Tom's Diner Owner Wins Property Rights Fight Against Denver Preservationists

Tom Messina will now be able to sell off his restaurant to a developer and retire.

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Denver's most controversial diner is finally getting the go-ahead to be demolished after preservationists withdrew an application to have the building declared a historic landmark.

That application came over the objections of Tom Messina, owner of the targeted Tom's Diner. Messina had planned to sell his popular, downtown restaurant to Colorado-based developer Alberta Company for $4.8 million. Alberta Company had planned to replace the diner with an eight-story block of apartments and retail shops.

However, preservationists argued that the mid-century Googie aesthetic of Messina's restaurant, conspicuous for its distinctive tilted roof and expansive glass windows, added tremendous character to the city and to the rapidly redeveloping Colfax Avenue on which it is located.

A landmark designation would have stopped the diner's redevelopment. It also would have severely reduced the sale price of the land, upending Messina's plans to finance his retirement with the money Alberta was offering.

"I'm a restaurateur who's worked his life flipping pancakes and selling eggs," Messina told Reason earlier in August. "I have a beautiful family I want to spend time with. I just turned 60 and I want to do something else."

Preservation activists filed their landmarking application in June. For a while, it looked like things would go their way.

In mid-July, city staff issued a report in which they recommended that the property be designated a historic landmark. The following week, Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend landmarking the restaurant too.

In early August, a city council committee also voted to make Tom's Diner a protected landmark. Only a vote of the full Denver City Council was needed to make it official. That vote was supposed to happen on August 26.

The prospect of the city council voting to landmark his property was upsetting for Messina.

"I'm sure people can imagine how it would feel," he said. "You plan for something and you think it's yours to do as you wish and then this pops up."

Preservationists' withdrawal of their application makes this issue moot. Instead, a city planner tells local news outlet KDVR that the city will now issue a certificate of non-historic status for the diner, meaning it can be demolished.

In explaining the sudden withdrawal of their landmarking application, activists expressed hope that the diner might still be saved.

"It is our firm belief that the future of the building is in good hands and [we] think that interested parties can come to a conclusion as soon as possible," said the group in a statement to KDVR. "We hope that new parties coming to the table can use creative strategies to include the preservation of the iconic Googie-style building in a development that enhances the Colfax corridor."

The landmarking applicants had met with Messina throughout the process to try to work out a compromise.

CityLab reports that Historic Denver, a preservationist non-profit assisting with the landmarking application, had an architect draw up plans for the site that would have preserved the diner by building a taller apartment building on the unoccupied portion of Messina's property.

Historic Denver had worked out a similar deal with a developer of a nearby site, convincing them to incorporate, rather than demolish, a historic brick building into a mixed-use development project at 17th Avenue and Pearl Street. As one can see from satellite images of the two lots, the historic building at the 17th and Pearl site (pictured right) takes up much less of that site, making its preservation less costly to the developer.

Messina told Reason that agreeing to not develop some 40 percent of is property would dramatically reduce its sale price. He also said he hadn't found a developer to build the project activists were looking for.

The effort to landmark the diner over Messina's objections received generally negative attention from the local Denver press. The Denver Post editorial board came out against landmarking the building.

It's possible that this pressure convinced activists to shelve their application.

It is possible that some sort of compromise development scheme for Tom's Diner is still in the running. Any such deal, however, will now have to get the full consent of Messina—it's his property after all.

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  1. It is possible that some sort of compromise development scheme for Tom’s Diner is still in the running.

    Like, I don’t know, the “preservationists” outbidding other potential buyers?

    1. Exactly. If you want to preserve the diner, fucking buy it. Don’t use the coercive power of the State.

      1. You know what the game plan is here. They will let Tom Messina sell the property, and as soon as the deal closes the preservationists will swoop in to wreak havoc. No way Messina get’s the $4.8 million it was worth before the preservationists got involved. Their stink is all over it and these types of people won’t let it go. They want their Googie-style building and will screw whoever they need to in order to get it.

