Theater construction adds to Westminster Downtown

Construction set to begin in August with first projects opening summer 2019

Posted 7/23/18

Alamo Theater, another piece in the puzzle that’s becoming Westminster Downtown, should begin construction in August, according to city development officials. Construction on the new theater, …

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Theater construction adds to Westminster Downtown

Construction set to begin in August with first projects opening summer 2019

Posted

Alamo Theater, another piece in the puzzle that’s becoming Westminster Downtown, should begin construction in August, according to city development officials.

Construction on the new theater, complete with a street-facing marquis, should begin Aug. 9 and will be timed to wrap up next June, according to Real Estate and Development Manager Sarah Nurmela.

“It’s ready to go,” Nurmela said. “They wanted to make sure all the Ts were crossed and the Is were dotted — and now they are.”

That puts it on time to open alongside the other current developments on the site — the 255 unit Sherman building and 118 apartment unit Eaton Street development. Both of those include roughly 40,000 square feet of retail space, both scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.

“This first phase is just the first of several projects and they should convey a sense that you have arrived and this is a true destination that will be anchored by a lot of good dining and retail experiences,” Nurmela said. “This just continues to build. It’s not like we are stopping. We have several conversations going about the next steps.”

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 105 acre former mall 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 Dec. 19 on the Eaton Street Apartments, 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

“Both of those are set to open in May 2019,” Nurmela said. “If you figure 45,000 square feet of retail coming in between the two, that’s between seven and eight businesses coming in.”

Sherman Company is set to begin work on Aspire, a second residential project with 226 apartments, underground parking and 34,000 square feet of retail space. That construction is expected to begin some time in September

Other plans include a high-end Origin Hotel with an attached gourmet grocer should begin later this summer or early in the fall.

A civic central square on the site is currently under construction as well.

“A central square will be the hub of our public activities,” she said. “It’s 0.2 acres and you can see the pavilion under construction now. It will add to all of it, and provide public restrooms.”

Nurmela said developers are in discussions with retail tenants, although no names have been announced.

“The Ascent project, along the south side of the J.C. Penney’s, is at least half leased and the rest have letters of intent with retailers,” she said. “So they are moving ahead with an eye on the May time-frame as well.”

It includes restaurants and fitness offerings, she said. Nurmela said plans call for opening both the retail and residential developments in May. The Alamo Drafthouse theater fits right in to that.

“It should round out really well for new residents coming in and also create a nice destination for this first phase, not only for residents but people coming in on day one,” she said.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a national movie-house chain that started in Austin, Texas and now has theaters in 35 locations across the country. The Denver-area boasts two, in Littleton and in Sloan’s Lake. The Westminster Downtown location would be the Denver Metro area’s third.

The chain is known for showing popular movies as well as classics and cult favorites. Waiters serve food and drinks — both the soft variety and adult beverages — to patrons during showings. It also enforces a strict etiquette policy, not allowing children younger than two-years-old, unaccompanied minors or talking or texting during showings.

“They are really presenting themselves as a Main Street theater in downtown Westminster, and they’ll have a great marquis on the corner, right off of our central square,” she said. “It should be a great destination right from the get-go. The should have the typical line-up of great movies and food and special events. They’ve been a great partner so far so we are really happy to have them start construction in August.”

Original plans called for the Alamo to be almost complete by now.

“But they wanted to time it out with the other projects,” she said. “They wanted additional development going on to create a critical mass. What we are trying to do is ensure there is enough activity that feeds off of itself and creates some sort of synergy for the area. We want this to act like a destination. We don’t want it to feel like an island.”

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