Meadows phase two expansion faces more costs, competition |

Meadows phase two expansion faces more costs, competition

A proposal to expand Glenwood Meadows is aimed at building on the commercial development’s success, but in the face of a more competitive retail and construction market.

An architect for developers notes the changing market conditions in a letter to Glenwood Springs community development director Andrew McGregor, in advance of a conceptual review on the proposed expansion by City Council Thursday night.

Developer Miller Weingarten Realty is proposing to add about 75,000 in additional retail space to about 400,000 square feet of commercial development at Glenwood Meadows.

“As you are aware the first phase of the Glenwood Meadows development has achieved greater than expected retail success. With this success, other national retailers have voiced their interest in a second phase of Glenwood Meadows,” architect Doug Abernethy, with RTA Inc., of Colorado Springs, wrote to McGregor.

Glenwood Springs’ sales tax revenues are up 38.8 percent for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year ” an increase largely attributable to Glenwood Meadows, where stores began opening in October. But Abernethy also laid out the challenges ahead for an expansion of the project, including nearly $1 billion worth of current construction in the Roaring Fork Valley that has significantly increased construction costs.

“This fact along with the tremendous amount of work in the gas and oil fields to the west of Glenwood Springs and the additional retail competition from alternate sites in the area make the project more challenging from both a leasing and financial perspective,” Abernethy wrote.

The area’s construction boom and soaring natural gas development have created competition for workers, contractors and materials. Fast-rising construction expenses have added millions of dollars to the price tag of a rental housing project also being proposed at Glenwood Meadows.

Meanwhile, Glenwood Springs officials are wondering how much in sales will be lost to the town of Gypsum when a Costco opens there in the fall.

A representative with Miller Weingarten has said developers are coming forward now with a second phase of Glenwood Meadows in hopes of being able to court retailers before they commit to opening elsewhere in the region. He also said furniture, clothing and consumer electronic stores are possible tenants.

The site plan that developers are presenting for conceptual review is one of several options for the 10.2-acre site, Abernethy said in his letter.

“As with the first phase of Glenwood Meadows the size and final number of tenants is highly market dependent,” he said.

As presented, the plan includes three 15,000-square-foot commercial buildings and one 30,000-square-foot one laid out in a line along Midland Avenue, with 437 parking spaces and a restaurant behind them. The architecture would be consistent with that of the existing Glenwood Meadows buildings.

Council will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.

Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516

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