Park Hill Golf Course could be reinvented and turned into affordable housing

Posted at 6:55 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 20:55:21-04

DENVER -- One of Denver's best known, and oldest golf courses could soon be closed and replaced with affordable housing and a public park.

Park Hill Golf Course is located off Colorado Boulevard and E. 35th Avenue in Northeast Denver and has served golfers there for nearly a century.

It's owned by the family trust of Clayton Early Learning who wants to reinvent the 155 acres of land once the current lease is up next year.

"We don't think that golf is an economically viable future for that piece of land," said Charlotte Brantley the CEO and President of Clayton Early Learning. "I can tell you that the number of rounds being played has gradually trended downward."

Clayton Early Learning provides early education for low-income families, and Brantley said they rely on the money generated from the golf course to provide those services.

"It's always been an asset to this trust," she said.

Brantley said the school is currently working with the community to come with ideas for how to best reinvent the land.

She said one idea several people in the community have brought up is more affordable housing options on the land.

"It is getting more expensive to live here, even teachers in our school have trouble meeting rent payments," explained Brantley.

The owners are also looking at possibly turning part of the course into a public park with some retail or entertainment option.

"Hit a point and time where it's an opportunity for us and the community, together, to think about what happens next," she said.

Golfers who play the Park Hill Course said they'll be disappointed to see it go.

"Hate to see any green go away - I mean the trees -- it's a beautiful golf course," said golfer John Nillen.

"I think that'd be a really disheartening for the people who play here," said Joe Martinez, another golfer.

Brantley said nothing is set in stone, and there is no specific plan. The owners are waiting to get more community feedback before making any final decisions.

The next community meeting will be held on Thursday, August 10 at 6 p.m. at Clayton Early Learning, 3801 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Brantley said right now the land is zoned for open space. Building any affordable housing or retail space would require a zoning change from the city.