Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission voted Tuesday to designate the 51-year-old Channel 7 building at 123 E. Speer Blvd. a landmark, preventing developers from razing the five-story Brutalist-style building.
Commissioners voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the designation application and forwarded it to City Council’s Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure committee. LUTI will discuss the issue on April 20.
“It’s important to note that even though the application is advancing to the City Council, CPD (Community Planning Development) staff is still actively working with the applicants and owners to find a win-win scenario that would increase density while still preserving the tower,” said Amanda Weston, CPD spokeswoman, in an email.
The landmark designation would prevent the sale of the property to a development company that wants to build multifamily housing there, according to documents filed with the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission.
KMGH Channel 7 applied for a certificate of non-historic status in December, so the building could be razed after being sold to a developer.
But in January, three Denver residents filed a notice with the LPC that they think the building deserves landmark status.
Bradley Cameron, Michael Henry and David Lynn Wise are common names in Denver historic preservation circles, especially around the Capitol Hill area.
“We’re very happy with the commission’s action, and appreciate their support,” Cameron said Wednesday. “We’re going to continue doing what we have been: Talking about the issue and trying to raise awareness regarding the importance of the Channel 7 building. We continue to try to find a win-win solution.”
Scripps Media Inc., the station’s owner, said it couldn’t find a potential buyer that didn’t want to demolish the building. The station has signed a letter of intent with New York-based developer Property Markets Group.
PMG and a local architecture firm explored the possibility of reusing the building, but it “concluded that such repurposing or incorporation is not feasible.”
PMG Managing Director Evan Schapiro said previously: “We see meaningful opportunity to add value to the community in the form of much-needed reasonably priced housing and inclusive street-level activation.”
The five-story office building is the only home KMGH has ever had. It started at the same site as KLZ radio -- which was housed in a former auto dealership.