Dec 8, 2022 - News

Denver's Cherry Creek is getting a $1B face-lift

A rendering of Cherry Creek West. Image courtesy of East West Partners

Holiday shoppers sauntering around Denver's Cherry Creek mall may notice signs that read, "Something exciting is coming," propped up around the area.

What's happening: A $1 billion mixed-use development plan is underway to transform 13 acres — including the mostly vacant west end of the shopping center.

Why it matters: The plan could change Cherry Creek's reputation as an upscale area for eating and shopping to a destination that prioritizes economic diversity and green space.

What they're saying: Developers' goal is "to create a vibrant, people-centric neighborhood that embraces the creek," according to East West Partners' presentation at a community information meeting in August.

Details: Cherry Creek West will span from University Boulevard to Clayton Street and 1st Avenue to the Cherry Creek waterway.

  • Blueprints include a "public plaza" with green space for concerts and events; a market square; seven buildings with office, residential and retail space; a dedicated two-way bike track; and above- and below-ground parking.
  • A section of Cherry Creek Drive may also be buried, which would allow a wildlife overpass and connect Cherry Creek West with the waterway and nearby trails.

The other side: Some neighbors are concerned the plans will lead to traffic congestion, with fewer places to drive and a lack of parking. Others say there won't be sufficient affordable housing.

What's next: Before the first phase of construction begins, the property needs to be rezoned — which requires Denver City Council approval.

  • Developers expect construction to start in the third quarter of 2024, with the first buildings ready to be occupied in 2027, East West Partners spokesperson Alana Watkins told Axios Denver.
  • The project is likely to take 10 years to complete, she added.

What else: Numerous other real estate projects are underway in the area.

  • For example, Cherry Creek-based Broe Real Estate Group is pursuing the second phase of a $200-million-office redevelopment in Cherry Creek North, the Denver Business Journal reports.
  • The building is expected to be 175,000 square feet and up to eight stories high.

What to watch: "Cherry Creek has become the No. 1 leasing market, investment market for commercial space in the whole Rocky Mountain region," Charley Will of commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE told the Denver Post.

  • That trend is likely to continue for years to come, he said.

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