High Meadows rent deters some retailers
Glenwood Meadows should open with nearly all of the 405,000 square feet of retail space leased, said Greg Moran, vice president of leasing at Miller-Weingarten, the developer. Miller-Weingarten hasn’t announced any new tenants since March, but about 98 percent of the space should be leased, though not necessarily occupied, when Meadows opens in October and November, Moran told the Glenwood Springs Association of Realtors on Wednesday. Some of the space will go unfilled, partly because of high rents at Meadows, and partly because Miller-Weingarten is picky about what types of businesses should fill the remaining space – about 15,000 feet. Meadows rent, at $27 to $30 per square foot is “up there,” said Eric Small, a commercial real estate appraiser in Carbondale. Smaller spaces often rent for that much in the valley, but not large retail spaces like Meadows offers, Small said.Miller-Weingarten had negotiated with Famous Footwear and with Corral West, but those businesses couldn’t afford the rent, he said. Both ended up at the Glenwood Springs Mall. Mall rents are less, said mall CEO Deb Jacupke. Miller-Weingarten also has loose agreements with the mall and downtown that prohibited it from leasing to certain types of businesses, Moran said. The company agreed, for example, not to lease space to a bookstore right away because of concerns downtown merchants had, he said. Miller-Weingarten does have an idea of what should go in Meadows – a women’s clothing store, a shoe store, a pizza restaurant, a coffee shop and a business services organization, such as a stock brokerage, Moran said. Starbucks, the obvious choice to fill the coffee niche, isn’t at the top of Moran’s list. The company is difficult to deal with, Moran said, and he’d prefer to find someone local. Plans Miller-Weingarten distributed to the Association of Realtors included space allotted to a theater and a hotel, in the area that is now being used as a staging area for the rest of the project. Moran hadn’t signed with a specific theater or hotel, but said he had been in talks with Carmike Cinemas, which runs the theater in the Mall. Despite the possibility of Meadows opening with a small amount of space unfilled, and vacant commercial property downtown, Moran doesn’t think there is an oversupply of commercial property in Glenwood Springs. He thinks there should be more interest in Meadows activity in the next 60 to 90 days, as the site starts to take shape. Reaction to Glenwood Meadows was largely positive at the Realtors Association luncheon, where Moran spoke. “It’s more than a store to go shopping in,” said Lynn Kirchner, a broker at Amoré Realty in Carbondale. “Everyone in this room should benefit, not just the Realtors who help fill the space,” she said. Jobs and housing Meadows will provide are good for everyone, she said.
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Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.