The City of Denver announced on September 21 that they will purchase the 155-acre Park Hill Golf Course from Clayton Early Learning Trust. A City Council committee will consider the draft agreement early in October. Evan Dreyer, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, says he hopes to have formal City Council agreement before the end of the month.
Charlotte Brantley, CEO and president of Clayton, said the deal satisfies the trust’s need for a $24 million fund whose investment proceeds would be used to fund its mission of providing early childhood education. Clayton has been receiving $700,000 annual lease payments from the golf course operator whose lease is set to expire at the end of 2018. Brantley hopes the golf course sale will allow Clayton to generate annual revenue of $1 million.
The agreement calls for the purchase in two phases: city acquisition of an initial 80 acres for $10 million and a lease-to-purchase of the remaining 75 acres with annual payments to Clayton of $350,000 over 30 years. These transactions would take place in January 2019, at the end of the golf course lease. The two transactions would generate $20.5 million for Clayton, with the balance ($3.5 million) made up from future sales on older land transactions.
The agreement does not specify what the future land use will be of the Clayton land. It has been a golf course for more than 100 years. Clayton’s visioning process has revealed strong interest by neighbors in retaining much of the land as open space. Affordable housing and retail have also been advocated by residents participating in the planning process. “The agreement contemplates really a full spectrum of possibilities,” ranging from open space to “full development,” said Dreyer. The likely outcome is somewhere in between, he said.
Correction: The original title, “City Buys Park Hill Golf Course,” was changed when the agreement did get legally enacted.