Governor's Park becomes new epicenter in Denver's growth debate
High-density developers are targeting Governor’s Park in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood as a prime place for new projects — but not without sparking opposition.
Why it matters: The area has become the new epicenter in Denver’s ongoing old-versus-new growth debate.
Driving the news: A Denver City Council committee this week advanced a plan pushed by three residents who want to preserve the Denver7 news building as a historic landmark.
- The use of historic designation is becoming the main tool for residents who want to fight projects in a city divided between preservation and continued urban development.
- The designation would keep the building from being demolished and replaced by a new apartment complex. A New York-based developer is under contract to buy the 2.3-acre parcel.
- Denver7 management opposes the designation, arguing the building’s Brutalist architecture is "dated and foreboding, offering little to the neighborhood beyond concrete walls and security fencing."
The state of play: Within the last five years, two eight-story apartment buildings have sprung up within a block of each other nearby — and more are on the way. Meanwhile, other projects are amplifying the redevelopment challenge.
- An eight-story apartment building at 757 N. Grant St. is currently under construction, and another was recently proposed directly across the street, the Denver Business Journal reports.
- A plan for a massive apartment complex up to 13 stories high on the lot of the old Racine’s restaurant is under city review and already stirring up opposition from a resident-led group called "Save Governor’s Park."
- A block of restaurants led by chef Frank Bonanno faces demolition after the property owner deemed it was more lucrative to explore their option to sell.
What they’re saying: "It's disappointing, but that's all it is," Bonanno told Westword. "It's just business. Times are changing — Capitol Hill has changed."
What’s next: Denver council members want Denver7 and the residents who oppose the redevelopment plans to reach a compromise. Should they fail, the full council is scheduled to vote on the historic landmark designation next month.
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