Natural grocers, entertainment to spur retail

BOULDER — Movie theaters and other entertainment choices located near retail stores and new natural-food-focused grocery stores are two trends expected to drive the local retail industry in 2013.

For example, natural grocers Sprouts Farmers Market and Lucky’s Market will open stores in Longmont in 2013. Sprouts is based in Phoenix; Lucky’s is based in Boulder.

Alfalfa’s Market in Boulder is getting economic incentives from Louisville’s elected officials to open a store there. Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s plans to open a new store in Boulder in the coming year.

Continuing the trend, Twin Peaks Mall owner NewMark Merrill Mountain States is looking for a natural-grocery tenant. City of Broomfield economic development head Bo Martinez says he also would like to woo a healthy grocer to his city, a retailer that could go into a former Target store building at 1660 W. Midway Blvd.

On the entertainment side, NewMark Merrill plans to build a new movie theater at its $80 million “retail village” project at the Twin Peaks Mall site starting in 2013, said Allen Ginsborg, managing director of the Fort Collins-based development company. The “village” is to include a central promenade and fountain as well as three other new buildings and the existing Dillard’s department store, which will be converted into a free-standing store, according to a design plan.

An undisclosed retail tenant has signed a lease for 100,000 square feet in the “village,” Ginsborg said recently.

At FlatIron Crossing shopping center in Broomfield, developers plan to knock down two existing buildings to make room for an as-yet unnamed new retailer — one that may draw from the nearby AMC Theatres Flatiron Crossing 14, said Kim Campbell, a mall leasing manager. A White House/Black Market women’s clothing store will open early this year, Campbell said, and other stores have done remodels and expansions to celebrate the lease renewals.

On the north side of the shopping area, redevelopment in the area where a Great Indoors store used to operate could include new apartments or condos, Martinez said. A new developer may come in to work on the Flatiron Marketplace redevelopment, which could include a new hotel, more retail, office space and the residential space, he said.

“It would be a unique opportunity for a place where people want to live, work and shop, much like Lower Downtown Denver or Pearl Street Mall in Boulder,” Martinez said.

Pearl Street Mall expects to continue its positive trends in outdoor-retailer and restaurant growth this year, said Sean Maher, executive director of Downtown Boulder Inc., the local business group.

Redevelopment at 1600 Pearl St. is expected, although no retailer has been announced, Maher said. The building is the former home of a Borders book store.

Outdoor retailers such as Patagonia, Prana, Montbell and GoLite are expected to continue to do well in 2013, he said. So are restaurants, with existing eateries now accounting for more than half the sales-tax revenue generated in downtown Boulder, Maher said.

Lafayette also expects a bright 2013, with a 45,000-square-foot Jax outdoor store slated to open, the second one in Lafyaette, as well as a new chicken and beer restaurant coming to the former Veterans of Foreign Wars hall at 105 W. Emma St., said Vicki Trumbo, director of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

“There are four or five companies making a huge investment in Lafayette,” Trumbo said. “We’re excited about it.”

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