A site that is currently a 155-acre golf course in northeast Denver may be redeveloped as a mix-use project with both residential and retail space.
The Denver-based Clayton Early Learning, which provides childhood education programs for disadvantaged youth and owns the popular Park Hill Golf Course, has announced that it may sell that course to a local developer later this summer.
Opened in 1931, the course, located between Smith Road and 35th, makes up one of the last large swaths of open land within the city boundaries of Denver, and for that reason is highly valued by both golfers and nearby neighbors alike.
According to reports, the course may be purchased by the Denver-based Westside Investments LLC, which is currently involved in the planning stage of another project that has sparked widespread Denver interest: the transformation of the former Loretto Heights College, which sits on 72 acres.
Although Westside has not said what it exactly it would like to do with the 18-hole Park Hill Golf Course property, the idea that the site could be opened up for development has alarmed some residents.
Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb recently remarked that he would be willing to spearhead an effort to stop the project, emphasizing the decline of open space throughout the city.
The possible golf course sale has also prompted the Denver Post to suggest that the City of Denver should step in and purchase the land, maintaining: “Our elected officials must not lose track of the ultimate goal—to vastly increase open space by acquiring one of the last remaining parcels of land available for such an endeavor.”
Impediments to building anything on the course could also come in the form of a conservation easement that Clayton Early Learning and the City of Denver agreed to two decades ago, imposing development restrictions on the land.
City officials have additionally noted that any proposed redevelopment of the Park Hill course, which would require a rezoning of the site, would have to first be approved by the Denver City Council.
The former site of a dairy farm, the Park Hill Golf Course has more than one hundred trees, and includes a 9,000 square foot indoor practice facility as well as a clubhouse.
By Garry Boulard
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