DENVER - The battle over the Park Hill Golf Club intensified Monday as former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb spoke against the deal to sell the property to a developer.
The property, located at Colorado Boulevard and East 35th Avenue, has been a golf course since 1931. It is owned by The George W. Clayton Trust and managed by Clayton Early Learning. They just announced they have reached an agreement to sell the 155 acre property to Westside Investment Partners, Inc. in a deal that is expected to close on July 11.
“I think open space and park space is one of our most important commodities. If we allow this park space in Park Hill to be sold and redeveloped into a concrete jungle, I believe no park in Denver is safe," Webb said.
The deal could be a real test for the City Council, which has three new members this year. Will they allow development or will they preserve open space? Webb is urging concerned residents to reach out to their City Council members and the mayor’s office.
Andrew Klein of Westside Investment Partners said the proposed development will include green space that will be open to everyone -- something that cannot be said about the golf course.
“After working with neighborhood organizations, I can guarantee you that is going to involve a large amount of public usable open space and parkland. As you know, it’s a golf course now. You can’t walk your dog on the course, play with your kids on the course," he said.
Klein also said the community needs affordable housing and grocery stores, but he knows they will not be able to please everyone.
“Even if we kept it a golf course, people wouldn’t be happy," Klein said.
Webb still has questions and concerns about what this will turn into and has vowed to fight the development.
“We’re going to do everything we can. We are going to flood City Council chambers, we are going to lean on the administration to not grant permits to the developer, do everything possible to block development that takes place here. Once this is gone, it’s gone for good. It’s gone forever -- gone for our children, our children’s children. Gone for what?" Webb said.
Westside Investment Partners said it plans to meet with concerned neighbors immediately.
"If done well, development doesn’t have to be negative. In many cases, development can provide many things a community needs, in addition to open space and things the community wants. One of our specialties, we feel, is coming into projects that have a lot of history and building upon that history and embracing the history these projects have. Our goal is to get everyone’s input and build a project [the] majority agrees on," Klein said.