SouthGlenn Macy's lease extended to 2022

After Sears shuttered, possible closure has loomed for other anchor

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The lease for Macy's at The Streets at SouthGlenn was recently extended through early 2022, a corporate representative said, lending a breath of life to a store whose years appear to be numbered.

But Blair Fasbender Rosenberg, the corporate spokeswoman, declined to comment on whether the Macy's at SouthGlenn is still expected to permanently close within the next four years or so.

That's about as far as the property owner, Alberta Development Partners, expects the store to last. Alberta also controls nearly all of the rest of SouthGlenn, Centennial's most prominent shopping development, at East Arapahoe Road and South University Boulevard.

Donald Provost, founding principal with Alberta, said in early 2019 that he'd be surprised if the Macy's was still running in five years. Provost didn't respond to a question of whether the two-year lease extension means the Macy's is expected to permanently close in 2022. Alberta was closed through much of Dec. 23 to Jan. 1 during the holidays.

SouthGlenn was originally the large, indoor Southglenn Mall built in the 1970s, and the Sears and Macy's were components of that mall. The Sears closed near the end of 2018.

SouthGlenn's outdoor shopping center layout replaced the former mall in 2009.

The Macy's building was constructed in 1981, according to Arapahoe County assessor's records. Macy's West Stores Inc. sold it to Alberta in February 2018 for $10 million, records show.

The outdoor mall is a top source of tax revenue for the city, but it's pulling in a smaller proportion of funds than it used to. Fighting vacancies and facing down a possible Macy's closure, developers want to try to revitalize the mall with more apartments and other uses. Because they want to change the mix of types of properties allowed, their plans need the city's approval. Formal plans aren't expected to reach a city council vote for months.

The former Sears property is owned by Northwood Investors, which wants to add apartments there. Alberta wants to put apartments and office space, and possibly retail and entertainment establishments, where Macy's stands.

Ron Phelps, who leads a group of area residents called Neighbors for the Streets@SouthGlenn, recently announced a potential petition effort to change the redevelopment vision. With more than 460 people on his group's newsletter mailing list, he urged his audience to support the push.

But the city can't make a decision until developers formally submit their plans, so there hasn't been anything to petition at this point, according to Allison Wittern, Centennial spokeswoman.

Phelps said the Macy's renewal isn't changing his plans.

“I don't think the extension has much impact on our larger concerns regarding the redevelopment plans and our fight,” Phelps said. “We remain poised and continue to prepare to fight against redeveloping the former Sears property into high-density residential at the expense” of existing retail space.

Residents are primarily concerned about the potential for more traffic around the mall. They also object to the possibility of apartment buildings across the street from the less dense neighborhood nearby.

Speakers at a Nov. 19 meeting at Powell Middle School — where city staff and developers sought to collect feedback on the plans — didn't deny that traffic would increase, but they emphasized a key statistic from a traffic impact study by Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig, an engineering and planning firm.

The study found that along Arapahoe Road, University Boulevard, Easter Avenue and Race Street — which form SouthGlenn's perimeter — most areas along SouthGlenn would see less than a 10% increase in traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours as a result of the proposed project.

It also looked at “cut-through traffic” in nearby neighborhood streets, noting: “A review of existing traffic counts indicates that less than 5% of the trips from the Streets at Southglenn currently travel between the development and each of the neighborhoods surrounding the project site.”

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