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Kiszla: Disgrace of Jon Gruden reminds us why Broncos Country should appreciate Vic Fangio more

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Kiszla: Disgrace of Jon Gruden reminds us why Broncos Country should appreciate Vic Fangio more

Could every NFL fan who bet Jon Gruden would lose his job before Vic Fangio kindly raise your hand?

Gruden owns a Super Bowl ring and 102 more regular-season victories than Fangio, but in my book, that’s not the most crucial difference between these two football coaches.

Uncle Vic is good people. Coach Chucky? Not so much.

I would play for Fangio in a heartbeat. Gruden revealed the racist, homophobic and misogynistic feelings in his heart during a disturbing series of emails unearthed by The New York Times and Wall Street Journal that led to his resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

“Relationships are important in this business, more so now more than ever,” Fangio said Thursday, when I asked him about the importance of having the trust of players in Denver’s locker room, especially in the face of adversity that a two-game losing streak can bring.

But if we have learned anything during this sad week for the NFL, it’s that virtue often has virtually no correlation with victory.

In a sport where big, self-important media burnish the legends of big stars until they are as shiny as the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Fangio is a working-class grunt in the league’s coaching fraternity compared to Gruden. Coach Chucky led Tampa Bay to a championship at age 39, served as ESPN’s lead commentator on Monday Night Football for a decade and signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to coach the Raiders in 2018.

Gruden won our respect. What fools we all were. In the crass language of his emails, it’s apparent Gruden disrespected everybody from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to commissioner Roger Goodell, while taking offense to the inclusion of either gay players or female referees in pro football.

If those ugly revelations don’t make you way angrier than Colin Kaepernick silently protesting racial injustice during the national anthem, maybe you should not only take a hard look in the mirror but at what prejudice might fester in your heart.

“I just think there’s no place in the world, let alone our league, for the opinions that were expressed and especially the words used to express those opinions,” said Fangio, when commenting earlier this week on Gruden’s spite-filled potty mouth. “Myself and my organization are definitely against that. It was a bad situation.”

The league needs more good men like Fangio and fewer of the attitudes born under the dark under-belly of the NFL’s good-old boy network.

But now Broncomaniacs have Raiders Week without Coach Chucky to boo. That’s OK, because the NFL works in mysterious ways. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that Sunday will be the time when the Broncos finally honor coach Mike Shanahan with a spot in the Ring of Fame?

Nobody disliked the Raiders more than Shanny, whose beef with the late Al Davis was so bloody rich he once ordered a San Francisco quarterback to throw a football at the owner’s head during warm-ups prior to a game. And far better, at least as far as Broncos Country is concerned: Shanahan’s record during his tenure in Denver against the dreaded Rai-duhs was 21-7.

With the Mastermind in the house, I would strongly advise Uncle Vic to beat the dysfunctional Raiders in utter disarray. Lose three in a row after a 3-0 start? Perish the thought. That would be the definition of free fall.

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The crypto capital of the world

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The crypto capital of the world

By David Segal and Ivan Nechepurenko, The New York Times Company

KYIV, Ukraine — A buccaneering 37-year-old educated in a British private school, Michael Chobanian is fluent both in English and the folkways of Ukraine, which he regards as a largely lawless frontier and which he likes to traverse in his black Ferrari 612. He is the founder of Kuna, one of Eastern Europe’s first cryptocurrency exchanges. To him, his native country is a terrific place to run a business, as long as you have the nerve to navigate a system rife with corruption.

Chief among the upsides, he explains in his office overlooking the Dnieper River, is the sort of freedom not seen in developed nations for hundreds of years.

Like, you can get away with murder.

“In this country, you can kill a person and you will not go to jail, if you have enough money and you’re connected,” he said, sipping tea on a plush leather sofa. “If you are not connected, it will cost you more.”

Brendan Hoffman, The New York Times

Michael Chobanian, founder of Kuna Exchange, a Bitcoin exchange, and a general cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast, in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 9, 2021. I

The anything-goes ethos has dogged Ukraine for years, and now the government is hoping to bury it, with an assist from cryptocurrency. In early September, the Parliament here passed a law legalizing and regulating Bitcoin, step one in an ambitious campaign to both mainstream the nation’s thriving trade in crypto and to rebrand the entire country.

“The big idea is to become one of the top jurisdictions in the world for crypto companies,” said Alexander Bornyakov, deputy minister at the 2-year-old Ministry of Digital Transformation. “We believe this is the new economy, this is the future, and we believe this is something that is going to boost our economy.”

