: Two (2) years of the appropriate type and level of experience may be substituted for each required year of post-high school education. Additional appropriate education may be substituted for the minimum experience requirements.
• Licenses and certifications must be kept current as a condition of employment.
Position Salary Range
Starting pay based on education and experience.
Dept of Transportation & Infrastructure
The City and County of Denver provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, or any other status protected under federal, state, and/or local law.
The secret is out: Denver is the nation's top place to live, work, and play. Being the best place to live isn't easy; maintaining such a reputation means we need the best people working for the residents of Denver. People who want to make a difference; people who want to give back; people who want to be at the heart of this city and have a hand in creating our future. When you join us, you will employ your unique skills to do important and meaningful work critical to the success of both your organization and the city as a whole. Be a part of the city that you love. #WhereDenverWorks