Rising cost of construction imperils expansion of Glenwood Meadows | AspenTimes.com

Rising cost of construction imperils expansion of Glenwood Meadows

Dennis Webb
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Rising construction costs are threatening plans to significantly expand the Glenwood Meadows commercial development.

Glenwood Springs city manager Jeff Hecksel said he thinks developers have tenants interested in the project, but the region’s soaring construction costs have become a challenge.

“They have told us that the costs are significantly different from the first phase,” he said.

Steve Shoflick, president of Englewood-based developer Miller Weingarten Realty, could not be reached for comment Friday or Monday.

Glenwood Meadows, a 400,000-square-foot commercial development featuring such anchor stores as Target and Lowe’s, opened in late 2005.

Last year, Miller Weingarten proposed 75,000 more square feet of commercial development along with a restaurant. Shoflick said then that furniture, clothing and consumer electronics stores were possibilities for the site. He said Miller Weingarten was trying to move quickly to build on the success of Glenwood Meadows and lock in new tenants before they committed to other locations in the region.

Mayor Bruce Christensen said the developers “are continuing to struggle to make the numbers work” from a construction standpoint so they could charge rents that tenants could pay.

Retail use of the site is allowed under its current zoning. However, Miller Weingarten’s conceptual proposal received lukewarm initial comments from City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission members. Some were disappointed that the initial idea of a hotel is no longer being pursued for the site, and others said the first part of Glenwood Meadows strayed from its original vision of being a mixed-use development with more of a residential component.

However, city officials have praised Glenwood Meadows’ role in helping the city recover from its financial slowdown of recent years. The opening of Glenwood Meadows was largely responsible for the city taking in almost a third more in sales tax revenues last year than in 2005.