It is no secret that the current Presidential administration questions many of the environmental concerns addressed by the previous one, going so far as to threaten the very existence of the …
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It is no secret that the current Presidential administration questions many of the environmental concerns addressed by the previous one, going so far as to threaten the very existence of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Scott Pruitt, current Trump-nominated EPA Administrator, is an outspoken skeptic of human-caused climate change (i.e., science) and, as Attorney General of Oklahoma, sued the EPA 14 times to block federal air and water pollution regulations. Mr. Pruitt does not hide his close ties with the fossil fuel industry and based on decisions he’s made, appears to be carrying out the administration’s campaign promises to chip away at the foundation of the agency he now runs.
Devaluing the impact of the EPA could have toxic repercussions nationally but also at home and, literally, in our own backyards. The EPA was established in 1970 amid growing concerns about environmental pollution with the mission “to protect human health and the environment.” As a regulatory agency, authorized by Congress, the EPA both writes and enforces mandatory requirements relating to environmental issues, including but not limited, to air quality and chemical and waste cleanup.
Denver’s industrial past left several parcels of land around the city barren “brownfields,” an EPA term that refers to the complications in the reuse of land created by the “presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” The EPA Superfund program is responsible for overseeing the cleanup of brownfields such as the site at 1805 S. Bannock where the former owner, S.W. Shattuck Chemical Company, first processed radium in the early part of the 1900s then later moved on to uranium and other radioactive materials.
The 224-unit Evans Encore Station at 1805 S. Bannock St. at the former S.W. Shattuck Superfund Site. Photo by Kevin Ryan.
Part of the Denver Radium Superfund site cleanup of 1805 S. Bannock—which included 65 properties and nine street segments in Denver—was completed in 2006 which eventually made way for the current development project. Dallas-based company Encore Enterprises will complete the conversion of the former superfund site into livable space in early 2018 when it opens the 224-unit Evans Encore Station. Is our blind faith in ethical standards enough to steer corporations to act in a way that protects human health and the environment if the EPA goes away?
There will be a new spot to find a drink on South Broadway come early December, according to an employee of Archetype Distillery. Having sat vacant for a number of years, there was some concern the building at 119 S. Broadway would be demolished when it was granted a non-historic status in late 2015. The building originally opened as the Webber Theater in 1917, became Kitty’s South, an adult theater and video store in the 1980s, and then shuttered in 2007.
On South Broadway, past the Gates Redevelopment area, which is slowly changing the landscape of the I-25 and South Broadway intersection, is 1616 S. Broadway. The 40-unit, three story building, will house “stylish package options,” according to the company website 1616south.com, including studios, one- and two-bedroom condos. While the old Broadway Motel that used to occupy the lot at the corner of Iowa and South Broadway, just steps south of Herman’s Hideaway, offered discounted hourly lodging, studios at the aptly named 1616 South at Platt Park start in the low $300s.
As South University Boulevard between Evans and Vassar becomes a canyon of high rise buildings, the variety of building styles highlight the history of Denver’s development. Observatory Flats, which will soon be rising from the lot at 2368 S. University Blvd., will be a modern, five-story behemoth. Prospective tenants will have the choice of one or two-bedroom apartments and “panoramic views,” according to observatoryflats.com.
A quarter block south, at 2400 S. University Blvd., is the nearly block long Atelier at University Park. Atelier is a French word for "an artist’s or designer’s studio or workroom." Apartments in the 252-unit, five story building will be available in January of 2018 and, according to the company’s website (atelieruniversitypark.com), will offer luxury amenities such as a year-round lap pool, rooftop spa, BBQ area and firepits. The website also boasts the availability of “mezzanine style apartments with a staircase to the upper level.”
Across from the University of Denver's Newman Center for Performing Arts, work is underway on the Observatory Flats Condominiums at 2368 S. University. Photo by Kevin Ryan.
Affinity Luxury Flats at 274 S. Monroe St. and 269 and 275 S. Garfield St. broke ground this past October. The condos at the Monroe location are scheduled to be completed around October 2018 with the Garfield units to follow in February of 2019. According to affinitycherrycreek.com, the 12 condos, which sit just off East Alameda Avenue between South Colorado Boulevard and the Cherry Creek Mall, will offer a host of luxury amenities. The six different floor plans, named for desert plants, Yucca and Sage being two examples, will have either two or three bedrooms, three bathrooms, private interior courtyards and two-car garages. The units will range in size from just over 1400 square feet to just under 2400 square feet.
A representative at Affinity said the condos are fully customizable and will set a new owner back between $899,000 and $1.2 million dollars.
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