A local developer says the City of Westminster encouraged it to build a hotel at a popular intersection, watched as it invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the proposed project, and then refused to sell it the property during a closed-door meeting.
Rozzi Capital, a small Denver real estate investment and development firm, sued the suburban city last month in Jefferson County District Court.
In the lawsuit, Rozzi claims that its executives and Westminster city officials signed a letter of intent in November 2021, signaling the company’s plans to buy and the city’s plans to sell 7.8 acres at the northeast corner of 104th Avenue and Westminster Boulevard.
“Rozzi was informed by Westminster’s listing real estate broker and Westminster’s staff that the only practical use for the property and the desire of Westminster was a development of retail and hotel,” the Nov. 18 lawsuit states. “This is what Rozzi intended.”
In Rozzi’s telling, the partnership started off well. Westminster liked the developer’s design concepts and Rozzi made any changes the city wanted. Then came July 11.
The City Council met in an executive session, which Rozzi staff and other members of the public were not able to attend, according to Rozzi’s lawsuit. The council’s online meeting minutes do not mention any discussion of the developer or 104th and Westminster.
“After the meeting, Rozzi was informed that Rozzi’s development plans did not meet the vision of Westminster and would not be further considered,” the lawsuit states.
Rozzi says two of its employees spent several hours a week over 18 months on the proposed project, costing the company at least $272,000. Rozzi says it has tried to meet with city staff about moving ahead but been rejected each time.
It accuses the city of fraud, bad-faith dealing and breaching the letter of intent. It wants Judge Lily Oeffler to force the city to pay it the money it spent planning the project.
Andy Le, a spokesman for the City of Westminster, declined to comment on the pending litigation. Rozzi’s principal, Frank Borman, also declined to comment.
Rozzi is represented by attorney Alan Sweetbaum with the Denver firm Sweetbaum Sands.