Punch Bowl Developers: “Screw It. Let’s Tear it Down and Start Over.”

control towerWhen developers purchased the Stapleton control tower, Randy Gibbons and his team knew it was going to be a challenging project. The original estimate was to be open in around five years, but under the current conditions, that goal doesn’t seem realistic. “This has proven to be a bigger challenge than we even imagined,” said Gibbons. “I mean, we completely gutted the place, and we keep finding more and more issues. Structurally, spatially, and really anything you could think of. If we continue down the path of renovating, the budget and timeline will continue to balloon.”

Gibbons has made a new proposal to Punch Bowl, Forest City, and the Stapleton Principal HOA. “What we are proposing is simply tearing down the existing facility and starting from scratch,” said Gibbons. “I know that is going to disappoint some people, but the fact that we can get the project completed in less than a year will probably ease their disappointment.” Residents can easily see the project is potentially beyond repair. “I mean, it looks like it could fall down any minute,” said resident Jim Dove. “So, if they can get it done more safely, cheaply and quickly by knocking it down, that just makes more sense to me.” Laura Courbet agrees. “I mean, they gave it a shot, and that is what is admirable,” said Courbet. “Now is the time to move forward and just do it the right way. Truth be told, I thought they should have torn it down years ago.”

Not all residents are ready to give up, however. “The whole idea of this thing was to keep the feeling of the tower,” complained resident Neil Keating. “I don’t care if it takes them 20 years to renovate this thing, I want what was originally promised.” Mary Kurtz also has a soft spot for the original tower. “Anyone could have come in here and torn the thing down and built something new,” says Kurtz. “No, we were promised a renovated tower, and that’s what I want to see.” It is likely construction will be put on hold until the proposal from Gibbons to the interested parties has received responses. “At this point, we are going to hold off any building,” said Gibbons. “I mean, there’s a good chance we would just be tearing it down soon anyway.”

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