(I recently had the privilege of representing nearly a dozen non-profit organizations in creating a far-reaching community benefits agreement that guarantees amenities and community benefits for historically marginalized neighborhoods.)
Community and small business leaders from Northeast Denver have successfully negotiated a landmark Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Westside Investment Partners, the owner of the former Park Hill Golf Course. The legally binding agreement between the Park Hill Golf Course CBA Coalition and the developer is enforceable by law by the community organizations who have signed the agreement.
“This unprecedented agreement represents many years of work, countless meetings, and
intense negotiations with the developer,” said LaMone Noles, a member of the Park Hill Golf Course CBA Coalition. “One of our highest priorities was ensuring that the community benefits and developer-funded amenities can run with the land, and through the collaborative efforts of the coalition, the CBA must be recorded in the real property records.”
"From a community and a national perspective, the Park Hill Golf Course CBA is a real
accomplishment, and will deliver economic opportunities to the neighborhood for decades,” said Julian Gross, a national expert on CBAs who assisted the community coalition in the negotiation of the Park Hill Golf Course CBA. “Outside of California, there are only a handful of CBAs in the country that have this level of community involvement, concrete commitments, and overall credibility.”
The CBA reflects community priorities identified in the Community Voice Report. Major
covenants contained within the agreement include the following provisions.
● Full-service Grocery Store: Developer will donate land for full-service grocery store.
The community will have input in the selection of the grocery store.
● Affordable Commercial Space for Local Businesses: The greater of 12,000 square
feet or 10% of the commercial square footage will be dedicated as below -market
commercial space for local women - and BIPOC-owned businesses.
Jobs and Workforce Development
● $150,000 Commitment to identifying BIPOC-, local-, and women-owned businesses to
procure local goods and services for work on the development.
● Design and construction contracting will include a preference for BIPOC-, local-,
and/or women-owned businesses.
Community Services and Amenities
● 303 ArtWay Heritage Trail: Developer has committed $10,000 as an initial investment,
plus $1,000,000 per mile of trail constructed on the golf course land.
● Property Tax Anti -Displacement Fund: The developer will support residents within a
half-mile of the property facing inc reased property taxes through at least 2031.
● New Homeowner Initiatives to raise awareness about affordable homeownership
opportunities and identify eligible buyers from Northeast Park Hill.
● A minimum of 25% of all housing developed on-site will be income-restricted for a
minimum of 99 years, including 2- and 3-bedroom family units.
● The CBA reaffirms the affordable housing commitments made between the City of Denver and Westside in the Development Agreement, which creates a second, legally-
binding mechanism to ensure compliance.
CBA Implementation Committee
● A community-centered committee will be established to monitor CBA compliance and
to provide guidance on implementation and project decisio ns.
Approximately ten community -based organizations have signed the Community Benefits
Agreement, including faith-based organizations, registered neighborhood organizations, children's welfare and recreation nonprofits.