I’m sure a lot of you have heard that Elitch Gardens will be developed into housing for Denver. The River Mile Project will be developed by Revesco Properties. Revesco is a local company that wants to build in Denver instead of spreading out to the suburbs. The idea is to keep housing and jobs close to the city center to lessen traffic and strain on infrastructure as the population of the Denver metro grows. The development could start as early as 2020 although there are a lot of zoning issues and some red tape to get through before they break ground. Step one will be to build a new parking structure for Elitch's, and then convert the existing surface parking lots into office buildings and shops. This is about 17 acres of space. During this phase, Elitch's plans to continue to operate as normal. The picture below gives an idea of how that will look.
The development does have long range plans. It may add 8,000 new housing units by the time it is completed. Denver is still growing and most of us know that rents are higher than they have ever been for the city. The development will have 700-1,000 affordable housing units to help with this issue. The affordable housing will be part of high-rise towers which may be 59 stories tall. The city also has requirements that protect access to the sun and sky, so the high-rise buildings would be relative slender and spaced wide apart. When the project is finished, there will be a new look to the riverfront in the area.
The city and community will have a lot of input into the final project. This should keep the feel of the new development in line with Denver. There will be one mile of improvements to the South Platte River, three riverfront parks, bike paths, and a rec center.
The short answer to the question is yes. Elitch's will be moving to a new location. The developers say they will try to find a new location close to downtown, but we all know there aren't any 60-120-acre plots of land for amusement parks in Denver. The good news is it will be years before the park is forced to move. Moving the park is a necessary part of the growth of Denver. For now, make sure to take advantage of sunny days and fun rides.