City Council vote on Carmen Court landmark application delayed

The condo complex at the corner of 1st Avenue and Emerson Street dates to 1925. (Thomas Gounley)

The deadline by which the Denver City Council must make a decision on the landmark application for a 95-year-old condo complex off Speer Boulevard has been extended to Nov. 9.

The city’s Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday agreed to push the date back by about a month after both the landmark applicants and Carmen Court owners requested the delay.

The owners of the six units that comprise Carmen Court, at 900 E. 1st Ave., are under contract to sell their property to Houston-based developer Hines, which wants to demolish the structure and build a five-story senior living complex.

But three other Denver residents have asked the city to designate the building a landmark, which would prevent demolition.

The Council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee suggested the deadline be pushed back a week ago, in the hopes that the two sides could hammer out a compromise.

Hines, for its part, has indicated that there’s one primary “compromise” it’s interested in. If another buyer can be found that wants to preserve the structure while paying the same price that Hines has agreed to pay, the company will assign its contract to the buyer and walk away. Hines does want to also be reimbursed for the expenses it’s incurred, although not the cost of staff time.

The price that Hines has agreed to pay has not been made public. But the complex, which sits on 0.4 acres, was listed for sale at $5.5 million.

The delay means that if a compromise is not reached, the council committee will resume consideration of the landmark application on Oct. 13.

The decision regarding whether the building should be designated as a landmark will come down to a vote of the full council, which could be as early as Nov. 2.

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