The court-appointed receiver who is managing the commercial portion of the long-beleaguered Beauvallon condo complex at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Street has an interesting theory on how the few remaining tenants can help lure in more customers: huge, ugly scaffolding. Receiver Eric Grothe is asserting to lease-holders that the estimated two years of construction beginning this month to replace faulty stucco will translate to more, not less, sales for store owners. "Construction should be positive," he says. "The restaurants, coffee shops, things like that, should do better during that period."
So how exactly will towers of steel and wood scaffolding erected over sidewalks and store windows increase business? All those hard-hat-wearing workers will mean "more activity, more people down here," he continues. So retailers will "sell more coffee and make more sandwiches based on that construction activity."
Suffice it to say that Aviano Coffee owner Doug Naiman is unconvinced. "When this scaffolding goes up over my business, what's it going to look like to people walking by, driving by?" Naiman asks. "It's going to look like a place that's closed, or difficult to get to. My business is based on convenience. If I can't provide that, I'm done. "
Since opening in the in 2006, Aviano has established itself among local coffee connoisseurs for turning out some of the city's finest lattes, caps and drips. And when Mr. Coco's, Nine75 and Brandon's Pub all shut their doors recently (although Brandon's plans to reopen), Aviano became the last remaining eatery.
And it has also survived amid the well-publicized lawsuits aimed at developer Craig Nassi, who has been accused of shoddy construction and broken promises ("Fool's Gold," January 29). But Nassi is long-gone, and J&J Property Investments, the company who bought the commercial units, is in default to Mile High Banks on its loan.
As receiver, Grothe and Fuller Real Estate have temporary responsibility for the properties and agreements with tenants. So far, Naiman's request to renegotiate his rent or terms has been denied on the grounds that his business won't be impacted.
Sounds like they could use a java-juiced wakeup call.
Potty talk: In the three weeks since the Colorado Board of Health shot down an attempt by the state to limit the number of patients that medical-marijuana dispensaries can serve, 3,000 people have applied for medical marijuana cards. And they'll have plenty of places to get their meds: there are now seventy to ninety dispensaries statewide, says Warren Edson, co-author of Colorado's medical marijuana law. But with a medical-marijuana gold rush in full swing, cities are struggling to deal with the new industry.
Breckenridge and Frisco recently set three-month moratoriums on dispensaries while they drafted regulations to cover them, and Englewood is pondering an ordinance that would put a six-month hold on new dispensaries. The matter was discussed at an August 3 Englewood City Council meeting, but it was overshadowed by another, more pressing issue: Dog poo. In fact, the vast majority of the meeting was devoted to heated public discussion on unleashed dogs in the city's Jason Park - and how they were defecating everywhere. "It was just nuts," says Edson, who attended the hearing. "There were eight people for marijuana and like 118 people against dog poo." (To see a video of offending dogs, go to the Latest Word blog at westword.com.)
The city council will vote on the dispensary moratorium on August 17, says Englewood's deputy city manager, Mike Flaherty. As for the poo, Flaherty says, "That's an ongoing saga." That might be one ailment that even a little reefer won't be able to cure.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.