Here's something you hear just about every day in Denver: A neighborhood will soon be redeveloped to allow for more housing.
Denver Downtown Area Plan willing, over the next 25 years Revesco Properties, which owns Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, will redevelop that stretch of the South Platte into an "urban district" that will include high-rise housing and parks. And Elitch Gardens, which moved to this site from north Denver almost three decades ago, will eventually move again.
Readers have mixed feelings about the plan. Says Dane::
I hate what has happened here. Growth is a good thing, but this is too much, too fast, in my opinion. Denver's history is disappearing.
I am thrilled this is happening. Those surface parking lots are nearly the size of the entire central business district and are grossly underutilized. If we are going to grow, best to do it in places like this instead of sprawling endlessly out onto the plains a la Aerotropolis.
If Stanley Kronke would have done it right, there'd be a freakin' beautiful 18,000 seat soccer stadium sitting there right now with solid residential and business opportunities galore. But no, he built his soccer crib on a bunch of land out in the middle of nowhere with a freakin' mall.
Well, this is an environmental disaster in the making. Sure, let’s dredge a naturally flat and silty river to create habitat for an invasive, non-native fish.
This is developing for the sake of development, and to make a profit without consequences. I sincerely hope this is rejected by the city.
Keep reading for more of our recent coverage of the Elitch's area.
"Inside $351 Million-Plus Plan to Revitalize Sun Valley Around Mile High Stadium"
Rhys Duggan, president and chief executive of Revesco Properties, is part of the team that paid $140 million for Elitch’s in 2015. Now that the city is wrapping up the process of amending its 2007 Downtown Area Plan, Duggan’s plans for the amusement park, dubbed the River Mile, are coming to light. “What I’m excited about is bringing the city to the river in a way the city hasn’t seen,” Duggan says.
The first phase of the project will be a 1,400-space parking structure. Elitch Gardens will remain where it is for the foreseeable future...but moving the amusement park is part of the long-term plan. Before Revesco can start work on any of the project, though, it has to implement a drainage master plan for the river because the property is in a floodplain. Duggan says the river bed can be improved through re-dredging, which will also create a sustainable trout spawning ground.
Have an opinion about this project or Elitch's in general? Post a comment on this story or email your thoughts to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.