The company that operates Park Hill Golf Course has filed suit against the property's owner, Clayton Early Learning.
Arcis Golf has sued Clayton, a school that serves students, some low-income, in northeast Denver, "claiming that the potential transaction with the city in September 2017 triggered their right of refusal to purchase the Park Hill Golf Course land," according to a Future of Park Hill Golf Course newsletter signed by Clayton president and CEO Charlotte Brantley.
Arcis leases the 155 acres of land in the Park Hill neighborhood from Clayton, which uses the revenue from the course to help fund educational programs for low-income students in the area. Two years ago, as revenue declined and costs increased at the golf course, Clayton started meeting with stakeholders to determine its fate. Clayton abruptly closed its Educare Denver center last June because of financial reasons, leaving at least thirty families scrambling to find childcare.
The school announced last October that it would sell Park Hill Golf Course to the City of Denver, but backed out of the deal a month later, citing a disagreement with Arcis over the lease, which will end this year.
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"We have long acknowledged that Arcis Golf has a right of refusal to purchase Park Hill Golf Course, which we intend to honor, but that right is dependent on Clayton receiving a binding written offer from a third party," Brantley wrote in the newsletter. "While we were interested in pursuing a potential transaction with the City on the terms we presented to the community last fall, that potential transaction was never approved by City Council nor signed in any form by the City, and thus did not meet the requirements in the lease of a binding offer."
Brantley said that in spite of the lawsuit, Clayton will continue meeting with the community to discuss the fate of the golf course.
"Clayton remains committed to the goal that any future uses of the land will be in alignment with the community’s vision while also ensuring appropriate leveraging of this Clayton Trust asset on behalf of the children, as Mr. Clayton directed," she wrote, citing the man whose estate established what was initially known as George W. Clayton College on 270 acres in north Denver in 1911.
We've reached out to Arcis and Brantley and will update this story if and when they get back to us.