Update on The Tavern Uptown

Last week I wrote a blog post about the future of The Tavern Uptown, a fixture on the 17th Avenue corridor in the Uptown neighborhood just east of downtown Denver. The plan was to raze the building and redevelop the parcel to include a new Tavern Uptown and proposed 315 apartment units.

Recently¬†Historic Denver, a NGO preservation group has launched an online petition campaign to save The Tavern Building which has a physical address of 538 East 17th Avenue. For more history about the Tavern Building, here is the link to Historic Denver’s “Historic Tavern Building” page.

While I will refrain from providing an opinion concerning The Tavern Uptown from my experience (both academic and professional) I am in general a fan of historic preservation. In many respects Denver has come to the game late concerning the preservation of our historic buildings. And I do not just reference pre WWII structures including the destruction of many gems within Downtown Denver under the guise of Urban Renewal; Denver has lost a few gems of mid-century modern architecture as well.

Yet I can also understand the owner of such a buildings position. While not technically a “taking”, placing Historic Designation” status on a building or neighborhood does place certain restrictions on future structural revisions. Yet I believe overall Historic Designations for buildings and neighborhoods overall retains and increases values when compared to the overall market.

While Denver has embarked on recognizing certain neighborhoods as historic i.e. Country Club and others, some would argue we are woefully behind versus cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia yet beyond the infancy of Los Angeles.

Concerning The Tavern Uptown (and again I have not reviewed the merits of the argument for historic preservation) I do hope the out-of-state developers are sensitive to the unique design of the building, its history in Denver and the overall urban fabric of the 17th Avenue corridor. A sensible solution may be the preservation of the facade or similar i.e. wrap the new development around and above the existing building.

For more information in addition to the link to Historic Denver above, check out the article in the Denver Business Journal.

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The Tavern Uptown to Redevelop and Expand

For many in the Uptown neighborhood and 17th Avenue corridor The Tavern Uptown, while a relative newcomer has become an institution. Known for its congenial atmosphere, multiple tv’s and specials thought the day, The Tavern Uptown is a true fixture of the neighborhood and its lot is quite valuable.

Earlier this week, the Southern Land Company announced plans to develop a 315-unit apartment building on the site of the Tavern Uptown at 538 East 17th Avenue. The eight-story building will occupy the Uptown block bounded by East 16th and East 17th avenues and Pearl and Pennsylvania streets.

Fans of The Tavern Uptown should not worry as the existing operation will be demolished but will return with a new 14,000 square foot bar and restaurant on the project’s ground floor. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2016 and be completed in 2018. Nashville-based Southern Land Company is developing several other Denver and Boulder apartment communities.