DENVER (CBS4) – A neighborhood in south Denver may soon be home to the city’s newest park. Denver Parks and Recreation is in the process of purchasing a decades old garden shop in University hills.

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“It’s kind of an institution around here. It’s been there for a long time,” one neighbor said.

The city wants to turn the property into a community park.

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“That would be amazing to have a park really close by to walk to in just a few minutes, play and get out of the house,” one mother in the area said.

For her and her husband to take their two children to the park now, takes some planning.

“We just have to go to the corner of Iliff and Colorado Boulevard and wait for the light, but then it’s probably five or six blocks to Observatory Park,” he said.

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The Groundcover Garden Center stretches across nearly two acres of land.

Scott Gilmore with Denver Parks and Rec says they have reached an agreement with the owner to buy the property for a little more than $5 million.

“When 2A passed that gave us the resources to really start looking at some of these neighborhoods,” he said.

According to a press release from his department, last November, voters approved Ballot Measure 2A, a 0.25 sales tax dedicated to the improvement and expansion of Denver Parks. The release goes on to say that implementation of the parks and open space ballot measure, estimated to generate more than $37 million a year.

According to Gilmore, this is their first step in that direction.

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“What we are really working hard to do is make sure all residents in the city of Denver are within a 10 minute walk of a park,” he said. “This space actually will accomplish that for a lot of residents in this city.”

For families in the area it is a change they can get behind.

“That sounds awesome.”

While the owner has reached an agreement, city council will still need to approve the purchase.

The proposed purchase agreement will be presented to Denver City Council Finance & Governance Committee on Tuesday.

Karen Morfitt

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