A $24 million sale of the 155-acre former Park Hill Golf Course property was announced Thursday, and the Denver-based investment firm buying the land said housing, recreation and open space are among development options for the controversial parcel.
“We are looking forward to (engaging) in specific, thoughtful conversations with the community to hear their opinions about the need for open space and recreation, affordable and diverse housing options for existing and new residents, and neighborhood services to enhance the existing community,” said Andrew R. Klein, principal of Westside Investment Partners, in a news release.
For years, the Park Hill Golf Course property was owned by the Clayton Trust, which used income from the course to fund early childhood education work of Clayton Early Learning.
The sale “ensures the long-term sustainability” of Clayton’s mission, said Charlotte Brantley who represents Clayton Early Learning.
Controversy swelled when prospects of a sale surfaced over the past couple of years.
Arcis Golf, the golf course operator, filed a lawsuit last year claiming its “right of first refusal” on a sale of the property. In September 2017, the city explored purchasing the parcel for $20.5 million.
Woody Garnsey, a native of Denver who has lived in the area since 1971, is part of a neighborhood grassroots movement attempting to safeguard the property from development.
“We’ve been fighting for two and a half years now against any prospect that the perpetual open space conservation easement is torn up or modified in any way,” Garnsey said.
The land is currently under a city-held easement restriction that doesn’t allow development. The city, prior to Arcis, ran the golf course for 50 years. In the 1990s, the city paid Clayton $2 million to put development restrictions on the land.