When Post-Recession Development Causes Political Controversy

Denver provides a case study of a city's politics reckoning with the pace of development in a post-recession real estate market.
December 13, 2017, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Controversy over the perceived developer friendliness of Mayor Michael Hancock has erupted in Denver, forcing the mayor to take to the pages of The Denver Post in an exclusive interview.

A separate article by Jon Murray details the development related controversies leveled at the mayor as he pursues an expected third term in office in a May 2019 election. The controversies are highlighted by uproar over a coffee shop in the neighborhood of Five Points gleefully touting its role in gentrification.

"As unrelenting development has disrupted several neighborhoods, a counter-narrative to the Denver success story is uniting Hancock’s critics and has spurred them to organize," explains Murray. 

In the exclusive interview (Murray also asks the questions in the interview), Mayor Hancock responds to the accusations of being too friendly by defending his integrity, describing the growth of the city's economy, and talking about the mayor's lack of control in the development approval process. 

Whether the charges of being overly developer friendly is a political third rail in the city of Denver will be determined in 2019. Until then and beyond, politicians in popular growing cities like Denver will continue to face pressure to voice a coherent development and planning agenda.

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Published on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 in The Denver Post
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