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Retail on the rise

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — After spending the last few years managing Walgreens stores that are closer to Denver than to where he lives, Longmont resident Ryan Oldham is glad to be coming home.

“It’s going to be great to have my neighbors shopping in my store — kind of a good feeling,” said Oldham, the store manager at Longmont’s fourth Walgreens, at 838 E. 17th Ave., in the Fox Creek Village. The stand-alone, 15,000-square-foot store opens Friday.

The store, which will include a drive-through pharmacy, will be open seven days a week.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the rest of the $18 million shopping center at the southwest corner of 17th Avenue and Pace Street.

David Chaknova, owner of Nova Investments and the center’s co-developer, said the 66,000-square-foot King Soopers store, the city’s third, should open in November. “And then some of the retail will be opening shortly thereafter,” he said.

In all, the eight buildings in the 11.9-acre center will feature more than 110,000 square feet of retail space.

Chaknova said Walgreens and King Soopers are the only two tenants to officially sign on to the project, although he and Chuck Woods of Chandelle Development are close to announcing more.

“There’s four out for signatures right now,” Chaknova said.

A bank, coffee shop and haircutting place are three likely tenants, he said, adding that a day-care center is another possibility.

Chaknova said the look of the center will be different — “more upscale” — than typical shopping centers because of agreements he was able to come to with the major anchors.

“We made Walgreens conform to build a nicer building,” he said. “We did the same thing with King Soopers. We did not use the company’s standard architectural prototypes. It will be the only shopping center in Longmont with four-sided architecture.”

While this will make it an attractive addition to the neighborhood, Chaknova said, it also added to the cost of the project.

Peter D. Pappas and S-E-M Architects, both of Denver, designed the center, which incorporates stone and stucco into the exterior of the buildings.

Chaknova expects the shopping center to be “90 to 95 percent full” by the spring of 2005.

Fox Creek Village sits directly across Pace Street from the Fox Creek Marketplace, which opened in 2000. Revenues at the Marketplace, which is anchored by Safeway, have been climbing steadily since its opening.

According to the city’s Sales and Use Tax Division, in June of this year, net taxable sales for Fox Creek Marketplace were $1.95 million, accounting for $57,000 in total revenue to the city. So far this year, the Marketplace has accounted for nearly $350,000 in total revenue for the city.

By itself, the Marketplace accounts for nearly 2 percent of the city’s total sales and use revenues, and Fox Creek Village will add to that starting with this week’s opening of Walgreens.

In a year in which overall revenues to the city are running 2 percent behind last year’s, year-to-date, every little bit helps.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 291, or by e-mail at tkindelspire@times-call.com.