        In my hometown some non-city residents got all nostalgic for the gate to the old county fairgrounds. The entrance hadn’t been used for years since the fair relocated almost 20 years ago. It was in a state of decay when they managed to have it added to National Register of Historical Places, and it’s worse today. It’s another eyesore that can’t be repurposed because some nostalgic shitheels managed to con everyone into think it was both historic, and could be made into a park. It’s nothing more than a dumping ground for trash, right in downtown. Fuck these preservationists.

        1. All he has to do is demolish it first which the city just granted so not much they can do after that. Developer will then just buy the land. I’d start tearing it down tonight if financially feasible and he has a firm contract to sell. But yeah fuck preservationists (well the ones that use other peoples money for their own purposes).

          1. I am making 10,000 Dollar at home own laptop .Just do work online 4 to 6 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do

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        2. So. Much. This.

      2. If The People, in their Infinite Wisdom, think it so important, they should pay for it.

        After all, The People, in their Infinite Wisdom, demanded this of government when They constituted it over 200 years ago.

    2. That’s a somewhat common thing in California. People, typically ranchers, can sell their development rights to a land trust. The rancher can continue to use the land to raise cattle but can’t bulldoze and build houses on it. The same restriction applies if the land changes hands.

      I view that as a fabulous win-win. The rancher can cash out and the people who value the view and open space get a legal right to it. And it’s all voluntary. Yay free market solutions!

      1. I agree with free market solutions. The problem is a bunch of busybodies in government think they should be telling people what to do, including what they do with their own property. Their thinking being if we can vote to take the fruits of peoples’ labor and then give it to people who’ve not labored (not unlike 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner) then we can vote to take away peoples’ property because we think so and government is behind us.

        Personally, I would have preferred Denver prevented him from selling, he takes it to the SCOTUS, and they rule that Denver has to pay Messina for taking his property, along with all his legal costs and the costs of delay. Then the activists in Denver start fighting each other over the loss of money they get from the City, and then decide they’re getting out of the historical preservation taking business. The way it is now, is local governments will continue to pressure people to preserve stuff they don’t want to preserve, to satisfy the busybody buttinskies they fund with taxpayer money.

        Give people an inch of government power to take peoples’ stuff, and they’ll do it, again and again.

        1. The problem is that, under Court precedent, unless the property loses virtually all of its value to the owner, it does not constitute a taking, and since the business would still have value as a going concern, the owner would be SOL.

    3. That is the answer. They want to save it, buy it.

  2. Three cheers if this is correct but I’d be hesitant to assume that the withdrawal of the application means the owner is now free to dispose of the property – I suspect there’s at least 5 other groups with 5 other claims for standing to sue to stop the owner. He may have won this battle but it might be presumptuous to declare an end to the war.

    1. Hire some guys standing outside Home Depot and tear it down tonight. If he doesn’t need the income from the diner that is exactly what I would do.

    2. He’s always been free to sell the property. This was part of the demolition permit. I assume the seller required him to legally demolish all structures as a precondition of their purchase. The only thing anyone else knew then is that he had filed for a demolition permit. Landmark review is part of that process here – and in this case the landmark commission proved it’s a bit insular and disconnected (and captured by architects). In large part I suspect because its all unpaid volunteers and those tend to become clubby and insular.

      IDK why people seem so surprised that cities require demolition permits. I’ve never heard of a city outside the Third World that doesn’t.

      1. “…and in this case the landmark commission proved it’s a bit insular and disconnected (and captured by architects). ”

        Yeah sure, that’s the problem. Fascists gotta fasc.

  3. Awesome, good for the diner owner. Go enjoy your retirement.

  4. In explaining the sudden withdrawal of their landmarking application, activists expressed hope that the diner might still be saved.

    Yeah, that doesn’t explain it at all.

    1. I trust there were no comments earlier involving woodchippers or locations in Hades.

      1. I wonder what Preet would make of comments by our resident Shitlord.

  5. I don’t know what is so historic about the place. It looks like a fucking Pizza Hut.

    1. It could look like the Taj Mahal and it would make no difference ; It’s HIS property, not theirs.
      They want to do something with it? Great; buy it.

      1. No argument here. Just really weird.

        1. “…Just really weird.”

