Last week John Herbers, CEO of the DTC|Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce and President of the Landmark HOA, wrote a guest column in the Villager titled, “Orchard Subarea Plan makes good sense”.
While I appreciate and share Mr. Herbers passion and pride for Greenwood Village, I found it very confusing that the CEO of the DTC|Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of a massive development project that will likely force many existing retailers to close their doors.
As part of a 2.8 million sqft development (a small detail that was excluded from the article), Alberta is proposing 300,000 sqft of retail space at Orchard Station. Belleview Station currently has 300,000 sqft of retail space under development and the Landmark and Belleview Promenade combine for an additional 270,000 existing sqft.
Will existing restaurants and other retailers in the Landmark, the Belleview Promenade and other nearby locations survive competing with 600,000 sqft of new retail space?
Can this area support 870,000 sqft of retail in a 1-mile radius of the Landmark, as people continue to make more and more purchases online? Can the area support 40 restaurants at Orchard Station? Do we need a 3rd athletic club within a mile of the Greenwood Athletic Club and Colorado Athletic Club? What will the impact on the two nearby King Soopers and Sprouts be from the addition of a Whole Foods?
In 1985, the Denver Post raved about the opening of a new mall, ‘‘European–styled shopping mall, which, translated, means: French, classy and fashionably turned-out. It means one thing for certain: big-time retailers around the country will be taking new interest in Denver.”
Five years after opening, Beau Monde Mall defaulted on its debt and was sold for 25% of construction costs and became the Happy Church. How ironic is it that thirty-one years later, Beau Monde Mall has become the center of a massive redevelopment plan for the latest and greatest shopping in Denver.
We should learn from the history of Beau Monde Mall and also learn from the fact that the Landmark’s 170,000 retail sqft remains only 73% leased (nearly 10 years after opening), that this area cannot support this amount of proposed retail space.