He has distilled the pitch into a 90-second infomercial that peddles Ukraine the same way that Apple peddles gadgets. Over a grinding techno soundtrack a montage of bakers, executives, nurses and assorted citizens are seen leading contented lives in a kind of high-tech nirvana.

“We invest in startups and create proper conditions for their growth,” a female narrator says in English. “Our goal is to build the most convenient country in the world, for people and business.”

Bornyakov has taken that message — Ukraine as the ultimate destination for entrepreneurs in search of low taxes, a minimum of paperwork and plenty of skilled engineers — on a road show, including a summer tour of Silicon Valley. The country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, as well as students at Stanford.

Plenty of economists and policymakers are deeply suspicious of crypto, decrying it as the currency of choice for money launderers, terrorists, mobsters and ransomware extortionists. But an international Crypto’s Got Talent contest is now underway, and many countries are competing. As entrepreneurs pour into the field, some governments have made a simple calculation.

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Supply of homes for sale dried up in November across metro Denver

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Supply of homes for sale dried up in November across metro Denver

Snow wasn’t the only thing missing in metro Denver in November. Home listings dried up, with the inventory of available properties down by a third from October. The shortage is so severe that single-family home prices revisited record highs reached this summer, according to a monthly update from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

There were 1,444single-family homes for sale at the end of November, down 38.4% from October and 17.7% from a year earlier. The supply of condos and townhomes fell 21.6% month-over-month and 51.6% on the year to 804 listings. Normally, the inventory of homes for sale drops 11.4% between October and November, and last month’s decline was one for the record books, DMAR said.

November’s inventory was also a record low for the month, according to the report. If December sees a 25% drop in inventory from November, metro Denver could end the year with a paltry 1,686 active properties, noted Andrew Abrams, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee, which compiles the monthly report.

“That is drastically lower than the end of 2020 and could lead to the most competitive year yet,” he said in comments included with the report, adding that 2021 homes sales are on track to surpass annual sales seen in any year in the past five years.

A nearly 30% drop in new listings compared to October contributed to the inventory shortages, but new listings last month were on par with November 2020. Demand remains strong, with 4,392 closings but only 3,741 new listings hitting the market. Closings were down 10.4% from October, but that appears to be more about a lack of homes to buy. Half of new listings went under contract in five days or less after hitting the market.

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Developers planning Denver apartments pay $11.7 million for Golden Triangle site

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Developers planning Denver apartments pay $11.7 million for Golden Triangle site

A pair of development firms planning a large apartment complex in the Golden Triangle have purchased the land.

Denver-based Summit Capital Venture Group and New York-based Rockefeller Group paid about $11.7 million across four separate deals this week for parcels at the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and Delaware Street, according to public records.

The parcels — 328 W. 12th Ave. and 1140, 1150 and 1158 N. Delaware St. — add up to 0.72 acres, according to property records. That makes the collective deal worth about $373 a square foot for the land. Travis Hodge and Tony Bobay of Capstone represented the seller in two of the transactions.

Summit and Rockefeller said in a statement that they plan to build a 13-story, 250-unit apartment complex with about 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

“With the current focus on the redevelopment of the Golden Triangle area, this was an ideal opportunity to launch a partnership with Rockefeller Group,” Jason Marcotte, a founding partner at Summit Capital Venture Group, said in a statement. “We are excited to further enrich the neighborhood with quality housing options and thoughtful retail activation at the street level.”

The properties are home to multiple structures, including an office building at 1140 Delaware St. used by and sold by the Junior League of Denver.

The site is home to multiple structures, including an office building used by the Junior League of Denver. (Thomas Gounley photo)

“Our plan is to find another stand-alone building that is right for our purposes,” Junior League President Caryne Mesquita told BusinessDen Thursday. “We are in the process of looking at buildings right now. As we look at the market, we’re finding there aren’t many out there. We may be doing a short-term lease to give us time. We still want a Denver address, somewhere in the Central Business District or a little bit farther south. But probably not right in the middle of downtown.”

Rockefeller and Summit’s project is expected to break ground in April and be completed in early 2024, according to the companies.

Summit has 466 multifamily units in development, and owns another 174 units between Denver and Salt Lake City that it acquired, according to the company. Rockefeller, meanwhile — whose top local executive is Jay Despard, formerly of Hines — is one of the two firms that owns the former Greyhound block in downtown Denver.

The Golden Triangle has become a hub for significant multifamily development in recent years, and changes approved by the Denver City Council this summer paved the way for taller buildings.

Major developers active in the neighborhood include Denver-based Urban Villages, Charlotte-based Lennar Multifamily Communities and Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar.

BusinessDen reporter Eric Heinz contributed to this story.

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