          I live in SF, so ‘weird’ is the order of the day. Idiots who grew up near a now-dead tree will scream if it is removed; ‘it was part of my childhood!’
          Yeah, well, grow up.

          1. Poot: Man, who you be telling? I caught my first pussy up in there.
            The girl, Chantay.

            Bodie: Man, why didn’t you say? They probably wouldn’t be tearing this tower down now.
            They could put a big-ass sign in the front.
            “Here’s where Malik Carr first got his dick wet.

      2. What if he wants to hire undocumented workers?

        1. haha. Methinks it then becomes our national property.

        2. Apologies for the flag. Trying to scroll and hit it on accident.

        3. We should just give those workers documents.

    2. I am with you. An old diner. Not everything that is old is historic. Hope the owner gets to sell and enjoy his retirement. The restaurant business is long hours and hard work. Time for him to enjoy the rewards.

    3. The preservationists may be acting in concert with other interests. Where I live, the historical society wanted to preserve tollbooths that were scheduled for demolition because they were causing major traffic issues. In reality, they were doing so at the behest of the tolltakers’ union.

  6. I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner
    I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffee
    And he fills it only halfway and before I even argue
    He is looking out the window at somebody coming in

    1. +1 left of center

    2. And the picture fades to black,
      And we know not if Tony gets the whack.

    3. Suzanne Vega hardest hit.

  7. There was a case in my town where a building seemed to disappear overnight. Turned out the city was contemplating making it a historical landmark (for what reason, I don’t know: It was an ugly brick apartment building) and someone tipped off the owner. He paid his tenants generously to clear out on short notice and knocked the building down within a week before the city council could meet to vote on making it a landmark. It’s now been replaced by much nicer apartments.

    You’d think the fact that a property owner would spend tens of thousands of dollars to get tenants out to demolish a building rather than face their historical landmark designation would have been a lesson to the council about things, but they never learn.

    On the other hand, there is a local historical preservation society that actually goes and buys up buildings it deems noteworthy, fixes them up, and sells them. It seems to do OK, and people buy the buildings despite covenants that severely limit their options for the future. Seems like an idea market-oriented solution.

    1. That’s alright, especially if the buyer was aware of a restriction and agreed to it. What’s an egregious and (should be, anyway) an unconstitutional taking is telling someone after the fact that “hey actually some activists like this, you can’t do anything with it.”

      1. Agree. But it seems like there is more to this story. Activists don’t tend to just go away. They withdrew the application and their statement said they “we hope” and things nev er quite seem to go the way people hope they will.

        1. I am wondering if the city population is against them doing this to a small guy running a diner? If they pushed too hard and the backlash ended the practice, they’d lose the battle and the war.

        2. There is more to the story. The owner is the guy who started the effort to put the building on National Register of Historic Places 12 years ago. The building wasn’t 50 years old then so wasn’t eligible – and he changed his mind re that – and the order of those two is a bit unclear. But it’s clear that everyone here knows each other and has for years as part of ‘marketing their neighborhood’.

    2. “You’d think the fact that a property owner would spend tens of thousands of dollars to get tenants out to demolish a building rather than face their historical landmark designation would have been a lesson to the council about things,”

      Oh they learned. Next year they will vote to staff an office of Historic Landmark Designations that doesn’t have to wait for City Council to convene and vote.

    3. You’d think the fact that a property owner would spend tens of thousands of dollars to get tenants out to demolish a building rather than face their historical landmark designation would have been a lesson to the council about things, but they never learn.

      Property owners (or at least the good ones – slumlords know the answer and base their business model on exploiting it) don’t want to hear the answer – and councils don’t think about it (in many cases because state constitutions prohibit them from thinking about it). But the reality is that if the land is worth more with no property on it than it was with property on it then that means the property has negative value. The last thing ‘I built that’ folks want to hear is that what is built is less than worthless and the only thing that is worth anything is the government grant of land monopoly. Even though they love that distortion/subsidy on their property taxes and tax/depreciation deductions every year.

      1. But the reality is that if the land is worth more with no property on it than it was with property on it then that means the property has negative value.

