Sunday, January 29, 2023

Littleton Narrowly Endorses Aspen Grove Redevelopment Plans

Redevelopment plans for Aspen Grove shopping center were narrowly approved Tuesday night by Littleton City Council, allowing the owner to apply for residential buildings and significantly reduce commercial retail space.

The council voted 4-3 to approve plans to build a 32.7-acre mall at 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, which is owned by California-based Gerrity Group. The plans will build up to 2,000 residential units and reduce existing retail space to 125,000 square feet from the current 270,000 square feet.

Mayor Jerry Valdez and councilors Kelly Milliman, Patrick Driscoll and Mark Roudnicki voted in favor of the plans. Council members Scott Melin, Pam Grove and Carol Fey voted against.

One of the key topics was the amount of retail space.

Gerrity Group managing director Kevin Gerrity said during the meeting that about 150,000 square feet of existing space is occupied by tenants, and that some of them do not have long-term leases.

Although the plans set a minimum of 125,000 square feet, he said the company expects to save more.

“Our goal and our priority is to support as much retail as possible, as much high quality retail as possible in the future,” said Gerrity. “One of the main goals of the plan is to introduce alternative use cases to improve the quality of the retail that we have, and as we have stated over the past few years, that quality is declining.”

Melin said he was not happy with the reduction of more than half of the retail space. He said he supports projects that combine retail and residential buildings, but what Aspen Grove has been proposing could hurt the city’s sales taxes.

“I don’t want this property to be converted from a commercial to a residential property with a proposed minimum of 125,000 square feet, well, at the time, I’m voting no,” Melin said. “I need guarantees that there will be more commercial square meters in this area.”

In response, Kevin Gerrity said the company would be ready to install a minimum of 200,000.

“We could raise this amount, but that means we are focused on this minimum amount in the long term,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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