As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” And it’s what the developers, leasing agents and tenants of the new Eastbridge Town Center in Stapleton plan to deliver, literally banking on their years of success bringing neighborhoods what they want and need.
After a decade-long wait, the Eastbridge Town Center is expected to start construction in early 2016, after the sale closes in November. The development will have two retail buildings adjoining a plaza on the west end and a King Soopers on the east end, at MLK and Havana. Plans for the King Soopers gas station remain as previously reported.
The grocery and the retail will be owned, built and operated by separate entities. What the projects share is a parking lot (divided by Geneva Court) and a completion schedule of fall 2016.
“The vision of Eastbridge Town Center will be a place where people can walk or bike, literally go there for any meal of the day, see their neighbors, and enjoy the Colorado outside lifestyle,” says Stapleton resident Tyler Carlson, principal at Evergreen Development. The company is responsible for the design, permits, construction and financing. They are partnering with City Street Investors and, together, are co-developers and co-owners. City Street Investors is also the long-term leasing and property manager, procuring tenants.
Plans for the plaza include a fire pit on the west end, where some of the nighttime restaurants will be, says Carlson, and maybe a water feature on the east end where more of the daytime businesses will be. There will also be designated stroller and bike parking and landscaping.
Chef Troy Guard, who is a Stapleton resident, is the first tenant to come on board, anchoring the center with two restaurants: his second Los Chingones Mexican restaurant (the first is downtown), which will have a rooftop patio, and a yet-unnamed breakfast/brunch place. Los Chingones’ offerings will include tacos, burritos, nachos and tamales. The breakfast restaurant will serve omelets, pancakes, Benedicts and a breakfast burrito. These locations will bring Guard’s collection of restaurants to 12—among them are Guard & Grace, bubu, Sugar Mill and TAG Burger Bar. The father of two and Stapleton resident is excited to have businesses on his home turf. “I think it’s good for the neighborhood. It’s underserved and I think it’s even more special that I live a few blocks away,” says Guard. “But it’s really for them, it’s for the neighborhood.”
Additional restaurants will include a coffee shop, an Asian-focused restaurant, a lunchtime soup and sandwich place, and boutique retailers. “We’re trying to be intentional about our leasing so there’s always a reason to be here,” says Carlson.
Soon after Evergreen Development contracted with Forest City for the project, conversations began with City Street. “We found there was a match there,” says Joe Vostrejs, Lowry resident and principal at City Street with partners Pat McHenry and Rod Wagner. “Evergreen was interested in developing the site (they are good at ground-up construction) whereas we do a lot of renovation work. Evergreen really liked the idea of partnering with us and creating a retail collection for Stapleton that was primarily local tenants, as opposed to the predictable collection of chain tenants that you so often see in neighborhood retail projects. We came to be involved through this sort of marriage of two groups sharing a similar vision for creating something special,” explains Vostrejs.
Carlson knows it will require a change in mindset for people from throughout Stapleton and surrounding areas to start thinking of the Eastbridge Town Center as a destination. “We’ve got 12–15 years’ worth of Stapleton shopping patterns that always goes west to Quebec and south to Colfax and Cherry Creek and we’ve got to reorient that paradigm to now go east. King Soopers (as an anchor store) is a really critical part of that for us. It’s helping redefine where people shop and eat in Stapleton,” he says.
“I really do believe this will be a transformational project for Eastbridge, particularly because it has been a vacant, dirt lot for a decade now,” says Carlson. “I think it will be impactful for the immediate neighborhood but I hope that our town center also proves to other local mom-and-pop restaurants and retailers that they can be successful in Stapleton so we can attract more high-caliber chefs like Troy.”
Vostrejs agrees. “Bringing some great, local, mainstream tenants should be something not just good for Stapleton but good for the surrounding communities. If a project is done really well, the locals love it, but it’s so good that people from outside the neighborhood will be drawn to it as well. And that’s the sign of a really successful project.”
King Soopers to Open in Eastbridge Fall 2016
King Soopers is still planning to build the gas station on the northern lot east of the store, as previously announced here.
- The store will have windows all the way across the front, with the same style windows wrapping around the corners on the north and south sides.
- The rest of the north and south sides and the east side will have decorative art panels with corrugated metal as shown at right.
- The walk-up pharmacy is on the front of the building toward the north end.
- The southwest corner has an outdoor seating area covered by an awning that
will wrap around on the south side.
- A single door near the southwest corner opens directly to Starbucks.
- Lockers will accommodate bikes including those with trailers attached.
- The store will have skylights for energy efficiency and to bring more natural light into the store.
- This design is currently being reviewed by the City of Denver. It has not yet been approved by the Stapleton Design Review Committee, so it could still have minor changes.
- The latest plan shows Geneva court as a through street, but that final decision is up to the city.
- Construction is projected to start early 2016, with opening in fall 2016.
Information provided by Kelli McGannon, King Soopers director of public affairs.