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Glenwood in Target’s crosshairs

Retail giant Target is negotiating to build a 125,000-square-foot general merchandise store at Glenwood Meadows, according to retail developer Stewart “Skip” Miller of Englewood.”Target is committed to going here,” Miller said Tuesday, although the deal is subject to finalizing a price for land and Target’s share of offsite development costs and impacts, as well as permit approvals from the city of Glenwood Springs.”From a market point of view, they have approved the site,” said Miller, president of Englewood-based Miller Weingarten Realty LLC.Miller said, however, that he won’t build the Target store unless a supermarket company also decides to build a grocery store at the Meadows site.Miller said he has broached the idea with several supermarket companies, and is waiting for them to conduct the market research.”I don’t think we’re going to see a move,” Miller said, referring to the City Market and Safeway supermarkets located on Grand Avenue. “The issue is whether Glenwood Springs is big enough for three stores. That’s what we’re studying now.”Miller and Glenwood Meadows owner Robert Macgregor, who have formed a partnership to develop the retail component of the Meadows, briefed the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on the venture Tuesday evening.The partners will present a similar concept review to the Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday, Feb. 6.Macgregor won city approval for the project – the largest in the city’s history – a year ago, after shrinking the commercial and residential elements and expanding dedicated open space from an earlier proposal. 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 Meadows lies at the foot of Red Mountain, south of the Colorado River in West Glenwood.After winning city annexation and zoning, Macgregor said he spent six months “conducting a beauty contest of sorts,” searching for a retail developer in sync with his vision of a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use, architecturally pleasing project.”The important part was finding someone who could implement these cutting-edge ideas,” Macgregor said of the plan, crafted with public input by planning consultant Leslie Bethel of Clarion Associates.Macgregor settled on Miller because his company, affiliated with the $3 billion, Houston-based Weingarten Realty LLC, has built the kind of Main Street-style project Macgregor has in mind in Englewood, Aurora and at the former Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, and because Miller recently completed a shopping center project in Dillon.The Dillon complex includes a City Market, Gart Sports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Border’s Books and Music and an eight-screen TransLux Theatre.Miller’s other advantage, Macgregor said, is the company’s “build and hold” approach to commercial real estate.”A lot of people build and move on. They’re called merchant builders,” Miller said. “We design and build with the idea that we will hold this a long time.”He noted that Weingarten’s first commercial development was built 50 years ago, and the company still owns it.Miller said he is also touting Glenwood Meadows to smaller national retailers.”We’ve talked to people who say, `If you get Target and XYZ supermarket, we’d be interested.’ They have a herd mentality. Half our battle is, `We’ll go if they go.’ That’s my job, is to get them to go,” Miller said.”And my job,” said Macgregor, “is to make sure they don’t go somewhere else in the valley.”Considerable speculation has also placed Target at the recently approved Crystal River Marketplace in Carbondale.But Miller said he has been negotiating with the Minneapolis-based retailer for the past six months for the Meadows location.”All mentions of Target in Carbondale were done without the approval of Target,” he said.Target opened its first store in 1962, in Roseville, Minn., and now has more than 1,100 stores in 47 states. It employs 192,000 people nationwide.Macgregor said Target officials understand that the development plan approved for Glenwood Meadows calls for a Main Street style architecture with a variety of facades for a building placed close to the street, rather than a typical big box store surrounded by wide expanses of parking lots.”We are extremely excited about where we are in our discussions with Target,” Bethel said.


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