By Eric Heinz
Shortly after releasing their initial plans to keep at least 100 acres of the former Park Hill Golf Course as open space, the developers filed proposals for what the area could look like.
Westside Investment Partners, the owners of the 155-acre site, and the City of Denver released a comprehensive draft plan of the area in August, although no building designs have been officially filed with the city.
On the Park Hill Golf Course vision plan, different areas are planned in separate boxes on a map featured on the city’s website. Some of the new plans include the construction of a neighborhood main street with a vision of bringing in locally owned businesses with “affordable” commercial spaces and anti-displacement measures for existing businesses.
The development plans seek to create 12-story apartment buildings at the northwest corner of the property (for golfers, think of the former green of hole 15 and the tee box of 16), near public transit. There are also plans to the south for commercial shops with housing, and more housing within a sector that would feature a community center.
“This is all very preliminary, just in terms of the actual plans, let alone entitlements and everything like that,” Westside principal Kenneth Ho said. “There are a lot of steps between here and there. We will be, obviously, having many more conversations with the community, even before we get to tenants, and we want to honor those desires. But we have heard loud and clear that a grocery store and healthy food options are desired by this community.”
There is still opposition to the plans, however.
Penfield Tate is a member of the group Yes for Parks and Open Space, which was able to win a ballot measure victory that now requires voter and city council approval of plans before developing Park Hill. Yes for Parks and Open Space recently released their vision for the land, which includes no development but would cultivate the land as a public park.
“We know we have community support and broad city support for preserving open space and recreational options on the land,” Tate said. “I’m going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep calling foul when the city puts its thumb on the scale and tries to force the community to accept development, even though that’s not what it wants.”
Ho said the demands of Yes for Parks and Open Space have come up in Westside’s own collection of community feedback, in addition to the development plans that are coming to fruition.
“We see a lot of elements that we’ve heard from community members that would fit within a reasonably sized park, and the park planning will be an ongoing effort in the coming months and weeks,” he said. The next Park Hill Golf Course steering committee meeting is 5:30 p.m. Aug. 23 online, and directions to sign up for the meeting are on the city’s vision page.
A meeting hosted by Westside will discuss the plans for the land from 5:30-8 p.m., Sept. 7 at the Park Hill Clubhouse, 4141 E. 35th Ave.