        That’s not even close to accurately describing the sales transaction in question. You’re basically asserting that the land would be worth more with nothing on it at all.

        What the developer wanted was the land cleared to build their own project, and would pay more if they had more space for that project because they could maximize their own equity by building a larger apartment building on it.

        It’s not out of bounds for the property owner to want to take advantage of Denver’s sky-high real estate costs by giving the buyer what he wants to maximize his own equity. The plan all along was to demolish the diner; it was the preservationists who had the distorted view of the property’s actual value.

        1. You’re basically asserting that the land would be worth more with nothing on it at all.

          In this case – that’s probably true. Because the property itself is old and fully depreciated and was (presumably) built to take the best advantage of land value at that location in 1967. That elapsed time is what changes things – a lot.

          The land with no property on it unlocks the option value (the option of turning it into a different use) of that land – now and there. And the alternative uses NOW are what drive the value of owning a monopoly on the usage of that land now and there. I don’t know the economics of that diner but I’ll bet there is no way anyone can run a diner there and sell enough breakfast to cover a $4 million mortgage. Absent some serious continuing tax subsidies – which come at the expense of other taxpayers who don’t get those subsidies.

          The plan all along was to demolish the diner; it was the preservationists who had the distorted view of the property’s actual value

          The owner was the one who started the process of getting historic register recognition 12 years ago. Obviously the plan then was not to ‘demolish the diner’. EVERYONE has had distorted views of that lands value over the years. That’s what happens in our current tax system and when we fail to recognize that land and capital aren’t the same thing.

    4. That’s kinda like farmers, ranchers, developers, and the like having a strong incentive to kill and bury any protected animals they find on their land. If word gets out that there are Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers on your property, the land value plummets.

      1. I believe that strategy is know as “shoot, shovel, shut up.”

  8. Honestly, I would have torn down the building out of sheer spite.

  9. How many other people read “Googie aesthetic” as “Google aesthetic”?

    1. You can tell the difference when one asks for munchings and crunchings.

      1. Shit. That’s Gurgi. Hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that movie.

        1. Movie? It’s a charming series of YA books. I re-read them so many times I wore out the ink.

  10. “The landmarking applicants had met with Messina throughout the process to try to work out a compromise.”

    Here’s my compromise: Fuck off, ‘landmarking applicants’.

    1. Here’s my compromise: The developer offered $4.8 million, match his offer or fuck off.

  11. This would be a good case study re the difference between the value of land v the value of property. If anyone gave a fuck or understood the importance of the difference.

    1. JFree
      August.16.2019 at 3:39 pm
      “This would be a good case study re the difference between the value of land v the value of property. If anyone gave a fuck or understood the importance of the difference.”

      No one does for the very good reason that it’s a bullshit concept.
      The value of either is very easily found: Put it up for sale. The market will tell you the value, not some pronouncement from a lefty imbecile.

      1. The value of either is very easily found: Put it up for sale.

        Yes it is easily found. And in this Tom’s Diner case, the value of an empty lot was worth a TON more than the price of that lot with that diner on it. That’s why the prospective buyer wanted the diner demolished so he could buy the land and not the diner – and why Tom filed the demolition permit to demolish the diner. Geddit? The property – all the stuff of his ‘flipping eggs all my life’ story – had a big negative value

        1. I don’t think it is that simple. Over the course of 30 years that building generated income for him and I don’t know much about Denver real estate but I think that it has only been in the last decade or so that it has really skyrocketed in value. So without the building generating income over the years he wouldn’t be in the position to sell it. Yes to the developer it has a negative value now but to him it was instrumental in his ability to get to this point. But I don’t know, I could be wrong.

          1. I don’t think it is that simple.

            It’s close. He bought the land and property (restaurant and parking lot) for $800,000 in 2004. It (and his labor and entrepreneurial effort and maybe some capital that he’s selling separately) provided him a living selling eggs and toast for 15 years. But that is all clearly worth nothing now and I’m sure he took tons of depreciation deductions over those 15 years by overvaluing the property and undervaluing the land. The offer now is for the land only for $4.8 million.

