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Lafayette OKs King Soopers development

By Quentin Young
Times-Call News Group

LAFAYETTE — Developers of a King Soopers grocery store in north Lafayette are several steps closer to proceeding with construction.

Having won approval from the city’s planning commission and City Council, officials from St. Louis-based developer Quadrant and King Soopers said groundbreaking at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Baseline Road could come in September, with an opening date in April 2004.

The development will be called Summit Marketplace. Besides the 65,000-square-foot grocery store, it would include a 14,400-square-foot building for up to 10 retail tenants, a gas station and 1.4 acres reserved for future development.

Some Lafayette residents have expressed concerns about the effects the marketplace will have on traffic.

Development plans include the installation of a traffic signal at Baseline Road and Crossing Drive, subject to approval by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Matt Delich, a Loveland-based traffic consultant, said other improvements could be made to Baseline Road to ease congestion, such as creating more left-turn capacity onto southbound U.S. 287.

Although some city officials worry about the redundancy of certain types of businesses opening in Lafayette — pharmacies, gas stations and liquor stores, for example — they are thrilled with the King Soopers development, despite the proximity of several other grocery stores.

The retail giant has promised to generate much-needed sales tax revenue for Lafayette.

Bill Bates, the development manager for King Soopers, insists there is room for another grocery store in the region.

“We think the net winner here is the consumer,” he told the Lafayette Planning Commission on May 28. “The net result is that the citizens of Lafayette are blessed with all the major players and all the competition that comes with it.”

Nearby grocery stores include the new Albertson’s at U.S. 287 and South Boulder Road, Safeway stores on South Boulder Road in Louisville and on Arapahoe Road in Erie, and a King Soopers on South Boulder Road in Louisville.

Bob Turner, a development partner with Quadrant, explained that a new King Soopers could handle overflow shoppers from the chain’s Louisville location, thereby allowing both to offer the best customer service.

He estimated that the Summit Marketplace development will cost $14 million to $15 million to complete.