The owner of Lone Tree’s Park Meadows wants to add housing, making it the latest area mall looking to replace some surface parking with apartments.
Plans submitted to the suburb south of Denver call for the construction of a seven-story, 454-unit apartment building on the east side of the mall, directly outside the food court and shops like Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and L.L. Bean.
That’s the side of the mall closest to Interstate 25, as well as RTD’s County Line light rail station.
The apartment building would wrap around a six-story parking garage with 1,120 spaces, according to the plans. A separate six-story structure would have another 661 spaces. About 30 percent of the total spaces are intended for the new residents, with the remainder — including all the spaces in the separate structure — for general mall visitors.
The new structures would have 32,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The project would also incorporate an outdoor plaza that could be “programmed for the retail tenants to spill out and create pop-up style events or the residents to attend an outdoor concert or movie nights by the fire,” according to one of the documents that the city has posted on its website.
Architecture firm Nelson Worldwide drew up the plans.
Mall ownership estimates that the new retail space could generate another $15 million to $20 million in sales tax, and that the new residents could spend up to $3 million at the mall annually.
The project would be built in phases over four years to minimize disruption, according to mall ownership, with the separate parking garage being constructed first.
Lone Tree city planner Ian Corder told BusinessDen the plans were submitted late in the fall, and the project is currently in “public referral” stage. Agencies and the public can submit comments, which the developer can decide whether or not to address. A hearing will then be scheduled before the city’s planning commission, which will decide whether to recommend the Lone Tree City Council approve the project.
While some of the nation’s malls have declined, Park Meadows has kept occupancy high. In addition to Nordstrom, anchors include Macy’s, JCPenney, Dillard’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The new development is being proposed by New York-based real estate giant Brookfield, which owns the majority of the mall. Some anchor tenants, including Dillard’s and Nordstrom, own their real estate, records indicate. Brookfield bought JCPenney’s 151,000-square-foot store in 2021 for $7 million.
“These preliminary plans represent an important first step in realizing our vision to take our beloved shopping center to the next level as a mixed-use destination,” Brookfield spokeswoman Lindsay Kahn said in an email. “We are committed to the community and look forward to working with the City of Lone Tree to make the next phase of Park Meadows a reality.”
Brookfield owns numerous malls around the country, including Southwest Plaza in Littleton. The firm’s local holdings also include the Wells Fargo Center and Republic Plaza office towers in downtown Denver.
Apartments are increasingly being eyed as a way to add vibrancy to the nation’s malls, which are often surrounded by a sea of parking lots.
Locally, apartments have also been proposed at Littleton’s Aspen Grove mall, which is owned by California-based Gerrity Group, although there has been pushback from some city residents.
And in Cherry Creek, parking lots and largely vacant big-box stores on the western end of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center are poised to be turned into “Cherry Creek West,” a seven-building project that will include office, retail and residential space. That project is being developed by East West Partners, which reached a deal in 2021 with Michigan-based mall owner Taubman, a subsidiary of Simon Property Group.