            That’s a 12.7% annual increase in the land value – assuming the property was also really worth nothing in 2004. He clearly didn’t do anything to increase the value of the land. It’s the same building that was there then – and demolishing the building is what unlocks the actual land value. The city of Denver and surrounding owners who have in the interim bought/sold parcels that are worth land + some positive property value increased the land value.

            And CO, like all low property tax states, massively subsidizes landowners by a)letting the landowner keep most of the increase in land value that a municipality actually creates and forcing municipalities to instead collect taxes on income, sales, etc and b)disguising the value of the land so that the market itself can’t price things.

            It’s exactly what Henry George wrote about then – with all the entitlement mentality that speculation has become now.

            1. What are you babbling about? you’re upset that he generated value through eggs while utilizing the growth of land value? It seems here your real gripe is that the municipality want able to milk him of every last cent of estimated value the entire time he built other value on the land. In which case you are again showing how really you just hate to see anyone gaining ground without kneeling to the government overlords.

              1. Pretty sure JFree thinks he’s the only one who realizes that land values are conditional to possible uses; he claims “If anyone gave a fuck or understood the importance of the difference.” As if the market wouldn’t tell the seller instantly.
                Last time I saw him trying to ‘apply’ the concept, it had to do with government taxing of the land as if the owner of the land should now pay the rate appropriate to the higher value before the land was sold for that.
                I.e. it was justification for overruling CA prop. 13 since some other people are paying higher taxes.
                I agree: Prop 13 should be overruled; it should be universally applied and all that tax money already paid should be returned.
                Starve the beast.

              2. you just hate to see anyone gaining ground without kneeling to the government overlords.

                What evil govt overlords? The evil overlords who created and grant the land patent? Who keep title clear and secure over time for the private owner so they can use/develop it? Who arbitrate property disputes in favor of the private landowner (and therefore against others who don’t have that govt recognition) – who owns that title in that form and the property on that land? Who coercively remove others for pure landowner-created/benefitting ‘crimes’ like trespassing or failure to pay rent? Who allow for the transfer of that ownership to others of the owners choice – even after the owner is dead and rotting in the ground?

                Quit with your welfare queen bitching. In the absence of govt, the ‘natural right’ to land ownership is perpetual violence between ‘claimant’ peeing on a tree, ‘squatter’, ‘intruder’, etc. Since nothing about that ‘natural’ ownership will ever be secure, nothing will ever be built on it to improve the value of it either.

                1. JFree
                  August.18.2019 at 3:58 pm
                  “What evil govt overlords?…”

                  The ones charging increased taxes as a result of someone’s efforts, you fucking lefty ignoramus.
                  Ignoramuses have a hard time figuring things out; logic is HARD.
                  Fuck off and die.

            2. “He clearly didn’t do anything to increase the value of the land.”
              That’s nothing other than a lame assumption on your part; the presence of that restaurant and the resulting traffic may well have contributed to the increase in land values.

              “It’s the same building that was there then – and demolishing the building is what unlocks the actual land value.”
              It’s also the same land that was there; see above.

              “The city of Denver and surrounding owners who have in the interim bought/sold parcels that are worth land + some positive property value increased the land value.”
              WIH does that mean?

              1. WIH does that mean?

                City of Denver has cleaned up Colfax a lot, is providing the extra municipal infrastructure for a 40% increase over the last decade in pop density in the city/county itself, is paying for the ‘city center’ type services for a broader MSA that’s increased by half a million peeps over last decade, and upzoned the area to 8 story mixed-comm/res use. His location (6-8 blocks from the traditional central intersection) is a beneficiary of all that. Surrounding land development has proven to developers that Denver is not just a car-oriented suburban sprawl cowtown (which has long been the perception/reality) but has demand for a more urban buildout. The combo of both (city stuff – and surrounding private stuff where they pay increased prop tax) has caused the land value to increase. He did not cause any of that or pay for any of it. He is simply the beneficiary.

