DTC shopping center owner seeks rezoning for mixed-use makeover

Owners of Denver shopping center plan mixed-use redevelopment

Shea Properties is planning to redevelop the Marina Square Shopping Center with apartments, an office building and retail space. (Rendering courtesy of Shea Properties)

The owner of a Denver Tech Center shopping center is looking to flip the script on the property.

California-based Shea Properties is asking the city to rezone the Marina Square Shopping Center at 8108 and 8351 Belleview Ave. so that it can demolish the existing structures and build a large mixed-use project.

The company’s plans originally called for about 40,000 square feet of retail space, 450 apartments and an office building, but Shea Executive Vice President Peter Culshaw said those plans have yet to be finalized.

The shopping center currently has about 110,000 square feet of building space, according to the company, all of which is used by retailers and restaurants. The structures are positioned in the center of the lot, with parking on the perimeter. Tenants include Zane’s Italian Bistro and a PNC Bank branch.

“We are in the middle of a re-entitlement, and we will develop true mixed-use,” Culshaw said. “The intent is to build nice retail, multifamily buildings and an office.”

The office building is planned for the southeast corner of Marina Square and will house Shea Properties’ Colorado headquarters.

Renderings for the proposed redevelopment show the new shopping center would have buildings around the perimeter of the property with parking and pedestrian walkways in the center. The full development plan for the project is still under city review.

On Tuesday, the Denver City Council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced the rezoning application to allow for buildings up to eight stories high to the full council, which will hear it March 14.

The current zoning does not allow for buildings larger than two stories, and Denver city staff said there are other restrictions.

Denver Senior Planner Brandon Shaver told the committee that thus far the city has not received any letters in support or opposition of the project.

Brad Weinig with Denver’s Department of Housing Stability said the city and Shea Properties have been negotiating an income-restricted covenant for the apartments.

Shea’s first option is to restrict at least 10 percent of residential units to people making less than 80 percent of the average median income (about $56,000 a year for one person, according to Denver’s 2021 income limits). Twenty percent of those units must be two-bedroom apartments or larger.

The second option is to create a “stand-alone” residential complex with 12 percent of the units set aside for people making less than 60 percent of the AMI (about $44,000 a year for one person), and at least 30 percent of those units must be two-bedroom apartments.

The third option would be to create a residential complex nearby but outside the Marina Square property, with 20 percent of units restricted to people making less than 60 percent AMI and at least 30 percent of those units two-bedroom apartments or larger.

“The applicant has to opt into one of these options in order to pull permits for the project,” Weinig said.

Shea Properties has a significant footprint in Denver. The company developed the 28-story, 359-unit The Quincy at 1776 Curtis St. as well as the adjacent nine-story Prism office building at 999 17th St., among others in the area.

Owners of Denver shopping center plan mixed-use redevelopment

Owners of Denver shopping center plan mixed-use redevelopment

Shea Properties is planning to redevelop the Marina Square Shopping Center with apartments, an office building and retail space. (Rendering courtesy of Shea Properties)

Shea Properties plans to demolish the Marina Square Shopping Center and build hundreds of apartments, an office building and retail space up to eight stories high.

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