Denver Business Journal: Westside names outreach-focused partner in Park Hill Golf Club redevelopment effort

By: James Rodriguez

October 23, 2020

Link to Original Denver Business Journal Story

The developer that purchased Park Hill Golf Course in July 2019 is partnering with another local firm to engage the community as it decides what to do with the 155 acres of land.

Glendale-based Westside Investment Partners has brought on The Holleran Group, a Denver-based firm co-founded by Ty Hubbard and Norman Harris, to lead community outreach and engagement, the companies announced Thursday.

Westside paid $24 million for the golf course in 2019, “with the hopes that we could do something better than a golf course on that piece of property,” according to Kenneth Ho, a principal at Westside.

The company has spent the past year with community members, businesses and groups to understand what they want to see in the property, Ho said.

Addressing affordable housing and the lack of healthy food options in the area were among the suggestions Westside received. The sheer size of the property could give Westside the opportunity to possibly do just that, Ho said, although no plans have been finalized.

“The No. 1 thing we’ve heard is that the neighborhood really wants to lead and have the neighborhood’s voice heard in terms of what the property becomes,” Ho said.

To that end, The Holleran Group has joined Westside to “continue working with the community to reenvision this property,” Harris said. The Holleran Group was founded in 2017 as a social equity enterprise to build opportunities for property ownership and equitable outcomes throughout the community, according to co-founder Ty Hubbard.

In its partnership with Westside, The Holleran Group will lead efforts to ensure the neighborhood has an active role in the future of the golf course, Hubbard said.

“We’ll be working with the community to come up with creative ways to ensure the neighbors and those that have been part of the community in the past are actively engaged in the new development and have a financial gain through homeownership, job creation, investment opportunities and other initiatives,” Hubbard said.

Harris added that the goal at The Holleran Group is to “build and restore wealth to the people of northeast Denver who’ve experienced divestment and displacement over the last 50 years.”

“So this partnership isn’t just about our company,” Harris said. “It’s about economic opportunity, job creation in the Black community and us ultimately building a prosperous ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs, realtors and business leaders.”

The next steps for the site will be a city-led small-area planning process that will start by the end of the year, followed by a rezoning that would be necessary to build anything other than a golf course on the site. Combined, those two steps will likely take around two years, Ho said.

The site currently has a conservation easement on it that essentially only allows the property to be used as an 18-hole golf course. The small area plan will need to be approved by City Council, followed by — at a minimum — a rezoning, a development agreement and likely a community benefit agreement that will be in place prior to City Council taking action on the easement, Ho said.

The only way such an easement can be modified is through mutual agreement between the city and Westside, Ho said.

Westside has committed to keeping at least 60 acres as open space. As for the rest of the site, “we really need to hear from the community itself,” Ho said.

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