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4/1/2004

Property at Crossroads becoming Twenty Ninth Street

By Pam Mellskog
The Daily Times-Call

BOULDER — Chicago’s got Michigan Avenue. New York’s got 42nd Street. San Franciso’s got Fisherman’s Wharf.

Now Boulder’s got something beyond the historic Pearl Street Mall.

It’s got Twenty Ninth Street — the name unveiled Tuesday at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce to replace the embattled Crossroads Mall identification.

Since November 2002, the Arizona-based Westcor, a Macerich Co. subsidiary, has been drafting redevelopment plans for the 65-acre spot now infamous after 41 years for morphing from a bustling shopping mall to a near ghost town.

Only Foley’s held on through the nose-dive decline in 2000, when Flatirons Mall — another Westcor project — opened in Broomfield.

“We kind of broke the mold at Flatirons, but this is taking it another step,” said Bob Williams, senior vice president of leasing for the Westcor Region of The Macerich Company.

To reflect that departure, Westcor brainstormed names with Boulder-based Communications Arts Inc. along with three other Boulder firms — Word for Word, Brandplay and Vermilion.

According to Vermilion Design Principal Bob Morehouse, the team toyed with calling the project The Divide for the way Twenty Ninth Street will cut through the property south to north.

“But we were divided on that name,” he said with a chuckle.

They ultimately latched on to Twenty Ninth Street, he said, because it abandoned the old shopping center design for something more place and lifestyle oriented.

The logo alone, with its four squares, hints at the four seasons. And the architecture will incorporate plenty of outdoor space versus the standard mall enclosure, Morehouse added.

“(Instead of) a plastic village dropped from the sky into Boulder, we wanted it to be really organic,” he said.

Besides extending Twenty Ninth Street from Arapahoe Avenue to Walnut Street through the complex, plans call for allowing Walnut Street and Canyon Boulevard to flow west to east through the property.

“Also, somebody pointed out that it’s a good year,” Morehouse said of the name. “We’d all like to be 29 years old.”

With the city of Boulder expected to complete its site review this month, demolition of most of the 929,000-square-foot mall could begin as early as this June with construction continuing throughout 2005, according to David Scholl, Westcor’s senior vice president of development.

Though Westcor officials declined to name who they would be courting to lease space, Foley’s will remain open throughout the transition and will anchor the retail part of the development, according to Richard Foy, Communication Arts principal.

A mid-sized big box store — or two — would comprise another section of the space along with a grocery and a 14-screen movie-plex with stadium seats, he said.

“It’s state of the art,” Foy said, “where you’ll have your cappuccino in your cup holder.”

According to Tracey Gotsis, Westcor’s vice president of marketing, the name is pivotal.

“Today’s a good day because for so long we’ve had to deal with the stigma of Crossroads,” she said. “Now we get to talk not about what it was, but what it will be.”

Pam Mellskog can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 224, or by e-mail at pmellskog@times-call.com.