Three of the four development projects currently under way at the Downtown Westminster area should be completing work in the next few months — with more projects getting underway at the same time.
The Eaton Street Apartments, now called 8877 Eaton St., is scheduled to open May 1 with 118 residential apartments and 27,000 square feet of retail. Meanwhile, the 255 apartment Ascent project and space for eight retail businesses, should open in July.
“These individual businesses are going to be opening throughout the summer,” said Sarah Nurmela, Westminster’s Real Estate and Development Manager. “It will take them a little time, once the buildings are completed, for the businesses to get in and start getting themselves built out. So, it’s going to be a summer of new businesses opening their doors downtown.”
The Alamo Drafthouse is set to wrap up construction on their new Westminster location later in May, according to John Burke, Westminster’s downtown development construction manager. Construction their kicked off last fall and is moving along quickly.
“It’s a tilt-up concrete construction project-type. They cast all those panels on the ground and then they tilt them all up into place over the course of three days. So it went from nothing on the site to `Holy Cow, there’s a building!’ really quickly.”
Once the building is done, the cinema chain will move in and begin hiring staff and setting the theater up for about a month. Westminster audience should be able to start seeing movies there near the end of June, he said.
“They need to spend about three weeks on-boarding and training their staff,” Burke said. “It’s such and experiential based theater, they really want to make sure they have the staff trained up properly and ready to go. They need to understand the menu and the drink options before they bring the public in.”
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Westminster will feature luxury recliners and ten screens, including a large-format big “Alamo Big Show” screen.
The fourth project currently underway on the area, the 125 room Origin Hotel Westminster, continues to make progress but will continue for another year, wrapping up in March 2020.
“For a boutique hotel, they really need standard construction with steel and framing going up now,” Burke said.
The 125-room Origin Westminster will offer corner suites overlooking the Westminster Downtown’s central plaza, a fully-equipped fitness center, a new, independent restaurant concept, retail space and 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
The new hotel with first floor retail will replace the parking lot at about 89th and Eaton, just west of the J.C. Penney department store.
It’s part of the overall redevelopment for the 105-acre site that housed the Westminster Mall, between 88th and 92nd and Sheridan and Harlan. The city has been working to redevelop the site since the mall itself was torn down beginning in the summer of 2011, leaving the J.C. Penney’s, Olive Garden restaurant, a bowling alley and dental offices.
Developers and Westminster officials official broke ground on the Eaton Street Apartments in Dec. 2017, a mixed retail and housing project with 118 affordable apartments which joins construction of developer Sherman Company’s 255 residential unit Ascent project along 88th Avenue that began Aug. 2017.
Nurmella said it’s important that the Alamo, the first of the four current projects expected to open this summer, is not by itself for long.
“Both the Eaton Street and Ascent projects are leasing up,” she said.
So far, Ascent retail tenants include a Two Rivers Coffee Shop, physical fitness studio Epic Ryde, Pokey Concepts and the Bacon Social House.
“Just think of everything bacon infused,” Burke said. “Bacon infused cocktails and martinis and breakfast and maple syrup.”
More are restaurants and stores are coming, Nurmella said.
“I know (the leasing company) is working to get other services, like salons or yoga and things like that,” she said. “And I know that Eaton Street is working on them, but they have not released names yet.”
Work on a second mixed-use project with 226 apartments, underground parking and 34,000 square feet of retail space should begin this spring and smaller office and condo projects should come out earlier this summer.
“We’re not stopping just because we have a few projects coming out of the ground,” Nurmella said, “This is something that the community will see continually growing over the next ten years with all these new things being added.”
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