The owner of the former Park Hill Golf Course has disclosed new details regarding proposed development of the 155-acre property, and released an initial set of renderings.
Kenneth Ho, an executive with Glendale-based Westside Investment Partners — which purchased the property in 2019 for $24 million — told BusinessDen last week that the number of residential units developed on it could ultimately range from the mid-2,000s to the low 3,000s.
Twenty-five percent of those units would be permanently income-restricted, otherwise known as affordable housing, Ho said.
The Park Hill property was operated as a golf course from 1933 until the end of 2018. Prior to Westside, the property was owned by a nonprofit that leased it to a company that operated the course.
Westside’s plans face more hurdles than most proposed developments in Denver.
Although Westside owns the land, it can’t legally build on it. The property is currently covered by a conservation easement dating to 1997, which requires that the property be used as a golf course. Westside has been given a temporary reprieve from operating a course as it formulates development plans.
A ballot initiative passed last year means that a majority of Denver voters will ultimately have to vote in favor of Westside’s development plans for any construction to take place.
Westside has previously said that it plans to set aside 100 of the site’s 155 acres as parks and open space, donating that land to the city. Ho said last week that Westside would also do $20 million in improvements to it.
The portion of the former golf course that would be developed would be on the western side of the property, along Colorado Boulevard. Plans call for a mix of projects, from townhomes to 12-story apartment buildings.
Of the 25 percent of units that would be income-restricted, half of the units would be rentals, reserved for those making 30 percent or less of the area median income, Ho said. The other half would be for-sale units, restricted to those earning between 70 and 120 percent of median income.
Ho noted that Westside’s 25 percent commitment is more than double what is required under Denver’s “Expanding Housing Affordability” plan, which the City Council passed in June. Those regulations require developers of new residential projects to make between 8 and 15 percent of units income-restricted, depending on factors such as the neighborhood and the degree of income restrictions. Alternatively, developers can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for each missing unit.
Westside’s 25 percent commitment would equate to hundreds of new income-restricted units, both for sale and for rent.
Derek Woodbury, spokesman for Denver’s Department of Housing Stability, told BusinessDen that the city currently has 1,935 for-sale income-restricted housing units. Ho said that means that Westside’s project would increase the city’s total by 15 to 25 percent.
“That’s significant,” Ho said.
The project would also incorporate retail space. Westside has said, in response to the feedback of nearby residents. It hopes to attract a grocery store.
Westside also announced last week that Elevation Community Land Trust, Brothers Redevelopment, Habitat for Humanity and Volunteers of America would be involved in the development of income-restricted housing on the site.
Ho said he hopes the development plans will go before voters sometime in 2023.