Retail, industrial developments abound New projects to bring sales-tax revenue, jobs to serve population

ERIE — Town staffers were fairly sure things would take off for Erie retail once the King Soopers Marketplace was completed on the northwest corner of Sheridan Parkway and Colorado Highway 7, said Fred Diehl, assistant to the town administrator. They appeared to be correct in that assumption, as the town appears to be making strides to match its residential growth with more sales-tax revenue and job creation.

“We knew once we had them we’d have a chance for a lot of development to occur on the north side off Highway 7,” Diehl said. “There’s a great deal of interest in Highway 7, and we’re doing a good job, in particular, of making sure we’re putting square pegs in square holes.”

The area near that intersection has filled quickly, said Paul Mehle, the town’s economic-development officer. However, it’s not the only place that Erie appears to be taking some big strides toward creating more retail opportunities, she said, as Nine Mile Corner, near U.S. Highway 287 and Arapahoe Road, and the Four Corners mixed-use development on the southwestern corner of County Line Road and Erie Parkway are all moving quickly through the planning process.

“The King Soopers opened up in December, and they’ve been doing strong sales there,” Mehle said. “They’ve fully leased in the inline retail (locations),” with a pet-supply store, a male grooming salon and a manicure/pedicure salon.

The nearby pad locations are also filling quickly, with a FirstBank location going through final permit plans and a dental location also planned.  Further east, at 3200 Village Vista Drive, a 10,070-square-foot retail building has been pre-leased to Vista Animal Hospital, Farmers Insurance, Hardy Pediatric Dentistry, and Larkridge Family Dentistry.

In addition there is 17 acres of undeveloped commercial real estate called Vista Ridge Marketplace, that is being represented by Alan Lampert of David, Hick Lampert.

The Four Corners mixed-use development, where plans are going through a final plat for approval of a mix of residential unit types and commercial facilities, is one of the more interesting developments on tap. The 46-acre project is now in the hands of Foundry Builders, which is currently opening up the Delo Townhomes near downtown Louisville.

On the very hot list — both for location and controversy with neighboring Lafayette — is the Nine Mile Corner location. The 46-acre parcel between Erie and Lafayette is slated for moderate- to high-density residential, along with a mix of commercial and retail and could be under construction by next year.

The developer of the project is Evergreen Devco, a national real estate firm, with offices in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Denver. The firm’s initial plans called for four large retail outlets and a small number of smaller shops, with the company still searching for an anchor presence.

“Our vision for Nine Mile Corner is a horizontally-integrated, mixed-use community that combines neighborhood retail, restaurants and soft goods, and moderate to high-density residential with modern place-making and historic building architecture (sourced in Erie) in order to create a uniquely Erie retail and residential destination,” notes the project website. “In deference to the Road of Remembrance pillars, our three ‘pillars’ to realizing this vision at Nine Mile Corner are 1) securing a strong neighborhood anchor and attracting the right mix of local and regional restaurants and retailers, 2) integrating high-quality, yet affordable housing to create community, and 3) executing intentional planning, building and landscape architecture to create vibrant ‘places’ within Nine Mile Corner.”

With more retail property coming on line, Mehle noted that the town has begun focusing on developing office and industrial space that can support shops throughout the day. One project that is currently underway is Boulder Community Health’s 41,000-square-foot two-story medical office facility on northwest corner of Briggs and Erie Parkway.

“I think it is a great time for it (job-related development),” Mehle said. “I think the development community is happy with Erie, and it will give us that much more support of the incoming retail development.”

While Erie is currently developing a concept plan for its largest industrial tract near Interstate 25, Mehle said there are substantial amounts of industrial properties available for purchase today.

“We do have some great industrial land for sale, with nearby utilities (many located near County Line Road and Colorado Highway 7),” she said. “Most of these are greenfields (where no prior development has occurred.)”

Other potential industrial locations listed on the town’s website include:

• A light-industrial building at 410 Jones Court, with a 4,608-square-foot metal building with open layout, two offices, restroom and fenced storage area on 0.97 acres. The property is listed by Nathan Klein of Loveland for $691,000.

• A light-industrial 12,100 square-foot building at 1121 Telleen Ave. is listed by Christopher Ball of Cushman & Wakefield. The metal building is divided into two areas, with offices on the opposite ends of the building and two sets of restrooms on 2.74 acres.

• The Ward Industrial Building, an 18,000-square-foot flex/industrial facility, has been approved, and construction should soon be underway, though real estate sites indicate the facility has been leased.