After more than a half century in the heart of the Cherry Creek neighborhood, the Safeway next to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center will be closing its doors by the first week of January, officials announced today.
The 51-year-old Safeway with approximately 50,000 square feet at 3100 E. 1st Ave., has been notified by the Taubman Co., the owner of the Cherry Creek shopping center, that the store must vacate its space by Jan. 4.
The existing single-story store building likely will remain and be “re-purposed” with other tenants, said Nick LeMasters, the general manager of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
Observers have speculated for years that if Safeway ever left the building it would be torn down and possibly replaced with a dense, mixed-use development.
“To the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to rezone the site,” LeMasters said. “If you are asking me if we are planning to tear it down and replace it with something else, I don’t think that is likely to happen.”
The site is zoned B-3, which is an “old-code zone district,”, noted Andrea Burns, communications director for Denver Community Planning & Development office.
“It’s a commercial district that allows for a variety of mixed uses including residential, commercial retail, office, lodging,” and other uses, Burns said.
“Size height of the building is tied to a 1-1 floor area ratio, and a bulk plane envelope, but no height limit per se,” she added.
Rather than rezone and replace the the existing building, which long pre-dates the 27-year-old shopping center, the grocery store would serve as a home to one or more new tenants.
“We are looking at our options and there are some…
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