Chauncey Billups no longer involved in Rossonian redevelopment – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2022-05-16 07:18:35 –

Courtesy of Chauncey Billups, The Denver Post.

In April 2018, the residents of Five Point Blair-Caldwell African Studies Library To look into Chauncey Billups..

Former NBA player, current Portland Trail Blazers coach, and from Denver, he has announced that he will be involved in the remodeling of the historic Rossonian Hotel.

Four years later, construction did not exist and Billups left the project for a long time. His manager, Silas White, told Business Den that he had withdrawn in 2019, a year after the fanfare. Not reported so far.

“”Unfortunately, due to the changing vision and direction, and the promise to Billups and the community, Seansey has nothing to do with the Rossonian project, “White said.

Rossonian, located at 2650 Welton Street, was built in 1912 and once housed a prominent jazz club. host Musicians Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong..Construction It has been vacant since the late 1990s.

In 2018, Palisade Partners, who purchased the property the previous year, The jazz club and restaurant on the ground floor have announced plans to reopen as a 41-room hotel named after Billups.

Palisade’s current partner in redevelopment efforts is the Denver-based private equity firm Fly Fisher Group. According to Haroun Cowans, a former FlyFisher employee, Flyfisher became an investor in the Rossonian project in 2019, and Billups withdrew in the same year.

The Flyfisher Group is headed by CEO Matthew Burkett and is associated with Robert Smith, a billionaire from Denver. And the company is facing a tenant rebellion. MMultiple companies sued by Flyfisher I told Business Den last month Barckett is trying to burden them with false charges and take control of their activities. Mr. Barckett explained that the proceedings are a last resort in the event that the terms of the contract are broken and are standard fares.

Billups showed that his short time on the Rossonian project did not overlap with Flyfisher.

“I have never traded with the Flyfisher Group,” Billups said in a statement to Business Den. “It’s also very disappointing to hear what’s happening in my favorite community.”

President Paul Books of Palisade confirmed the withdrawal of Billups.

“I respect his wife and him and are very grateful to them,” Books said in an email.

Redevelopment pursued for over 10 years

Rossonian rendering

The rendering of the Rossonian Hotel Redevelopment Project proposed by Palisade took place on the 26th and in Welton, Denver.

Four years after Palisade bought the Rossonian, the refurbishment has not yet begun.

Tim Welland, head of finance at Palisade, told BusinessDen last month that redevelopment efforts were affected by COVID but are still underway and construction could begin next year. The book repeated it last week.

“”We don’t plan to provide updates, but we’re still pushing for it … avoiding additional start and stop, hoping to have a solid plan in progress when additional news is shared. increase. The book said by email.

Efforts to revive the Palisade in front of the building. Kawans, Flyfisher’s Chief Real Estate Officer has been working with various Rossonian owners on redevelopment plans since 2009 before leaving the company in May last year.

Cowans from Denver said he was the first to be involved as a contractor for Civil Technology. A real estate company owned by Karl Bourgeois.Bourgeois bought Rossonian for $ 800,000 in 2006But last week to Business Den It was too difficult to revive the building.

“”I’ve been working with Rossonian for a few years looking for ways to finance the reconstruction, but found that the infrastructure around Washington Street and Wellton Street was too old to fix for $ 16 million. That wasn’t the case. On a budget or within a plan, “bourgeois said.

Kawans said he left after working in the bourgeoisie until 2012 Starting his own group to buy Rossonian. Mr Kawans said the bourgeoisie agreed to sell his property to him, but eventually went on another route.

The bourgeois told Business Den that he didn’t remember Kauan, who was working on the Rossonian project while at Civil Technology, or who tried to buy a building from him. However, Cowans showed a Business Den year-old email supporting his account.

Instead, the bourgeoisie decided to bring in other local developers to help complete his vision, including Palisade, who worked with Lydian, the building of a nearby apartment. rice field.

However, Bourgeois said negotiations continued to change and decided to sell the property to Palisade for $ 6 million in 2017.

“I was exhausted and wanted to move on,” said the bourgeoisie. “Even today, I hope they work, and I hope someone understands how to complete it. Probably one of the most famous buildings in Colorado, so it’s a great project. Deserves. And I was once honored to be part of the ownership there. That’s probably all I know. “

Kawans, who was working as a broker for NAIShames Makovsky at the time, contacted Books to see if he could get involved when he heard that Palisade had bought the property. In 2018, Mr. Kawans said he had signed a memorandum of understanding with Palisade to purchase one-third of the Rossonian. According to the manager, Billups, who participated in the project after a while, made the same deal.

Kauan has set a public announcement In April 2018, the involvement of Billups surprised the community. A week later, he said he received an email from Matthew Barckett.

Rossonian booster ends up on the outside

Haroun Kawans

Haroun Cowans in front of Rossonian Five point hotel. Photo by Lily O’Neill.

Kawans knew Barckett because he had an office in the same building as Flyfisher, but he had never worked with him before. The two met at Coffee eat the Point, and Burkett provided a job for Cowans.

“”[Burkett] “Haroun, I have this platform for you, and now you can finally close the deal,” Cowans told Business Den. “He told me,” We don’t have to fight each other in the Five Point community. I think God has gathered us. That there are other black millionaires around me. I would like to confirm. “

Barckett refused to comment on this story.

Kawans saw it as an opportunity to get a single investment for Rossonian, rather than recruiting a group of investors. He joined Flyfisher in 2018.

That year, Flyfisher-related entities paid $ 3.8 million for two buildings between Rossonian and Hooper. Records show the building of a nine-story apartment in the same block. The company then presented Palisade with a large Rossonian redevelopment project.

In 2019, Flyfisher became a key investor in both Rossonian and Hooper, according to Cowans. When this happened, the deal between Kawans and Billups was essentially closed, White said.

“I said [Burkett] I wanted to make sure I was still fair at Rossonian, but the conversation was somehow always delayed, “Kawans said.

Barckett’s plan was to reconstruct the property as a 70-room hotel with a restaurant and performance space on the ground floor in the basement. Mr. Kawans said he had hired a general contractor and interviewed a hotel management company before he left Flyfisher.

Kawans said he left Flyfisher in May 2021 because of a “mismatch” between what Flyfisher said was a community plan and what was actually happening.

Kawans said he also noticed a change in the barket.

“He wanted to be the face of Five Points. Period,” he said.

Flyfisher’s tenant, who spoke to Business Den last month, claimed that Burkett’s behavior had changed and attributed it to the dropout between Burkett and Smith. Smith’s representative said last month that billionaire flyfishers and barkets have “decreased in recent years.”

Kawans said he was tagged in a social media post about the landlord-tenant dispute and local community members are contacting him for an answer.

“I didn’t want people to think I was involved in this misalignment,” Kawans said.

A Flyfisher-related entity sued Cowans in November, claiming that he did not repay the $ 31,000 promissory note that Cowans described as a retention bonus. Kawans said FlyFisher had been accused of not requesting payment for two months and had already repaid about $ 16,500. Burkett also sued Flyfisher’s Cowan assistant on suspicion of violating an employee’s nondisclosure agreement. After that, the proceeding was settled.

Kawans has now launched his own company, Gosen Development, and said, “I want to use my business as a tool for good.” But ten years after he wanted to be part of Rossonian’s next chapter, he’s looking out.

“”It was sad to leave the project I was passionate about, but I’m happy to be able to do it because I did it for people in the community I live in and love, “says Kawans. “This project is one thing, but what Rossonian represents and people make more sense to me. Building a new shiny hotel is hypocritical, but I’m currently finding a way to beat other hotels. . “

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