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Greenhouse Site On Garfield To Grow Into Oasis Of Luxury

by Mark Smiley | Jun 21, 2019 | Feature Story

Sleek, Modern Townhomes Coming To Creek’s Newberry Brothers Greenhouse Plot At 2nd & Garfield by Glen Richardson Development activity is finally getting underway at the last of the large assemblages of land in Cherry Creek North — a rare corner with six contiguous lots at 2nd Ave and Garfield. It was January 2016 when Newberry Brothers Greenhouse & Florist relocated to Leetsdale Drive from the six large greenhouses they had operated on the site since just after World War II. More than three years later not only has work started at the site but high-end townhomes are being pre-sold along the street as “the ultimate oasis of luxury living.” Property owner Paula Newberry-Arnold and her son Kien Arnold had initially planned to develop the site into “garden court” row homes titled Garfield Row. However density of the proposed development raised objections from Cherry Creek residents. Approximately 500 signed a petition against the proposal — primarily because they felt the proposed 36 parking spaces would not be sufficient and would clog the surrounding neighborhood with parked cars. Those concerns ultimately scuttled the Arnold plan. Not long thereafter the Arnolds had the property under contract to a potential buyer but the deal eventually fell through. Then at the beginning of last year Garfield Development LLC formed by Michael Fancher of Denver-based Iconic Investments purchased the 0.86-acre site. Greenhouses on the site had already been demolished months earlier. He paid $7.65 million for the property located on the northwest corner of Garfield and 2nd Ave. Fabled Site Just after World War II Weldon Newberry and two of his brothers purchased a greenhouse located on Garfield St. at the time. They initially devoted the business to the wholesale of “Colorado Carnations,” the first trademarked flower in the United States. A few years later Weldon and his wife Elizabeth purchased full ownership from the brothers. Fabled Site: The 0.86-acre Cherry Creek North property was home for Newberry Brothers Greenhouses from shortly after World War II until recently. However, as fuel prices skyrocketed, carnations were being shipped into the U.S. for less than they could grow them in Denver. The greenhouses were then used to grow a variety of plants and flowers and Elizabeth Newberry focused on developing the floral and wedding party side of the business. She continued to work in the business on Garfield until her death in 2011, at the age of 89. Weldon and Elizabeth’s daughter, Paula Newberry-Arnold then became owner of the business along with her son. She developed the business into one of Denver’s top floral and décor shops specializing in a variety of large themed events and daily custom floral designs. The business remained on Garfield St. until relocating to Leetsdale three years ago. Slow Stride Once Garfield Development LLC purchased the site — it went under contract in April 2018 — the pulse of Cherry Creek North residents quickened. They were thrilled that the former Newberry Nursery site “would soon have high-end residential homes.” However the pace has been slow as Michael Fancher, President of Iconic Investments, didn’t reveal details of the plan to the Cherry Creek North Neighborhood Assn. until November 27 of last year. Finally Fenced: First signs that construction is getting underway the property located on the northwest corner of Garfield and 2nd Ave. has finally been fenced. It has been approximately another five months before the property was fenced off and work seemingly was getting underway. Furthermore, some observers are suggesting it could be as long as two more years before homes in this planned oasis of luxury living will actually be occupied. To address parking concerns during construction, the developer will reportedly encourage workers to park onsite for the first phase of construction. Phase two however is likely to require some neighborhood parking. Fancher is aware of the resident concerns and hopes to minimize the impact. It felt sincere. A phone and email hotline for area residents to call in and log concerns is being planned.

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