Town Halls Monday, Tuesday – Loveland Reporter-Herald

The new owners of Foothills Mall plan to meet and greet locals at two rallies on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Events are August 23 at the Elizabeth Hotel and August 24 at the Old Loft Outlet at the Mall. Everyone starts at 6 p.m.

Loveland-based McWhinney and Los Angeles-based Prism in June bought Foothills out of bankruptcy for $ 45 million. It’s been there ever since its former owners, a joint venture of Greenwood-based Alberta Development Partners and Walton Street Capital, defaulted on the remaining $ 47 million of their $ 150 million construction loan.

The purchase included everything except a city-owned parking lot and an activity center.

Next week, community conversations begin.

Meetings planned

A press release from McWhinney upon closing of the acquisition said he planned to “gather feedback on potential future improvements to the property,” and a press release on both events in the evening referred to “comments in real time ”of the participants.

Clyde Wood

Clyde Wood, McWhinney’s vice president of business development for northern Colorado, said it would be text-based survey responses from participants via smartphone and tabbed in real time and interacting via direct questions. and a conversation.

Stenn Parton, president of developer and manager of retail Prism Places, is also expected to appear.

“It’s an opportunity for us to hear from the community,” said Wood. “The format is interactive (and) we anticipate open comments.”

One thing that isn’t ready for a close-up: the actual shots.

“We are not presenting development plans for the property,” said Wood.

The partners have nothing on paper “although of course we have ideas that we are working on,” he said. “It’s too big and too big for us to start drawing now.”

This is the start of a process, he said.

“We’ve only had it for two and a half months,” he said. “This is a process of awareness and discovery… the first of many community awareness events and workshops. “

Once residents, businesses and city officials ask – “once we get their feedback” – mall owners will put pen to paper. He expects it to be several months of discussions, with preliminary concepts in some sort of visual rendering by the end of the year.

“It’s still before you submit anything to the city.”

50 years of retail

Foothills is nearly half a century old and has seen more of a retail apocalypse.

Nothing is carved in stone in its foundation yet, but Wood has promised, “We’re going to create something special.”

McWhinney chief executive Ray Pittman said the company wanted to combine retail, dining and multi-family housing into one gathering place.

Wood said the partners want to know “what people like, what they think is missing, and are really trying to get a feel for what they think is missing in the mall in particular and in the mall. city ​​in general “.

He said the stores facing College Avenue were doing well, but inside the stores “struggled; It’s not a secret. The conventional indoor mall, and we’re seeing it in retail sectors across the country, has had its day.

Wood said: “Something dramatic has to be done that is viable and worthy of its prominent downtown location. We certainly have no interest in owning a struggling mall in perpetuity.

He called out McWhinney’s work at the Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins, the site of Monday’s confab, and at the Dairy Block in Denver, which on its website describes itself as a “micro-neighborhood” of shopping, dining, shared workspace and luxury shopping. combining for “a celebration of astute and unexpected experiences”.

He noted the 63 acres of Foothills and said more housing could be part of the mix. McWhinney has 405 Cycle Apartments nearby.

A Denver Post article this week noted plans by former Foothills co-owner Alberta Development Partners to replace two department stores in its SouthGlenn layout at Centennial with housing units, tripling the total number of units there. A June article from California said state developers were conducting similar reviews, and the City Journal of New York in the spring of 2020 detailed national efforts in the same direction.

The Wall Street Journal offered another potential item this week, saying Amazon.com Inc., a Seattle-based e-commerce-focused company, is reviewing large retail stores for some of its products.

Prism’s website entry on Foothills cites nearby trails, the CSU campus, live music, the winter rink, and calls it “a community center for all seasons (and)” Main Street USA “(for) northern Colorado”.

The mall’s website itself carries the targeted tagline “Your Place”.

Wood has said that whatever happens, Foothills “will be one of the few”.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC


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