Colorado Place upgrades nearly done

      

In a view from the northeast corner of Highway 24 and Eighth Street, workers refurbish the roof of the tower in the Colorado Place commercial center parking lot.
Westside Pioneer photo
A façade remodeling at the Colorado Place commercial center is nearing completion.
       “We wanted a refreshing feel with a modern look, clean lines, and improved visibility and attractiveness from the street,” summarized John Kim, who represents the ownership of the 27-year-old, 37,000-square-foot site on 4.7 acres at the southwest corner of Highway 24/Cimarron Street and 21st Street. “We decided to go with a stucco look that's a little more modern.”
       Workers this week were improving the appearance of the parking lot's tall, four-legged tower. It will display the tenant directory and (Kim hopes) draw attention to the center.
       Design changes around the storefronts include different elevations to the roofline, raised awnings to let in more light and “more upscale” tenant signs, Kim said.
       A back stairway was “completely replaced,” and a “refreshment” to the parking lot is planned before summer, he added.
       The project started last August, with stores staying open throughout. Only the strip mall portion of the center was worked on. (The center also includes freestanding businesses, including the La Casita and Popeye's restaurants.)
       Despite the project and the bad economy, the strip storefronts are mostly rented, with “three or four” spaces available, Kim said. The number of spaces overall is about 25, depending on how the space is divided up for tenants.

A westerly view along the strip center's storefronts shows the upgrades that have occurred this winter.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Kim said the ownership's investment in the center was unaffected by long-range Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans that show the center being removed for a raised interchange at 8th and Cimarron as the first phase of a multiyear Highway 24 expansion project. Region-al plans have shown the earliest possible date for the interchange work as 2016, but no funding exists and nothing has been finalized.
       “What we wanted to do was to invest in a property we believe in,” he said. “We have a good shopping center that's up to date, and we have several tenants, such as Billy's and Sheldon's, who have been doing business here a long time.”

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The old look, circa November 2008.
Westside Pioneer photo