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Dispensary Owner Protests Trammell Crow Project Over Parking

Dispensary Owner Protests Trammell Crow Project Over Parking
Simply Pure owner Wanda James said her business is down 45% since Trammell Crow Residential started work on the apartment project across from her marijuana dispensary in 2016.

Wanda James has had enough of the Trammell Crow Residential project under construction across the street from her marijuana dispensary at West 32nd Avenue and Tejon Street in Denver’s Lower Highland neighborhood.

When the parking lane in front of her business is not closed completely, workers on the site take the spaces — despite signs warning them of a $50 fine for parking there.

Workers closed the parking lane again Monday, even though the last time the contractor got a permit to close it was on Jan. 26. Denver Public Works responded to James’ complaint Monday and the lane was reopened. A representative from Trammell Crow did not respond to an email seeking comment.

“Financially, we are down 45%, and we can tie it directly to the street closings and when they started,” said James, who stood outside her store Monday morning protesting the five-story, 106-unit apartment project. “We won today. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Dispensary Owner Protests Trammell Crow Project Over Parking
Construction workers park in front of Simply Pure despite threats of a $50 fine.

The five-story project, called Alexan LoHi at Dickinson Plaza, appears to be behind schedule. The first of the 106 apartments was supposed to be delivered in January, according to Trammell Crow’s website. No one has moved into the building. 

Permit conditions require contractors to resolve all local access needs. Residents or business owners who feel they might have an access issue when contractors  are working should be able to get those issues resolved, Denver Department of Public Works communications specialist Heather Burke said.

“For the project at 32nd and Tejon, Denver Public Works has asked the contractor to provide advance notification of their work to adjacent property owners,” Burke said. 

Since starting work on the five-story project in May 2016, Trammell Crow Residential has requested about 40 street occupancy permits, which have totaled thousands of dollars. The permit cost for the latest closure was about $590, Burke said. 

Dispensary Owner Protests Trammell Crow Project Over Parking
The first residents were supposed to move into Alexan LoHi at Dickinson Plaza in January.

The cost of a street occupancy permit varies based on the project and several factors, including the number of lanes that need to be closed, whether they need to close a main street or a residential street and hours the street will be closed — it costs more to close a street during peak travel times.

But even if the parking lane is open, construction workers still park there. And if they are not parking there, they are in a spot that forces someone else to park in front of the store, even if they are not a customer, James said. 

Dispensary Owner Protests Trammell Crow Project Over Parking
A Simply Pure employee observes the construction from the shop's window.

“Why can’t these $1B developers bus these guys in?" she said. “There’s no reason for them to do this.

“The reason they want to build here in the first place is because of the small businesses that make this neighborhood cool.”