                Land taxes (not prop – but prop is all that exists in this country now) are in economic fact the carrying costs for land. Similar to interest for capital. Serving as a price signal that higher value uses for that land exist. You may not like that cuz you don’t like the notion that land is different and that land ownership is in fact a govt grant of monopoly not a creation of anybody from nothing. And land taxes signal to the market the value of that land monopoly. Distort that merely cuz you don’t like govt and want some private monopoly – and what you are actually doing is distorting the MARKET.

                1. JFree
                  August.18.2019 at 3:33 pm
                  “City of Denver has cleaned up Colfax a lot,…”
                  So the city charged taxes to do what you *claim* rather than can prove, and therefore fucking lefty ignoramuses like you get to decide the value of private property?
                  I won’s ask; yes, you are that stupid.
                  Fuck off and die.

            3. JFree
              August.16.2019 at 8:55 pm
              “It’s close.”
              You’re full of shit.

            4. JFree, commercial real estate development and finance is my industry. I can clearly see that you don’t really understand it. The location is worth what someone will pay for it. Period. The value is not a function of municipal government, or any of the other nonsense you’re spewing.

              1. The location is worth what someone will pay for it. Period.

                Yes thank you. And the land tax is the proper carrying cost for that location because it signals the value of the monopoly grant there – separate from the property. Not the prop tax even though that is the only bastardized version of the land tax that exists now in the US – the land tax. There is nothing that says land tax should be some arbitrary number. It is market-based — but it is not bullshit tax accounting based on maximizing depreciation (property) while minimizing land value.

                The best modern explanation is the one William F Buckley drew (very very rarely – two times on Firing Line with guests and once on C-Span – transcripts here) about what the right tax system looks like with extremes – say a skyscraper right next to a parking lot. Of course I understand Buckley was probably a communist cuz PBS is by definition a communist media outlet.

                1. And you can even link that ‘parking lot ownership’ back to something that Henry George might’ve written about. Say instead of a parking lot, it’s a self-absorbed performance artist who inherited the land cuz granddad peed on a tree (even better in CA so no prop tax reassessment since then either) – an Aesopian dog in the manger running around with a golf club yelling to everyone walking by ‘Get Off My Lawn’.

                2. JFree
                  August.18.2019 at 4:34 pm
                  “Yes thank you. And the land tax is the proper carrying cost for that location because it signals the value of the monopoly grant there –”

                  No, the market is the proper determinant of value, not some fucking lefty ignoramus like you.

            5. “And CO, like all low property tax states, massively subsidizes landowners by a)letting the landowner keep most of the increase in land value that a municipality actually creates…”

              You didn’t build that.

        2. JFree
          August.16.2019 at 4:21 pm
          “Geddit?”
          Yes, I ‘geddit’; the market said the land was the value.
          In SF, empty rentals are worth more than occupied; gov’t market distortion causes that.
          The Denver city gov’t nearly made his land next to worthless.

  12. “preservationists”. it’s a diner.

    1. But it’s an old diner. Old = Historic. Why do you hate history?
      /sarc

      1. I suppose he could have painted a picture of George Washington or General Lee and they would have demanded that history be destroyed

  13. Any such deal, however, will now have to get the full consent of Messina—it’s his property after all.

    Kenny Loggins hardest hit.

  14. The Denver Post’s objection is merely a pass – if it were a building or property they ‘liked’ enough, they’d be deaf to the owner’s objection.

    ‘We could imagine there are times when a piece of property is so significant to Denver’s history, or its architecture such a rare gem, that we would support a hostile taking of value from an owner with zero compensation.’

    As I get older, I wonder more and more if all news organizations are groups of biased clowns not worth listening to.

    1. As I get older, I wonder more and more if all news organizations are groups of biased clowns not worth listening to.

      In the case of the DP, wonder no more. That rag’s been produced by biased clowns ever since I started reading it more than 40 years ago.

      Bring back the Rocky Mountain News.

      1. The wrong newspaper definitely went under, but then again, the RMN brought that hippie shithead Mike Littwin into town, so they weren’t completely free of sin.

  15. “I have a beautiful family I want to spend time with. I just turned 60 and I want to do something else.”

    “Too bad we’ve declared it an HISTORIC family!”

  16. The bullshit part is the council had to give him a certificate of non-historic status. Does every building now have to get a certificate one way or another?

