Developers seek changes at Meadows to target Target
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Glenwood Meadows developers presented conceptual drawings of the project’s commercial heart Thursday to a mostly receptive City Council.
But the presentation, given by Englewood-based retail developing company Miller Weingarten Realty LLC, deviated somewhat from the original conditions set by council when the project was zoned and annexed early in 2002.
Developers insisted that these deviations might be an economic necessity to entice retail giant Target to put a store at Glenwood Meadows.
“I think the message of the package we sent is that we think we can meet those (conditions) and in some cases, surpass them,” said Kirk Beardsley of Miller Weingarten LLC.
As approved, Glenwood Meadows divides the 345-acre Wulfsohn Ranch into 72 acres for commercial, office and hotel uses, 55 acres for residential neighborhoods and 215 acres for open space and parks.
Zoning will allow 375,000 square feet of retail space, 115,000 square feet of office space and 475 apartments, townhouses and single-family homes.
The differences from the original approval conditions were in the parking configuration, the amount of “wraparound” stores that would surround a large retail store and the height of buildings on Market Street, the main shopping avenue planned for Meadows.
“Only so much retail space can be supported,” Beardsley said. “We think 40,000 square feet of space would work at the Market Street Center.”
A reduced retail wrap, replaced by stores on the “shoulders” of any big-box retailer, would require a variance by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Community Development Department director Andrew McGregor said.
Another difference in the Miller Weingarten plan is to group parking into “reservoirs” rather than spreading it more evenly throughout the shopping areas. In all, the conceptual plan calls for 2,200 parking spaces in the retail core.
“Parking is relative to what we build,” said Skip Miller, president of Miller Weingarten.
Miller said Target officials will insist on having five spaces for every 1,000 square feet of retail space.
The third variation from the original approval requested by developers was a decrease in the number of second-story dwellings included in the market area.
“Ten percent of the project would be true second-level space,” said Perry Lewis, principal of RTA Architects of Colorado Springs, project designers.
Councilman Dan Richardson expressed some reservations about decreasing the amount of second-story development.
“This is the 21st century. We can build buildings with more than one story and I’d like to see you do that,” he said.
But Councilmen Larry Emery and Don Gillespie said they agreed that less residential development in the heart of the retail area is the way to go.
To make up for less second-story development and fewer wraparound retail stores, developers said they could design store roofs with a broken-up appearance so the complex doesn’t seem to be such a large mass to those who view it from above.
Thursday’s conceptual review was for discussion only and no decisions were made.
But no matter how council feels about the proposed design, Miller said a large grocery store needs to become part of the plan before his company will build the project.
“There are still a lot of hurdles to jump with this project,” he said.
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