Don’t know if you caught Rick Sallinger’s Channel 4 investigative report about the “city-owned” (actually, Mister Sallinger, I wonder if you did your homework on this one. I believe the space is leased by the city), warehouse already converted to house (jail) protesters during the Democratic National Convention. Fenced-in cages, razor wire on top, stun guns to be used.
Sallinger, for whatever reason did not disclose the location of the warehouse. I will: It’s 3840 York Street, (Google map). (P.S. Look to the RIGHT of the arrow on the map. I haven’t been there in years, and the entrance may now be on Steele Street.) It’s where the Election Commission used to house their voting machines and where the Purchasing Division housed surplus office furnishings after the move to the Webb Building. And, this complex’s shady history includes the relationship between Bert Weston and the city fathers who, um, well… Let’s just say Ms. Weston befriended quite a number of city fathers which certainly didn’t hurt her financial health.
If this “secret” location proves to be other than 3840 York Street, I’ll eat my, um… I’ll eat red meat for a week. How’s that!
P.S. 3840 York Street and 3833 Steele Street identify the same complex. The main entrance used to be on the York Street side. That may have changed, since I haven’t been out that way in years. The main entrance may now be on Steele Street.
P.P.S. Some background on this complex. I’m working from memory here, so any errors of commission or omission are due to, um, McCain moments.
The complex where the city has constructed the “Gitmo” holding area for DNC protesters was originally the U.S. Air Force Finance and Accounting Center. The city “acquired” the complex probably in the ’70s, paying something like $1 a year to the Feds in lease payments. The city moved into the complex a number of agencies: the Data Services Division (now ISD); the Wastewater Management Division, the Permit Center and probably other agencies that I don’t recall. Also, Denver Cares (the drunk tank) was once housed at the complex. Once it was determined that the complex was unsafe–something leaking from the huge transformers on the site; asbestos, etc.–the city moved its agencies to other digs. For a time, the city’s surplus warehouse resided in the complex after all other agencies had moved out. I recall that the other half of the complex (you’ll notice in the Google map, the complex consists of two long units, with an access road in between), was occupied by Denver Public Schools where they ran programs for “troubled” youth. Later on, the city financially assisted a rather “difficult” developer to take over the complex and convert it to commercial use. Indeed, the city’s Office of Economic Development bent over backwards to assist this “difficult” developer which, by the way, is another story all to itself. The most recent knowledge I have of the complex is that the city leased space from the “difficult” developer for, one, a warehouse to house the immense amount of surplus furniture generated by the move to the Webb Building; and, two, a space to house the Election Commissions voting machines. (Suffice it to say, the Election Commission’s move to this facility came with a significant amount of screaming and consternation. Their voting machines had been happily housed elsewhere.) So, the “difficult” developer, once again, needed bailing out by the city. And, what better way to bail her out than to provide her with hefty lease payments from the city to house surplus furniture and voting machines. And now… Well, Gitmo lives in the space that most likely used to house the Election Commission’s voting machines.
August 15th – Update: As memory churns on this subject, additional facts emerge. Since the Election Commission voting machines had to be in a “controlled” atmosphere, read: air conditioning, and since the roof of this “Gitmo” facility was structurally incapable of supporting an adequate AC unit, portable AC devices had to be used inside the facility to “control” the climate. Didn’t see any AC devices in Sallinger’s report, although the city may be scrambling to obtain the same.
Additionally, I recall that when the city leased space to store surplus furniture and the voting machines, there was a large solid block of concrete (no structure) adjacent to the space the city leased. Why the incongruous large concrete space? Well, story was, there had been a fire and the facility’s fire suppression system was inadequate to the task of putting the fire out. Whether or not the facility’s fire suppression system has been ungraded is unknown.