A community consortium led by The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, the City of Denver, the Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP) and the Urban Land Conservancy worked together to vision the future for the Holly Square shopping center, which was devastated by a gang-related arson fire in May 2008. Through a generous grant from The Anschutz Foundation, as well as The Piton Foundation, the new Nancy P. Anschutz Center is now a welcomed neighbor to the residents of the Northeast Park Hill community. The Nancy P. Anschutz Center, home of the Jack A. Vickers Boys & Girls Club, not only helps heal the loss of an important neighborhood landmark, but it will expand services to underserved young people in the area, providing a place from them to learn, grow and succeed in life.
The burned Holly Square property was purchased by the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), with additional support from Denver’s Office of Economic Development in 2009. The ULC also oversaw demolition of the burned structures on the 2.6-acre site. With the support of ULC, The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods Program, and then Denver City Councilman (now Mayor) Michael B. Hancock, the residents of Northeast Park Hill coalesced into a community-wide action group, the Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP), to create a new vision for the site.
The Club opened late summer 2013, and serves 250 youth each day.