By Sally Griffin
One of the largest projects in Edgewater since the redevelopment of the Edgewater Marketplace at 20th and Sheridan was approved unanimously by the Edgewater Council at a second reading on Aug. 2. This redevelopment is located at 20th and Depew and includes, among other places, the old King Soopers building. This development will be called the Edgewater Public Market, in the same manner as Seattle’s Pike Place Market and other well-known market places. The developer is LCP Development.
LCP’s plans for the project will include renovating all the buildings within the property. In addition, a new building will be built on the southeast corner of the property. The largest building, the former King Soopers site, will house, among other functions, a food hall run by various food truck vendors, a brewery, a large bar and central seating.
The whole development will include several restaurants, a bar, a coffee shop, several retail shops, a liquor store, a natural pet food store, and other users providing custom foods or beverages.
Included will be Green Seed, a vegetable-focused restaurant and neighborhood produce shop. There will be lots of patio seating and roof-top garden eating area with its own Airstream trailer. There are even plans for a grassy, outdoor movie theater between two of the buildings.
The site at 20th and Depew, since King Soopers relocated, has had a confusing past. Edgewater purchased the property in 2004, yet several projects fell apart before they could be accomplished.
First, the city thought to develop a civic center, but the idea never took off.
So, the city turned to the Ice Ranch to develop an ice-skating rink, but their funding fell through.
Next, Trinity Development proposed a natural grocer as an anchor, surrounded by apartments and townhomes. Again, these plans fell through.
Finally, LCP proposed to redevelop the property as Edgewater Public Market with a food hall for food truck operators seeking a fixed location and other restaurateurs, brewery, shops and restaurants, including a Mexican restaurant and a breakfast place or upscale doughnut shop.
LCP representative Jonathan Bush indicated that 65 percent of one building has leases in process. Also, the street access on 20th Street will be relocated. However, while they had originally planned on building a greenhouse on the property, this aspect of the plan will not go forward. To respond to noise concerns, the movie venue will not have films scheduled after 11 p.m., and no more films than one every two weeks or once a month. These movie showings will be mostly during the summer.
Edgewater City Manager H.J. Stalf indicated that his staff has done a comprehensive study on this Planned Unit Development. They reported that this redevelopment will:
• Include 30 new businesses within the city;
• Support existing businesses by repurposing an underutilized and vacant property;
• Encourage “Active Living by Design” by including active spaces, exterior dining patios, rooftop deck, walkable retail and shopping areas and green space areas. The development includes an exterior green space where patrons watch movies on a turf lawn and encourages children activities;
• Anticipates that approximately 5 percent of the patrons will come to the site by bicycle so, at least, 70 bicycle parking spots will be distributed throughout the site;
• Be a “destination that will bring people of diverse backgrounds to high-quality services and businesses to support the established community.”
Stalf indicates that the city expects the property will produce sales tax revenue averaging $10 per square foot. The real estate deal should be closed this month and should break ground within the next 30 days. The hope is that, by next spring or summer, three of the buildings will be leased and open to accommodate patrons. The fourth building, which will need to be built, may take longer. He expects that within months of completion the development will show some income, but the full impact will not be felt until 2020.
“This has been along time coming!” says Stalf. “But it is the best match for growth in the Edgewater community. While not on a major thoroughfare, this site should be appealing enough to attract many customers.”
LCP Development specializes in mixed-use redevelopment and property management. Since its founding in 2004, LCP has developed 16 projects in metro Denver, for a value of $175 million. The most notable project in our area is 1525 Sloans, the site of the old Saint Anthony’s Hospital. That project has 50,000 square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of retail space.
“With a focus towards site connectivity and the pedestrian experience,” said Tim Schlichting of LCP, “the 20th and Depew Project features a promenade oriented north-south to attract pedestrians from 20th Avenue into the main food hall destination and an east-west oriented landscaped grove area heavily planted with trees to allow patrons with dogs to relax and congregate at the project.
“The development plan also includes a landscaped plaza area featuring an outdoor movie screen, providing the opportunity for outdoor events. Additionally, the eastern drive lane which runs by the landscaped plaza can be closed off at select times to allow for a farmer’s market and other community-focused uses designed to activate the center.”
By this time next year, or perhaps sooner, the Edgewater Public Market will be an inviting and convenient place to eat, shop and congregate. The Market will be a welcome replacement to what is now a couple derelict buildings and a devastated parking lot.