DENVER (CBS4)– The developer who bought the Park Hill Golf Course says it’s the best piece of land in Denver. He plans to develop it with consensus from the community.
“It’s adjacent to a light rail station. It’s adjacent to a brand new highway that’s being built,” said Andy Klein with Westside Investment Partners. “A golf course might be green space but it is not open space. It is not space people can use.”
The former owner, Clayton Early Learning, entered into a conservation easement with the City of Denver to keep the land a golf course. Klein thinks the city will cancel the agreement if Westside Investment Partners can bring forward a strong enough project.
“I am hoping that a project that has a substantial amount of open space and dedicated park space that everyone can use, along with a limited amount of development will be beneficial with the community and the community will embrace that plan,” Klein said.
Thousands of people have already signed an online petition to uphold the conservation easement.
“I definitely understand people’s distrust and fear but all I’m hoping is people will give us a chance and listen to us before they decide they don’t like what we’re doing,” Klein said. “I was born and raised in Denver, Denver is my home and I see this as an opportunity to do something great for the city that I love.”
Clayton Early Learning has said studies in recent years show a majority of neighbors want to see something other than a golf course on the property.
Westside Investment Partners has also been involved in other controversial projects that later found consensus with the community like Loretto Heights in Southwest Denver.
“We did a citizen-led plan where we got input from all the neighborhood organizations. There were 13 of which that were very distrustful at first. A very high percentage of folks are now supporting us because we’ve listened,” Klein said.
It’s expected the Park Hill Golf Course will follow a similar path with community meetings and input guiding what could be built. The golf course is roughly 150 acres. Klein says he wants the project to follow Cheesman Park. There a 70-acre park is surrounded by residences.
“To garner support from City Council we understand open space and affordable housing are going to be integral to the acceptance from the neighbors,” said Klein.