City Council was entranced by Greg Mueller's descriptions, but Mueller wasn't there to re-imagine the words to "America the Beautiful." The architect was describing Cooper Tower, the 22-story building planned for the southeast corner of Nevada Avenue and Kiowa Street.
Cooper Tower: inspired by nature, brought to you by developers.
On Tuesday, City Council gave an enthusiastic "Go right ahead" to Cooper Holdings LLC. The developer sought approval for Cooper Tower because it will be taller than current regulations allow (a maximum of 14 stories), will encroach into city right-of-way, will drag traffic access across a property line and is a mixed-use building.
Councilors certainly sounded receptive.
Tom Gallagher: "All great cities took this step. New York once was sprawl."
Mayor Lionel Rivera: "I think it's about time downtown starts growing outside the normal boundaries."
Vice Mayor Larry Small, to former City Councilman Bill Guman, who now represents Cooper Holdings: "I've seen a lot of your work, and this is the hallmark of what you've been doing."
What's all the fuss about? How about a public spa and fitness center, retail and restaurants, ample parking, 237 hotel rooms, 59 condos and a new streetscape?
Plus, Cooper Tower is designed green, with energy-efficient ventilation, open-air parking garage and possibly solar panels and/or wind turbines.
Cooper representatives say they've held a public meeting and addressed community concerns. No one from the public spoke for or against the development at the Council meeting.