By Katie Rapone
On July 13, Glendale-based Westside Investment Partners submitted a development concept plan for the redevelopment of Denver’s Park Hill Golf Course. Westside purchased the 155-acre property in 2019 for $24 million. Based on community input and preliminary recommendations, Westside is proposing mixed-use neighborhoods connected by 100 acres of park, open space, and integrated stormwater detention. If approved, the park could become Denver’s 11th regional and fourth-largest.
The Park Hill Golf Course (PHGC) is located in northeast Denver, situated within the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood and adjacent to the Clayton neighborhood. The 155-acre PHGC is bounded by Colorado Boulevard, East 35th Avenue, Dahlia St, East 40th Avenue and Smith Rd. According to Westside, the underused 155-acre property — in walking distance to the 40th and Colorado A-line station and adjacent to multiple existing and planned bus lines — represents one of the community’s best opportunities to address affordable housing deficits, rising income inequality, connectivity and access, involuntary displacement, and lack of access to healthy foods.
Over 18 months of public input has gone into this community planning process so far, including 2,600 survey responses, hundreds of people who have participated in small groups or 1-on-1 conversations with community navigators, four public workshops, and a steering committee composed of volunteers from the community who have been meeting monthly. The proposed 100 acres of open space, parks, and tree-lined paths, as well as the addition of affordable housing, received overwhelming local support. In particular, the community is requesting the addition of athletic fields, pickleball and tennis courts, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. While The 303 Artway, a cultural trail connecting through neighborhoods of Northeast Denver, will connect north to south within the site and include art, community stories and a celebration of the culture and history of Northeast Park Hill.
Now that Denver ranks among the most expensive metro areas, the urgency to create more affordable housing is one of the city’s top priorities. More than 50,000 people in Denver currently qualify for affordable housing, yet cannot access it due to lack of supply. In the proposal, Westside details the addition of hundreds of permanently affordable rental units and for-sale homes, as well as more diverse housing opportunities including missing middle, senior, family-sized, and permanent supportive housing, a retail-lined main street, a market hall with food and beverage, local retailers, and incubator businesses, as well as a community building such as a library, recreation center or town hall. Building heights would vary from four stories up to 12 stories.
The city will release strengthened recommendations in early August as part of the draft small area plan, which will also be available for public review. The small area plan will ultimately need to be approved by both Denver Planning Board and Denver City Council.
“We are getting ready to announce some pretty incredible partnerships and additional features and community benefits that we will announce at that Sept.7 meeting,” said Kenneth Ho, a principal with Westside Investment Partners. “We’ll be able to provide more substance beyond just want is presented in the application.”