BY FREDA MIKLIN
At its first meeting of 2019, the GV city council officially directed its city attorney to issue a letter demanding that Confluent Development, the current owner of the 3.57 acres located west of the RTD parking garage at Yosemite Street and Caley Avenue, known as Greenwood Village Hotel LLC, take action to transfer title to the property back to the city, which previously owned it. This silently ends the plan to build a 5-star Westin Hotel in Greenwood Village.
The Westin Greenwood Village, announced with great fanfare in 2014, was to contain 203 rooms, a full-service restaurant and lobby bar, coffee shop, 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, indoor swimming pool and business center, with underground parking. Mayor Ron Rakowsky, in announcing it in 2014, said, “This luxury hotel chain will be the catalyst for continued development of our Village Center…” The city’s newsletter in 2014 quoted Doug Nysse, principal of Arrival Partners, LLC, as saying, “The Westin Greenwood Village has the opportunity to leverage investments in multimodal transit and pedestrian connections…”
In the years since 2014, GV has turned its attention away from multimodal transit and pedestrian connections, evidenced by its current city council finalizing the new language in the city’s revised comprehensive plan, passed on second reading Jan. 7. At the same time, high-rise office towers continue to be built in the area, adding hundreds of employees who need to get to work by driving or using public transit. Granite Place at Village Center, next door to what was to be the Westin Hotel, is a 10-story, 300,000 square-foot building with parking for 10,000 cars, completed in December 2017. Confluent Development plans to build a second building of “similar size and quality” directly adjacent.
When Jackson Street Holdings LLC of Milwaukee (Jackson) informed the current GV city council a year ago it could not perform on the original agreement to construct the planned hotel, Confluent Development stepped in, purchasing the property for $1.6 million last April, hoping to get the Westin built. That effort ended Monday evening when the council, with no discussion whatsoever about the hotel or the status of the plan, simply directed the city attorney to demand that Confluent transfer title to the property back to GV, as provided in the original agreement if the owner could not build the Westin.
City manager John Jackson said that Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts had put the idea of a Westin Hotel into question which led to the council’s action. A person involved with the development side of the project told The Villager that cost was an issue and city officials did not wish to proceed. Last year when council voted to allow Confluent to pursue the project in place of Jackson, council members Jerry Presley and Dave Kerber voted no, proposing that the city exercise its right to buy back the property then.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |