After years of discussion and planning dating as far back as 2013, the Clear Creek Crossing project is starting to rise in Wheat Ridge. Located on vacant land just to the west of the intersection of …
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Planning is ongoing for the new Lutheran Medical Center facility, which will be on 26 acres versus the 100 acres of the old site. The new facility will include a state-of-the-art hospital as well as two medical office buildings and parking. Construction will likely begin next year with the project being completed in three years.
“They’ve hired engineering firms and construction firms for and real estate firms actually for both their old site and their new site,” said Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff. “So, they’re really gearing up to kick off their project, which is exciting.”
After years of discussion and planning dating as far back as 2013, the Clear Creek Crossing project is starting to rise in Wheat Ridge.
Located on vacant land just to the west of the intersection of I-70 and Highway 58 that was long owned by Coors, current plans call for Clear Creek Crossing to be a mixed-use development that will consist of apartments, restaurants, stores, hotels and public spaces all anchored by a new SLC Lutheran Medical Center.
Those driving by the site on I-70 can now see the construction of the first of the buildings that will contain a total of 300 apartments, said Evergreen Development Managing Principal Tyler Carlson.
The first of those units should be ready to start being leased in early 2021 with construction on the rest of the buildings continuing for the rest of that year according to developers.
“We're making good progress from a timing standpoint,” said Carlson. “The dry weather is not good for wildfires but it's great for contractors to keep their crews moving.”
But that's not all that's happening at the site — Carlson said construction is also underway on a new Kum & Go gas station as crews also work to finish site grading and utilities work on other parts of the property. Work will also begin in the next two months on a new three-story headquarters for Foothills Credit Union.
Then there is the construction of the new I-70 flyover bridge over West 32nd Avenue, which will tie all of on-ramps together and is set to be completed by the year.
But just as those parts of the project get off the ground, others are facing new stumbling blocks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early plans for the development called for it to be divided into five districts devoted to different uses, including two devoted to retail, entertainment and leisure uses. Carlson said that while Evergreen Development is still ultimately committed to that plan, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses that would fill the spaces in those districts unwilling to commit to them at this time.
That's been particularly true for the types of smaller “mom and pop” businesses Evergreen is hoping to attract to the Harvest Village portion of the development, which was set to consist of small retail businesses built around a central space with water features and an ice cream kiosk. As a result, those portions of the project are delayed”
“Had COVID-19 not happened we would have about half of the retail part of the project under construction right now,” said Carlson. “But it's still great property with infrastructure in place and a phenomenal partnership with the city so Clear Creek Crossing will certainly have its day in the sun. Things have been slowed down a little bit this year which is just how real estate works.”
Despite those challenges, Carlson said he is in negotiations with two potential anchor businesses that have been less impacted by COVID-19.
When those other parts of the project are built, the city's residents will be more than ready for them, City Manager Patrick Goff said.
“A big portion of the Wheat Ridge community has been asking for more options in their own community so they don't have to go to Lakewood or Avada to recreate and entertain themselves,” Goff said. “It's amazing how excited people got about the new Hacienda Colorado and so I think what's most exciting with this project is that it will provide that place where families can go instead of spending their money elsewhere.”
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