No excuse not to shop till you drop in Denver

Highlights:

  • Denver’s OED unveils retail initiatives.
  • Detailed retail web site showcases suburban-style to TOD sites in city.
  • $200,000 in seed money earmarked for retailers.
Transit Oriented Developments, or TODs, can be found near light rail station in Denver.

Transit Oriented Developments, or TODs, can be found near light rail station in Denver.

Denver’s retail scene is getting a boost from two new initiatives.

Denver’s Office of Economic Development has unveiled a new retail web site and a $200,000 program to attract more retailers to the city.

The two major initiatives are designed to strengthen the city’s retail business sector and encourage more retailers to open their doors, offer a wider range of merchandise and create jobs.

“We’re committed to growing Denver’s retail scene, providing a supportive environment to deliver a more robust offering of retailers that meets the shopping needs of our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock.

“We are delivering on the first steps under the city’s strategic retail plan to grow Denver’s retail markets by strengthening the city’s retail hubs and by bringing more opportunity to business districts throughout the city,” Hancock added.

The website, Denver Retail Scene, was developed to showcase Denver’s increasingly vibrant mix of retail and chef-driven restaurants, provide a summary of shopping districts and areas, highlight news as well as appealing opportunities in the industry, personalize the potential for success here through entrepreneurs’ stories, and provide access to a GIS-based mapping and data tool.

It showcases everything from transit-oriented development sites to areas of the city that have a suburban feel.

Targeted to retailers and retail real estate professionals, the site will be updated monthly to include additional retail areas throughout the city.

Simultaneously, the OED announces its new Retail Attraction Program.

An Alamo Plaza Drafthouse movie theater is coming to Sloans in NW Denver.

An Alamo Plaza Drafthouse movie theater is coming to Sloans in NW Denver.

Initially funded with $200,000 that was approved in the 2014 city budget, the program provides an incentive pool for the OED to attract prospective retailers to Denver.

The program supports small, to mid-sized retailers and is focused on ‘first in market’ retailers, locally unique stores, and those that fill a particular gap where customers’ needs are not being met.

The program is aimed at new retailers to the market or existing, successful retailers seeking to add additional stores to better serve their Denver customers.

“We now have a comprehensive, robust retail recruitment strategy and toolkit that should result in increased retail sales tax activity,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington.

The new dollars available to support retail growth reinforces the city’s overall recruitment package Washington said. Potential recruitment incentives already includes a business personal property tax credit, site selection assistance, other strategic lending options, and workforce development services such as job fairs and custom training.

Retail opportunities can be found in many Denver neighborhoods, such as Five Points.

Retail opportunities can be found in many Denver neighborhoods, such as Five Points.

Last year, the city commissioned a Retail Conditions and Opportunities Study that highlighted Denver’s potential to become a recognized retail center, but also defined challenges around the city’s lack of large-site general merchandise stores, the sales tax revenue “leakage” that occurs as a result when city residents shop elsewhere, and the need for a more concerted retail recruitment strategy on the part of local government.

Local retail/development executives and civic organizations have served on a all-volunteer Denver Retail Strategic Advisory Council since 2012.

“The combination of the new site and the new incentive strategy is a significant milestone of our JumpStart 2014 strategic plan for economic development,” Washington said. “We look forward to exciting announcements in the future as these efforts bear fruit.”

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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