The owners of the Park Hill Golf Club are nearly ready to sell the 1930s-era course in northeast Denver to a local developer.
Clayton Early Learning, the nonprofit that controls the 155-acre property, confirmed on Wednesday that it was “in discussions” with Westside Investment Partners about the land.
In fact, the closing of the sale is scheduled for July 11, according to a letter from Clayton to city officials.
The parties didn’t announce any details of what might happen to the land. Any development would require multiple city approvals. The property is bound by a conservation easement that restricts construction on its open space, which can only be changed by the city. Development also would require a rezoning.
The sale of the land would provide long-term income for the Clayton Trust, which serves a mission of early childhood education, according to the letter obtained by The Denver Post.
In preparation for the sale, Clayton has moved to end an agreement that gave the city government influence over the property. The termination will only happen if the sale is completed.
If the deal goes through, it could become a major issue for the incoming Denver City Council. The property represents a rare opportunity to reshape a large piece of land within Denver’s city limits. It has been a discussion point for urbanists who see an opportunity for new housing and parks advocates who fear the loss of open space.
Wednesday’s announcement is the latest twist in a wickedly complicated, years-long effort to sell the land. In 2017, the city government planned to buy the land for $20.5 million, with visions of potential new parks and development.
That deal fell through when golf course operator Arcis Golf said that it would exercise its right to keep leasing the property. That resulted in a lawsuit from Arcis, too, suggesting that the company might like to buy the land. Meanwhile, the golf course is closed this year as the city builds a stormwater management system on the land.
The land has a long legal history with the city, which previously ran the golf course for 50 years. In the 1990s, the city paid Clayton $2 million to put development restrictions on the land.
The potential buyer, Westside, is handling a major development project on a similarly large piece of land, Loretto Heights, in southwest Denver.