Governor’s Park would be the new epicenter in Denver’s development debate

High density developers are aiming to use Governor’s Park in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood as a prime location for new projects – but not without arousing opposition.

Why it matters: The area has become the new epicenter in the ongoing debate between old and new growth in Denver.

Driving messages: A Denver City Council committee this week tabled a plan that was being pushed by three residents who want the Denver7 News Building to be preserved as a historic landmark.

  • The use of historical names becomes the main tool for residents who want to combat projects in a city that is split between conservation and continued urban development.
  • The designation would prevent the building from being demolished and replaced with a new apartment complex. A New York-based developer has a contract to purchase the 2.3 acre property.
  • Denver7 management rejects the label, arguing that the building’s brutalist architecture is “outdated and foreboding, and offers the neighborhood little beyond concrete walls and security fences.”

The state of affairs: In the past five years, two eight-story apartment buildings have been built in a block close to each other – and more are on the way. In the meantime, other projects are increasing the renovation challenge.

  • An eight story home at 757 N. Grant St. is currently under construction. Another was recently proposed directly across the street, reports the Denver Business Journal.
  • A plan for a massive apartment complex with up to 13 floors on the property of the old restaurant in Racine is currently being reviewed by the city and is already meeting resistance from a local group called “Save Governor’s Park”.
  • A block of restaurants, led by Chef Frank Bonanno, is being demolished after the owner felt it would be more lucrative to consider the put option.

What you say: “It’s disappointing, but that’s all,” Bonanno told Westword. “It’s just a business. Times change – Capitol Hill has changed.”

What’s next: Denver councilors want Denver7 and residents who oppose the redevelopment plans to reach a compromise. Should they fail, the entire council should vote next month on the designation of the historic landmark.

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