“The Evergreen (Eastbridge retail) project won’t happen without King Soopers,” said Jim Chrisman, Forest City Vice President, at the annual Stapleton United Neighbors meeting on May 19. But he also confirmed, in response to a question, that King Soopers is “definitely” going in (at MLK and Havana). If they break ground this fall (as they expect), they would open late summer or early fall. The plan is to have Geneva Court as a north-south connection for vehicles but it won’t be a public right-of-way with sidewalks. King Soopers is currently responding to Stapleton Design Review guidelines—how they are complying with them and, if they can’t comply, giving reasons why. Chrisman said that document will be made public. Both SUN and Front Porch will post it when it becomes available.
Eastbridge Retail Development
Chrisman read an update from Tyler Carlson of Evergreen Development, who was unable to attend. Evergreen, which will develop 20,000 sf of retail space in Eastbridge, is partnering with a sub-group of Larimer Associates (the entity that leases Larimer Square and Union Station). Evergreen will lead project design, approvals, King Soopers coordination, and construction. The partners from Larimer will lead project leasing and project management.
The only signed leases so far are with Troy Guard, who will open two restaurants: one for breakfast and an undefined restaurant/bar with a rooftop deck. The retail project will be on the same construction schedule as King Soopers.
Eastbridge Gas Station
Forest City is meeting with King Soopers and Dr. Williams, who wants to expand her dental office that adjoins the gas station property, to determine if additional land from the gas station parcel would allow her to expand in place. The gas station is definitely moving to the northeast corner of MLK and Havana. No site plan of the gas station will be available until a decision is made by Dr. Williams/King Soopers about the lot.
More Retail North of MLK?
Asked what is happening to the empty lot on the north of MLK, Chrisman responded, “My hope would be that Evergreen is very successful and there is increasing demand for more retail uses there. Evergreen has expressed an interest. My hope is there would be another 8-10,000 square feet (of retail).”
Shops at Conservatory Green Update
Michael Cassutt, architect for Drake Development’s three Conservatory Green retail/professional projects, added a few more tenant names to the projects’ lists, with the caveat they are not final until they get through permitting and other contingencies.
Phase 1—17,000 sf building, just east of Valentia:
Brixx Wood Fired Pizza (west end patio)
Dr. Mattheson, Dentist
MCA (6,000 sf of community space for indoor programming)
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Tokyo Joe’s (east end patio)
Phase 2—14,000 sf building just west of Valentia:
Five Guys Burgers (west end patio)
Conservatory Green Dental
Intersections Cafe and Coffee (breakfast restaurant, not yet finalized)
Cuba Cuba Deli
Torchy’s Tacos (east end patio)
Phase 3—Conservatory Professional Plaza,
12,000 sf, just west of Xenia. Construction expected to start in July.
Dr. Shelley Sandoval, Veterinarian (west end)
Center space not determined
Dr. Preet Clair, Dentist (east end)
Food at Punch Bowl will be executive chef driven and made from scratch using local vendors and products as much as possible, said Richard Flaherty, Executive VP of Operations. They will serve brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and a late night menu. And breakfast will be served every day until 3pm.
Flaherty says Punch Bowl is family oriented and hosts so many parties that events are a third of their business—and they have event specialists to assist people having events there.
At 10pm Punch Bowl transitions to serving age 21 and older. They will have 200 employees—and, in response to a question about wages, Flaherty confimed they “pay a living wage” (at least $10.85/hr for adults). They will stay open until 2am Thursday through Sunday if the demand is there. “If the demand is not there, we’ll change our hours,” says Flaherty.
The entire parcel of land from 32nd to MLK is 4.4 acres. Punch Bowl is purchasing two acres. Jim Chrisman says Forest City’s goal for the remaining 2.4 acres at the corner of Central Park Blvd. and MLK is either retail or multi family or both. He added that “the tower and the building will look like one thought-out project” and both parts will be “consistently brought up to a certain level,” though he said it is unknown at this time if there will be tower access.
Punch Bowl expects to open in late March or early April.
Stapleton MCA Director Keven Burnett announced this is year two of their comprehensive mosquito management program that includes larviciding and testing. The MCA contracts with OtterTail, a provider of mosquito control services for many Denver metro jurisdictions (including the City of Boulder). “We focus 100% on the developed storm water systems that run through parks. We are in those areas every week. We post reports on MCA website. We do surveys and we test in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Health for west Nile in Stapleton.” Burnett suggested people call the MCA and have them check any other areas of concern to see if they are likely to become mosquito incubators.
Doug Kelly, Denver Department of Environmental announced Denver has a new mosquito control program that will be posted online soon. “We are probably looking at a pretty active mosquito year. We are asking you to help address the mosquito problem. The majority of mosquitoes come out of standing water in yards or fields or parks. Reduce or eliminate standing water and make sure something is moving the water in pools or ponds.”
Kelly suggests limiting outdoor activity during the dawn and dusk hours when the mosquitoes are most active. Wear long sleeves, put mosquito spray on your clothes and wear mosquito repellent. “If you start seeing multiple dead birds, especially black birds, call 311 and let us know. That’s the first indicator there might be some type of problem. The City and County of Denver does not spray unless there’s a real health need to do so. If we have an outbreak of west Nile virus, we’ll certainly take a look at that. Spraying causes some environmental and health problems, as well as the fact that it just isn’t effective. Larviciding, getting rid of those larvae before they’re able to turn into adults, is really the big thing.”
Questions about Roads and Traffic
Bar Chadwick from the City of Denver answered the following questions (if not otherwise noted):
Q: What’s happening on Smith Rd. between Central Park and Havana?
A: It is in the next three-year plan; it’s an important road. I think we’re trying to figure out everything around the train station and get that done, and then there will be future conversations. The plan says four lanes and Forest City has said two lanes. The city has acknowledged that maybe we can do it with two lanes, but the traffic studies haven’t been done.
Central Park Bridge
Q: Are we there yet with the traffic count on the Central Park Bridge (to add more lanes)?
A: Forest City has submitted plan for permits to build the other half of 40th. We think building the other half of 40th will kind of mitigate (traffic) coming off the highway, and hopefully in the next three years we’ll be able to do the last piece over Sand Creek (the additional two lanes on the bridge).
Q: As MLK gets connected it will be a fast street, and it will get faster as more people drive through. Has the city put any thought into traffic calming?
A: That will come through with the rest of the design. I don’t know where the final traffic lights might be placed, but as we go into the final design, we’ll have the conversation. It will be posted at 35 but we’ll definitely look at that for traffic calming
Q: Has there been an analysis of what’s going to happen to MLK traffic? Obviously it’s going to be a big commuter route.
A: It will become a commuter route and that’s why it was important to make that connection. Part of the next phase of the design will be to make sure that people aren’t coming up the road at 60 mph.
Q: Between now and 2017 will you be doing anything to mitigate speed on MLK near Bluff Lake? I see the school children taking field trips and they are running across. There’s no crosswalk, nothing to slow the traffic down before the curve onto Moline. People are going 45.
A: David Vogel from SUN stated, “The crossing to Bluff Lake was a proposal that the SUN Transportation Committee made to the city in a document we gave them back in November. I think they posted some signs that show pedestrians cross there, but there’s no crosswalk.”
Chadwick suggested having planners, not just transportation engineers look at it.
Stapleton Now Is City Council District 8
Effective July 20, with City Council elections over, district boundaries will change and Stapleton will become District 8. Councilman Herndon’s phone number is changing to 720-337-8888, office address and email will remain the same.