Governors’ Park is a little pocket of central Denver that finds itself at the heart of debate over growth

Kevin Mohatt, Special to The Denver Post

The inside of Luca restaurant is seen at dinnertime in the Governors’ Park neighborhood of Denver on May 1, 2021.

Across Broadway in Golden Triangle, a long-in-the-works zoning and design amendment is finally getting ready to go before City Council this summer, Hinds said. The changes

Governors’ Park is one of those small but distinct pockets of Denver that doesn’t show up as an official neighborhood on the city’s online map.

The area, straddling the border between Capitol Hill and the Speer neighborhood, has been perhaps best been known over the years for its collection of independent bars and restaurants like the beloved (and now departed) Racines. More recently, folks might know it as home to the often packed Trader Joe’s grocery store and some big new apartment blocks along the increasingly canyoned-in Speer Boulevard.

Today, the once quaint corner of central Denver is another focal point for urban densification where demand for more housing is driving intense developer interest. Meanwhile, neighborhood residents debate if the growth is benefiting people of all income levels, and visitors fret over scarce parking as more and more high-rises cast shade on once sunny sidewalks.

Last week, some neighbors who live in and around Governors’ Park celebrated what they viewed as big wins in their efforts to impact and shape the changes taking place in the area, another part of town that is grappling with the benefits and impacts of Denver’s seemingly endless growth.

First, the owners of two 100-plus-year-old commercial buildings at the corner of Grant Street and East Seventh Avenue pulled back an application they filed earlier this year for a certificate that would have made it easier for those buildings to be demolished. The decision came after meetings with a trio of neighbors who indicated they might seek landmark status for the buildings, currently home to four restaurants run by Denver chef Frank Bonanno, including Vesper Lounge and Luca.

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“I am really appreciative of the owners agreeing to talk to us and see what we can do,” said Joanna Negler, who along with her husband, Michael, was one of the three residents who was ready to file landmark paperwork for the buildings. “They didn’t have to do that. They could have said, ‘No, this is what we want and this is what we’re going to do.’ ”

The second big win came Thursday night when the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods organization board of directors voted to accept a memorandum of understanding with Property Markets Group, the big-time East Coast developer seeking to buy the property that is home to local TV news station Denver7.

The station’s building, a 1960s-built example of brutalist architecture at 123 Speer Blvd., is the subject of an owner-opposed landmark application headed for a City Council vote on May 10. The Denver residents pursuing that landmark status aren’t party to the agreement the neighborhood association planned to sign this past weekend.

Andy Cross, The Denver PostKMGH Denver7’s building features a Brutalist architectural style.

That document, which includes a punch list of action items including seeking out local small businesses that might want to become ground-floor tenants in any future apartment development on the property and engaging with affordable housing advocates to assess needs and possibilities on the site, is more about what happens after May 10, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business


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