Natural Grocers replacing Elitch Lanes



  • Elitch Lanes to be replaced by Natural Grocers.
  • Elitch Lanes has operated at Tennyson and 38th for 53 years.
  • Elitch Lanes site is zoned for 5 stories.
Elitch Lanes has been a Denver icon for 63 years.

Elitch Lanes has been a Denver icon for 63 years.

As the iconic Elitch Lanes, strikes out for a new site, Natural Grocers will roll into what has been a bowling alley for more than six decades.

The new Natural Grocers, replacing Elitch Lanes at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, will be about a quarter-mile northeast of the flagship Sprouts Farmers Market at 38th and Wolff Street.

Records show that Kansas-based Equity Venture Commercial Development paid $4.372 million to Littleton Capital Partners for the Elitch Lanes site at 3825 Tennyson St. Separately, Littleton Capital Partners plans to develop a retail town center on the former St. Anthony’s campus by Sloan’s Lake. That retail center would include an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Equity Venture Commercial develops and builds all of the stores for Lakewood-based Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., a publicly traded company that has a $666 million market cap.

Elitch Lanes will be closing after 63 years on May 17..

Elitch Lanes will be closing after 63 years on May 17..

According to plans submitted to the city, the Natural Grocers would have 18,565 square feet.  The initial plan also calls for 74 parking spaces and 12 spaces for bicycles. It also would be built to Energy Star standards. The city has not yet reviewed the plan.

Jonathan Bush, principal of Littleton Capital, said there was a lot of interest in the site from prospective buyers.

However, he said he could not comment on the sale, until he has permission from the buyer.

Eliltch Lanes is being replaced by a Natural Grocers.

Eliltch Lanes is being replaced by a Natural Grocers.

The 21,000-square-foot bowling alley sits on a 1.2-acre site in the Berkeley neighborhood. West 38th Avenue is the northern border of West Highland and the southern border of Berkeley.

“This area has been undergoing rapid transformation and development and is of five neighborhoods designated as Neighborhood Marketplace Initiatives by the City of Denver,” Littleton Capital said about the site on its web page.

“Although there are smaller sites available in the market, there are few opportunities to acquire a development greater than one acre,” according to Littleton Capital.

The site is zoned U-MS-5, which would allow a five-story building.

Elitch Lanes will be replaced by a Natural Grocers.

Elitch Lanes will be replaced by a Natural Grocers.

That is the same zoning for the controversial luxury apartment community being built north of West 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard in West Highland.

Alliance Residential is developing 148 apartment units in two five-story and one new four-story building on three sites. It also will renovate and incorporate a historic church into the new apartment community.

Alliance paid almost $158 per square foot for those three sites. By contrast, Equity Venture paid $87.22 per square foot for the Elitch Lane site.

Alliance also purchased the architectural and engineering plans for its apartment community from Denve-baesd RedPeak Properties. Phoenix-based Alliance is building the same project that a group of 10 neighbors tried to stop in an unsuccessful lawsuit in Denver District Court. When the lawsuit was first filed, RedPeak had the sites on Lowell, West Moncrieff Place and Meade Street under contract.

Carl Eichinger, who has been operating Elitch Lane, will close on May 17. He will then take over the Western Bowl at 1000 Ralston Road in Arvada.

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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, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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