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Councilwoman stepping in to remove empty Sears building in southeast Denver

Councilwoman says building is eye sore
Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 21:04:21-05

DENVER -- Southeast Denver is in dire need of commercial revitalization and an empty building on Monaco and Evans that's just collecting dust isn't helping, according to District 4 Councilwoman Kendra Black.

“There was a Kmart there since about 1965,” said Black, talking about the property that she describes as "an eye sore." 

Black said Kmart singed a 99-year lease when it acquired the building more than 50 years ago. But decades later, after it was bought by Sears and then left abandoned, the company is still paying $400,000 in rent a year for the blighted spot. 

“The property is vacant, it’s blighted, it’s got some broken windows; there are people that dump their trash, some people have been camping there,” said Black. 

Over the past year, Black has been working on putting the property to good use, but Sears isn’t willing to terminate the lease. She said the owners of J&W management corporation are asking for outrageous prices from developers to sell. So Black turned to the city’s Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) for proof the property is a nuisance.

DURA officials told Denver7 the report came back showing the property only meets 4 out of the 11 blight conditions and for the city to able to force the owner to sell, the property must meet at least five.

Black plans to meet with the Mayor and DURA at the beginning of next year.

Property owners told Denver 7 they want the building to be put to good use and they are currently reviewing several options from interested parties. Sears declined to give a comment.