1) Park Hill Golf Course Development Update
On Dec. 5, the Denver City Council voted by a 10-3 margin to send the development plans for the Park Hill Golf Course to the city ballot. During the spring election, Denver residents will cast their votes to decide whether the city can lift a conservation easement that prevents the land of the former golf course from being used for any development purposes. If voters choose to approve the measure and lift the easement, Westside Investment Partners will be allowed to develop the land and implement their project.
Westside Investments has elaborated on the plans regarding how it would develop the Park Hill Golf Course. An 85-acre public park would be placed on the eastern half of the former golf course and would only be accessible for pedestrians and bikers.
A residential section on the western portion of the golf course would feature 3,000 residences branching off from Colorado Blvd. More than 25 percent of the units would be affordable to rent or own for low and middle-income residents. The affordable units for rent or sale would be intermingled with the single family homes to enrich the socioeconomic diversity of the neighborhood.
A commercial center would also be positioned on the western side of the golf course. The pedestrian market called “Main Street” would stretch along 38th Avenue and provide a long row of stores, bars, and restaurants. Main Street would then blend into the park so residents can alternate between shopping at stores, eating at restaurants, relaxing on the grass, and playing at the park. Additionally, the plan includes a large space for a grocery store on 35th Avenue, although there are no guarantees that one would be built.
This plan cannot be implemented unless the voters approve the development project and lift the conservation easement on the springtime ballot. The proposed development has ignited passions on both sides.
Opponents contend that the most beneficial use of the golf course would be to preserve it as a public park. They argue that having a huge public park would improve the mental and physical health of the residents, enhance the air quality of the neighborhood, and expand the recreational activities for families. However, supporters of this development plan contend that it would supply certain features that they say Northeast Park Hill desperately needs. They argue that the community would benefit from having a grocery store for food options, affordable housing for residents, and commercial centers for businesses, as well as a park designed with amenities requested by neighborhood residents.
2) Lowry Taproom
The Lowry Taproom is expecting to open its facility and start serving brews in January. This taproom is located in the Exchange at Boulevard One development at 7070 E. Lowry Blvd., just west of Quebec. It is the fourth location opened by the Denver Beer Company. The venue will feature a 4,200-square-foot indoor space that can hold 125 guests, and it will offer a restaurant, brewery, and taproom.
The large outdoor patio space is a unique aspect of the Lowry Taproom. The 5,400 square-foot patio wraps around two sides of the building, holds up to 360 guests, and connects into a park with an open space for outdoor games. Additionally, the patio is designed to be equally comfortable in all seasons. Guests can stay warm on cold winter nights by gathering around the fire pits or by sitting under the patio heaters, and they can stay cool in the hot summer afternoons by letting the outdoor misters spray them with water.
The patio will serve as a live music venue by providing a stage for bands and a floor space where crowds can dance to the tunes, features that will enable the Lowry Taproom to be used as a community event center. The venue plans to host tasting parties where guests can socialize while playing various games and listening to live music.
Lowry Taproom also made environmental sustainability a priority. Solar panels on the roof will generate power for the building, the beers will be brewed with 100% solar energy, and almost all of the ingredients will be derived from local Colorado sources. The taproom will implement brewing mechanisms to reduce water usage, CO2 emissions, and energy consumption. Additionally, the Lowry Taproom will provide EV charging stations for electric vehicles and a section of the parking lot for storing bikes.
3) New Businesses in the Shops on Montview
The Shops on Montview retail center will soon offer two new fast food options in Central Park. The center, which was acquired by Site Centers Corp in November, currently houses Starbucks and Smile Studio. In January, I ♥ Mac & Cheese and More will open at the west end of the center. The nationwide fast-casual chain sells made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. Later this spring, Pizza Hut will open a delivery and carryout shop in the last remaining space at The Shops.
RE: Park Hill Golf Course
It’s worth noting a few details that were either wrong or missing from this article.
The size of the park is 55 acres, not 85. The other 30 acres are in a flood water detention area that Denver’s park’s director has said cannot be used for a park. The developer has continually misled the public with this.
There is only space for a grocery store. No major grocer has given the slightest indication of putting a store in the proposed development.
The developer will create multiple metro tax districts for the infrastructure of the development. This will make every residence more expensive due to the metro district fees that will be levied on each residence. Sort of like doubling your property tax.
The developers don’t mention the 12 story tower included, nor the several smaller towers that are planned.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the money for the conservation easement was money approved in a city wide bond election. The City, in that election asked for those funds to buy the golf course and keep the course as open space. The sale could not ultimately be completed and to keep to the vision, a conservation easement was purchased for the property at the then market rate of $2million, to assure development would not occur on the property.
In essence, the City now would like to give that property, the property that they asked taxpayers to keep from development, away. For nothing. Taxpayers will not get their $2 million back, let alone the market rate which we should be getting. This is horrible public policy.