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Colorado Developers Seek to Rezone Shopping Areas for Housing

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Colorado Developers Seek to Rezone Shopping Areas for Housing


August 23, 2021
vacant shopping center
Photo: EuToch | stock.adobe.com

Centennial, Colo. developers no longer saw hope in finding new retail tenants to purchase space in now-vacant Sears and Macy’s as shopping habits have changed, but they did find hope in housing. Alberta Development Partners and Northwood Investors submitted documents to rezone the area in hopes of creating hundreds of new rental housing units where the Sears and Macy’s once thrived. Submitted documents include a traffic study and drainage report, says the Denver Post. Though documents were submitted recently, the redevelopment process began in 2019, but neighbors weren’t too happy with the first set of plans.

The first set of plans met with major blowback from neighbors concerned about building heights, traffic and parking in a district that’s home to a busy Whole Foods Market store.

Those plans sought to increase the maximum building height on the Sears parcel to 100 feet and clear the way for as many as 800 apartments there with another 1,150 on the Macy’s property. By the fall of that year, the developers had scaled back their plans to 698 units on the Sears land and 575 at Macy’s.

The plans in the pipeline now represent another step back from that. There are already 214 apartments on the campus in the Portola building at 6851 S Gaylord St., according to the city. If granted permission to go up to 1,125 total, Alberta and Northwood would be dividing up the right to build roughly 900 more apartments.

Centennial resident Andrew Spaulding can walk to the Streets at SouthGlenn in about 10 minutes from his house. In 2019 he got involved with a residents group that met with the developers multiple times to discuss their plans. He’s in favor of what is being proposed now, especially the public greenspace the developers are committed to building along East Easter Avenue on the north side of the campus.

“Something has to be done. It really does,” Spaulding said of the Sears and Macy’s buildings. “I know there are a lot of people that are unhappy about the height of what’s going in there, but the developers have made a big effort to move the height back off the street so it’s more on the inside of the property.”

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