Denver Land-Swap Deal has Supporters, but Critics Accuse City of Favoritism

Courtesy of City and County of Denver.

A controversial northeast Denver land-swap proposal for a planned pocket park is seeking city council approval.

The deal involved an exchange of similar-sized parcels on either side of the 2800 block of Fairfax St. On the east side, the city would build out the park within a mixed-use development of apartments, offices, retail and townhomes planned by HM Capital. The developer would put $650,000 toward the park’s cost and HM would get the city’s land across the street to use for surface parking.

Supporters focused on the mechanics of the deal as it would jump-start the parks department’s so-far unfunded plan to build a park on the west side, but critics seized on the symbolism of the proposed swap because to them it reflected broader socioeconomic currents that have brought an influx of wealthy white residents to Park Hill.

Council members voted 12-0 in favor of the proposal on the first reading, signaling its strong approval odds in the final vote on Aug. 27.

Read the full story here.

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