City deadline for First Avenue Hotel has passed...but El Diablo, Sketch still open
The October 31 deadline that the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development had given the First Avenue Hotel came and went -- without any new notices to vacate slapped on the building. On July 10 those notices, headlined with the word "Danger," as well as five different letters signed by Michael Roach, building official with Development Services in the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development, were posted all around the building at First and Broadway, a building that houses El Diablo, Sketch and the offices of Jesse Morreale, who redeveloped the 106-year-old structure -- with the help of two loans from the Denver Office of Economic Development.
El Diablo at the First Avenue Hotel.
The restaurants were closed and the structure put off limits for three weeks, until the Board of Appeals, an independent group appointed by the mayor, ruled that the building be allowed to reopen while Morreale and the city negotiated a "work plan." The initial deadline for that was October 1, which the city later extended until October 31.
But today, there's still no agreed-upon work plan.
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What's next? Yesterday afternoon, Andrea Burns, communications director for the planning department, sent this update:
City officials have had a series of conversations with Mr. Morreale since the board's ruling, up to and including yesterday. City officials will likely spend several days reviewing all the relevant information, including new correspondence and technical documents from Mr. Morreale, to determine next steps.
As for Morreale, he says he's still waiting to hear back from the city on "a great deal of very substantive items."
In the meantime, El Diablo and Sketch are both very much open. Morreale even hosted a Day of the Dead party -- no irony there -- at El Diablo Tuesday night that raised over $4,000 for Mi Casa Resource Center.