Safeway leaving Cherry Creek mall could make room for hotel or condos, councilman says

Space on the west side of the campus could be cleared for a hotel and/or apartments and condos.

Cherry Creek Shopping Center. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Outside view of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Courtesy photo)
Outside view of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Courtesy photo)

Big changes could be in store for the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the surrounding area, including new residential units and possibly a hotel on the site, according to a development update from Councilman Wayne New’s office.

Macy’s, an anchor tenant of the mall, is expected to move its furniture store to the space Safeway is leaving near East First Avenue and Steele Street. The move could free up space on the west side of the campus for a hotel and/or apartments and condos to be added in the years ahead, according to the information provided by New’s office.

Macy’s Inc. did not immediately return an inquiry Friday.

Representatives for the Cherry Creek Shopping Center declined an opportunity Friday to talk about what’s planned for the 68-year-old retail campus that attracts about 16 million people annually.

“There’s no update or announcement yet coming regarding the Safeway space. That announcement will be made as appropriate when all details are confirmed,” mall spokesman Steven Silvers said.

The mall is managed by The Taubman Co. out of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Councilman New said Taubman hopes to make one announcement about all its plans.

In addition to the changes on the campus, residents are pushing to renovate about a mile of the creek channel and improve sidewalks around the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Funding for the project still has to be nailed down.

All the new construction paired with hundreds of residents moving to the area is making Cherry Creek shift from “a village community into a high-rise environment,” New said.

The councilman represents one of the most prosperous portions of the city. The Cherry Creek Shopping Center and surrounding area are one of the most expensive and least vacant areas when it comes to retail space.

The latest market report from CBRE Research shows that on average retailers were paying $52.58 per square foot in the Colorado Boulevard/Midtown area during the third quarter 2017. That would put the lease for the 52,500-square-foot Safeway site at about $2.76 million a year.

For comparison, the average annual lease rate in Denver was $18.97 per square foot, according to the retail market report from October.

“Grocery anchored neighborhood centers and drive-thru buildings located in infill areas continued to be very popular, yet there is still not enough Class A space to meet the strong demand of mainstream retailers,” the report states.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.