Lakewood vote paves way for relocation of Stevinson dealerships

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Stevinson Lexus of Lakewood is one of two dealerships that is set to move as a result of the vote. (Courtesy Stevinson Automotive)

Stevinson Automotive is set to shake up its footprint in Lakewood.

The company, which operates three dealerships near Colorado Mills mall, plans to relocate two of them and add another to a 37-acre site just north of 6th Avenue.

The Lakewood City Council voted unanimously on Monday evening to rezone and partially annex the site, which has the address of 14700 W. 7th Ave.

Stevinson President Kent Stevinson told BusinessDen the plan has been a work in progress for about 10 years. 

Right now, the three Stevinson dealerships are located on either side of Colorado Mills Boulevard, a busy north-south corridor.

The company plans to move its Chevrolet and Lexus dealerships to the new site, where Stevinson will also build a new Jaguar/Land Rover dealership. Stevinson Toyota West will remain where it is, just north of the relocation site.

“We hope to start moving some dirt certainly by the first quarter (of 2024),” Stevinson said. 

While not a significant distance, the moves will mean the dealerships will be separated only by 7th Avenue, a less-busy street.

“What you have now is people running back and forth across Colorado Mills or what some people call Indiana there,” Stevinson said. “This allows us to do a lot more efficient things on one big site. You don’t have to worry about people having to cross a busy road and those sorts of things.”

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A map showing the planned development of 14700 W. 7th Ave. (Courtesy City of Lakewood)

Stevinson said his family opened its first auto dealership 60 years ago, back “when I-70 stopped at Wadsworth.” The family sold the business in 2021 to Georgia-based Asbury Automotive Group, although the Stevinson name continues to be used.

The deal didn’t include the real estate where the Lakewood dealerships operate. The Stevinson family still owns that land, as well as the site where the dealerships will move. In fact, Stevinson said the family owns about 650 acres in the area, which is known as Denver West. In addition to the mall, which dominates the area, Denver West also is home to a number of non-Stevinson car lots.

Those current Chevy and Lexus properties, which will be left vacant by the move, are 32 acres combined. Stevinson said the sites will be redeveloped, but he’s still determining the best uses. He does hope to add a gas station, he said.

Six people spoke against the project Monday night, with another two writing in comments against it. Two people spoke in favor.

Aaron Rosenthal, who lives across the street from the development site, said it’s poised to become a “concrete wasteland.”

The absolute waste of space this will be is beyond my comprehension,” Rosenthal wrote. “We already have three Stevinson dealerships within 0.7 miles of our home – what we don’t have is a public park with a playground and walking paths.” 

Other neighbors voiced concerns about traffic, light pollution and the environmental impact.

“At some point in time, when is enough enough,” said another nearby resident, Howard Moore. “That whole area is saturated.”

Council member Jeslin Shahrezaei thanked the Stevinson family for working with neighborhood organizations on the development plans. 

“I know the Stevinsons have a long history in this community and have been diligent and thoughtful in their approach and I think tonight is a good example of when we can come together and have conversations and find compromise,” Shahrezaei said.

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