    1. Socialists gotta be socialists

      1. As I said above, fascists gotta fasc.

  17. Three cheers for property rights!

    1. Instead of bothering Americans about our immigration policy, you could become a private property rights activist up there in Toronto. God knows your country needs it.

  18. Congrats Tom!

    Property rights still mean something.

    Fuck those assholes for trying to ruin your retirement.

  19. This is where execution of law comes down to a matter of taste. If it were a Gilded Age summer home, nobody would want to bulldoze it to make room for a casino.

    And while this building might be somewhat closer to the Whataburger aesthetic, it’s certainly superior to the insipid soulless contemporary architecture that will replace it and that can be seen in the photograph looming like sadness. What in that photograph sparks joy? Not the “we’re minimalist!” apartments.

    1. My response to takers such as yourself, JFree and the “preservation activists” would have been to close one night, turn up all the gas jets, turn all the deep fryers on high, shut the door and hope to get home before I heard the explosion. Preserve that.

      1. It was called “Jewish Lightening” back in the day.

      2. You have rather a strong position on architectural preservation.

        1. Tony
          August.16.2019 at 10:44 pm
          “You have rather a strong position on architectural preservation.”

          Shitbag’s position in lying and general idiocy is well established.
          Fuck off and die.

          1. Alcohol is a terrible thing to waste on dirty redneck goobers.

            1. We’ve noticed.

      3. I like that. Your p,an has one omission. You failed to disclose the part where you get the activist busybodies locked in the restaurant first.

    2. There’s nothing superior about kitschy California restaurant designs. They’re as cookie-cutter as the IKEA-style condos that are replacing them in Denver.

      Unfortunately, all the old, elegant Capitol Hill mansions that could have been converted to apartments already did so ages ago.

    3. Toady, seriously, when has anyone at Reason defended historic preservation of any piece of private property.

      I’m pretty sure that the sentiment around here is that if you love some “Gilded Age summer home” so much that you think it ought to be preserved, you should put your own money up to do it.

      Otherwise, you STFU and accept the fact that the highest use of the property is a casino, even if you don’t like the aesthetics of the thing or you disapprove of gambling.

      1. That’s the difference between libertarians and self-righteous busybodies. We don’t impose our tastes on others. Especially not at gunpoint.

  20. Gentrification is the best thing that cou lo d possibly happen to that neighborhood. Almost all of East (and West) Colfax is a shithole. Full of grimy dive bars and other kitschy bullshit that only appeals to aging hipsters and Gen-z assholes who come down for the “atmosphere”, get drunk, puke on the sidewalk and then Uber or Lyft back to SloHi so they don’t have to actually see the place in daylight.

    A precision F5 tornado rolling down that street and razing everything to the ground would do Denver a favor.

    1. The 1up is cool though…

    2. Colfax is a shithole from Tower Road all the way out to Kipling, and has been for about 50 years. All the gentrification in the world couldn’t pull it out of that funk.

  21. Take lots of pictures and make careful diagrams of it or buy it and move it to another location if you can afford to.

  22. The Californication is nearly complete. Colorado used to be a state where everyone could mind their own business without interference.

    I gotta get out of this place.

    1. …there’s a better life for me and you.

    2. It can be again. Run the Californians out. Their presence is inherently a NAP violation. So anything you do to boot them out is ok.

  23. Since this building is so fucking desirable, have it dismantled immediately and put up for sale, for say, $2.5 mil. $7.3 mil is a hell of a lot better than$4.8 mil.

  24. Ok, I doubt it’s worth that much. Point is,if these nastalgic pricks love it so much, they have the opportunity to buy it. Whether they put it up on their own property and live out of it, donate it to the Museum of Shitty Architecture, or shove it up their ass and put an ‘Open for business’ sign out front, who cares so long as they stop trying to violate this guy’s property rights to get it!

    1. This whole thing sounds like a real world version of a ‘Parks and Recreation’ episode. In real life, Amy Poehler’s character would be a monster.

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  28. I really did not expect him to come out of this with his property rights so I guess common sense wins sometimes. Congratulations for not laying down to political nonsense.

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