GPHC Urges ‘Full Support’ For All Local Businesses
A flurry of controversy over the Cherry Tomato’s push to allow sidewalk dining has inspired the board of Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. to adopt a unanimous position of support for all local businesses that are facing hardship due to the pandemic.
In June, the Registered Neighborhood Organization issued the following:
“Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. wishes to see all our neighborhood businesses thrive during these extraordinary and difficult times. Our restaurants, shops, markets, and others are part of the fabric of this community. The City and County of Denver has created a temporary program allowing restaurants and bars to operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses in order to allow for proper social distancing. This effort is additionally encouraged by the State of Colorado. Some of our Park Hill restaurants will be seeking to expand their seating outdoors and we fully support this.
“Many small businesses are at financial peril due to the COVID-19 crisis. These are our neighbors and they deserve our support, especially during these times. Please shop and eat local whenever possible.”
The formal declaration of support followed a brief controversy over a 23-year old good neighbor agreement, brokered by the GPHC, between the owner of the Cherry Tomato and residents who live nearby the restaurant on the corner of 23rd and Dexter. As part of the 1997 agreement, the Cherry Tomato stipulated it would “not provide outdoor seating, tables or service on the sidewalk areas adjacent to the premises.”
Johnson & Wales Closing Denver Campus Next Year
Citing declining enrollment and a need to consolidate, Johnson and Wales University is closing its Denver campus next year. In its announcement in late June, university leaders acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the decision.
Upperclassmen will return to the campus for the upcoming final academic year, however, freshmen students will not be enrolled at the university’s campuses in Denver or North Miami. The other two campuses, in Providence, R.I. and Charlotte, N.C, will remain open.
At the end of the 2020-21 school year, students who have not yet graduated will have the option of completing their degrees at the Providence or Charlotte campuses. Online programs will also be available
“As the university looks to the future, we realize that this is sad and challenging news for our North Miami and Denver campus communities,” said Chancellor Mim L. Runey. “This decision has a direct impact on their lives, careers and dreams, and we share their sense of loss. The university is committed to providing resources and support to our returning students, staff and faculty to help them navigate the options before them.”
The 26-acre Denver campus, at Montview and Quebec, is at the southeast edge of Park Hill. The campus was originally the site of the Colorado Women’s College and later the University of Denver Law School. Johnson and Wales opened its Denver campus in 2000.
The university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Enrollment for the last academic year on the Denver campus was 927 students; currently, 96 faculty and 109 staff members are employed there.
JWU reports it has invested more than $48 million in renovations and improvements to residence halls and other buildings. The campus’s Centennial Hall, built in 1886 and originally named Treat Hall, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building had been shuttered for 30 years, and reopened in 2015 after a $17 million renovation.
It is unclear what will happen with the campus when Johnson and Wales closes the campus next summer.
“That’s a common question right now and we don’t know,” Denver campus spokesman Alan Bilsborough said on June 25, the day of the announcement.
Greater Park Hill Community board Chair Tracey MacDermott praised the university as being “an absolutely phenomenal neighbor, contributing programs that enhance Park Hill, and giving back to the neighborhood.”
“We are sad that the campus will be closing, and hopeful that whoever takes over the property values its rich history,” she said.
As with other colleges and universities, in-person classes have not been held on campus since the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year. The current plan, Bilsborough said, is that students will return to on-campus classes beginning on July 8 for summer session and then in late August for the start of the final academic year.