Everyone in Denver knows about that random theme park located in the heart of downtown and everyone who visits the city either has questions about it or finds themselves at the amusement park/water park for the day in the spring and summer time. Elitch Gardens has been a staple in the Denver community for quite a while now with no intention of going anywhere, and most people are glad about that. But back in 2015, the 62-acre property was actually purchased by Rhys Duggan and his partners with backing from Nuggets and Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke.
Duggan saw the property for something bigger then what it was. A whole 17 acres of the property is used as parking lots that are going to be replaced by a single parking structure and new buildings as phase 1 of Duggan’s vision for the space. These plans call for adding office, residential and some retail space on the lots located to the north and east of the park.
“I think in the long haul, over 25 years this becomes a new, vibrant downtown neighborhood,” Duggan, CEO of Revesco Properties, said Monday. “In the interim, the park stays in place. Come see us. We’re spending money. We’re adding attractions.” (via Denver Post).
Around Elitch’s, the plan calls for multiple walkable areas with high-rise structures interspersed with green space. But Duggan sees this space as more then condos and offices. The space will include three parks along a roughly 1-mile strip of South Platte Rive, Colfax and Speer. With more then 137,000 square feet of space, there is to be a school, community center, day care and a grocery store.
Revesco is also doing intense research to see how they can build more affordable housing options in the space. “I think we have done a great job of building a city for a certain demographic and a certain age strata but I think we can do more to build a complete downtown community, where people can really live and work and even raise a family and send their kids to school,” Duggan said. “How do we do that with an affordability component so it doesn’t become an elitist neighborhood? Because I think that serves no one well.” (via Denver Post).
Duggan and his group are just waiting on the city to amend the 2007 Downtown Area Plan in which Duggan addresses he wants to make sure the community has a say in the building of this area and how it will help shape the future of the city.
It’s an exciting expansion for the city and I am so glad to hear they plan on keeping Elitch’s for everyone to continue to enjoy. Keep an eye out for more updates throughout the summer.