Westside names outreach-focused partner in Park Hill Golf Club redevelopment effort

Business Den Thomas Gounley October 22, 2020 0

The company that purchased the Park Hill Golf Club property in the summer of 2019 has named a partner as it pursues redevelopment.

Glendale-based Westside Investment Partners, which paid $24 million for the shuttered 150-acre course along Colorado Boulevard, said Thursday that The Holleran Group has joined the redevelopment ownership team.

Denver-based Holleran will focus on community outreach and engagement.

“We’ve consistently said that we want to have the voice of the community involved here, and we think that this partnership increases our capacity for that,” Westside Principal Kenneth Ho said during a press call.

The city is preparing to lead a small-area planning process for the property, which will involve collecting community feedback, Ho said.

Holleran was formed in 2017 by Norman Harris and Ty Hubbard, two Black Denver natives, according to its website. The firm is involved in the acquisition, development and management of real estate.

Harris said development of the former course — which can’t happen without several key approvals from the city — needs to benefit the neighborhoods that surround it.

“We discovered Holleran and Westside’s values align around a socially equitable approach to development that not only assures that our neighborhood has the loudest voice in the process but that the neighborhood shares in the economic benefit,” Harris said.

He added, “Our ultimate outcome needs to be the empowerment of the northeast Denver community.”

Hubbard said neighborhood financial benefits could come in the form of “homeownership, job creation, investment opportunities and other initiatives.”

Redevelopment of the course, which closed to golfers at the end of 2018, faces hurdles.

The property currently has a conservation easement on it, which essentially restricts use to an 18-hole golf course. That could be amended by the Denver City Council, which would also need to approve a rezoning of the property.

In August, Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca asked her colleagues to place a measure on the city’s November ballot that would have allowed voters to determine whether the course could be redeveloped. But the council voted 10 to 3 to instead demote CdeBaca’s bill to committee for further discussion.

Redevelopment of the course is expected to include numerous uses. Ho has said that Westside will set aside at least 60 of the acres as a park.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Denver Starting Small-Area Planning Process for Park Hill Golf Club

Conor McCormick-Cavanagh| October 23, 2020 | 7:55am
Westword

Denver will soon initiate a small-area planning process for the 155-acre property that includes the now-closed Park Hill Golf Club, and the developer that bought the property has agreed to participate.

“I want to reaffirm our commitment to honestly listening to the people who will bring this project to life and to a transparent and equitable dialogue,” says Kenneth Ho, the project lead at Westside Investment Partners, in a statement announcing the agreement. “We recognize that there is a higher bar for community benefits on this site, and we are committed to ensuring that the end result of this project reflects the values and needs of the community.”

The announcement comes two months after Denver City Council voted against referring a measure to the ballot that would have required voter approval for the city to lift any conservation easements, which limit development possibilities for the property. For decades, the Park Hill Golf Club has been under a conservation easement that largely prevents it from being used for anything other than a golf course, according to an analysis by city attorneys.

FULL ARTICLE IS HERE

City Council Denies Park Hill Golf Course To Ballot

The Denver City Council on Monday killed a proposal that would have let city voters decide the fate of a former golf course in Northeast Park Hill.

Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca sponsored the failed initiative, which arose from a fight for the future of the defunct Park Hill Golf Club. The valuable land, owned by developer Westside Investment Partners, equates to 155 acres of grass and trees along Colorado Boulevard between 35th and 40th avenues.  The bill is being sent back to committee

Response From Maria Flora To CM. Kevin Flynn

On August 10 2020 some members of SOS Denver appeared at City Council during their open comment period.  Shortly after Maria Flora made her comment she received an email from CM Kevin Flynn regarding her comments. Email From Kevin Flynn

See below for the response from Maria Flora on behalf of Save Open Space Denver

 

VIA EMAIL ONLY

August 11, 2020

Councilman Flynn,

Thank you for your email. I am very pleased to have an opportunity to address the issues regarding interpretation of the perpetual open space conservation easement that protects the Park Hill Golf Course land (“the PHGC land conservation easement”) from development.

First of all, I think you would agree that the PHGC land conservation easement is not the best drafted legal document that we’ve ever seen. In fact, there are some internal inconsistencies that I will discuss below.

The starting point for analyzing the PHGC land conservation easement is the Colorado Conservation Easement Statute, C.R.S. §38-30.5-101 et seq. The conservation easement applicable to the PHGC land states explicitly that it was created pursuant to this Colorado statute. Although Clayton and its attorney Bruce James, during Clayton’s ownership of the land, and now Westside, have always wanted to try to diminish the legal effect of the conservation easement by calling it a “use agreement,” it is in fact a conservation easement created under and governed by this Colorado statute.
In relevant part, the statute defines a conservation easement as follows:

a right in the owner of the easement to prohibit or require a limitation upon…a land
area…appropriate to the retaining or maintaining of such land…predominantly in a natural, scenic or open condition, or for wildlife habitat…or recreational…or other use or condition consistent with the protection of open land, environmental quality or life-sustaining ecological diversity…. C.R.S. §38-30.5-101.

An interpretation of the PHGC land conservation easement must begin with an analysis of the conservation purposes that are consistent with this statutory definition of a conservation easement.  These overarching conservation purposes are “for the conservation of the [land] as open space” (paragraph 1) and “to maintain [the land’s] scenic and open condition and to preserve [the land] for recreational use” (paragraph 2). These conservation purposes are completely consistent with the statutory definition of a conservation easement and they are the legal essence of the PHGC land conservation easement.

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