After balking at the contract in January, Denver City Council members on Monday OK’d $9.8 million to grab the 11th floor of the building once occupied by employees of the company that owns the Denver Post at Colfax Avenue and Broadway.
The city government will pay the sum to DP Media Network LLC over about nine years, according to the contract. When elected officials killed the deal last month, some had concerns about investing in a long-term contract before a possible economic slowdown. Some wanted the city to fill existing office space before sending taxpayer dollars to a private company and some wanted to see the city invest in properties they own.
City Councilwoman Kendra Black refiled the contract after her colleagues voted it down 6 to 6 (tie votes kill resolutions). The resolution passed on Monday 9 to 4. Council members Amanda Sawyer and Amanda Sandoval switched their votes while Councilwoman Jamie Torres, who was absent in January, also helped flip the decision.
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca called the re-vote “a flagrant disregard” for the council’s decision on the exact same contract last month. She doesn’t want to see “investment in private entities” through renting more space, she said, and would rather see the city increase capacity in buildings it owns.
Black noted that additional city employees — and the office space to house them — were already approved in the 2020 budget.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval voted against the contract originally but supported it this time because of new information from the Hancock administration, she said. The real estate office has plans to convert taxpayer-owned buildings downtown into offices over the next nine years, meaning the government might not have to renew this lease when it’s up.
“I wanted to make sure that we’re renovating buildings on parcels that we own throughout these years so that we can continue to have people in offices in that urban core,” she told Denverite.
Denver Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon said the city’s Technology Services department will be the first to move in.
This article was updated to correct the council member who was absent during the first vote, which was Councilwoman Jamie Torres, not Councilwoman Robin Kniech.