Diagonal Plaza redevelopment: What would it look like?



Well, it’s been about a month and a half since we peered over at the Diagonal Plaza Mall and wondered what the city’s big plan for it would end up being.

The Boulder Urban Renewal Authority was tasked with looking at the area inside the green dotted line for potential redevelopment. Their recommendation under one scenario is to redevelop the area bounded by the red dotted line.

Accordingly, there’s a little bit of new information, including the report that was presented to the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority. The details start on page 10 of this PDF. Perhaps more interesting to neighbors would be the list of properties and owners on pages 21 and 22.

And, of course, the report’s summary  findings and various associated daydreaming:

The City requested a focused and discrete feasibility analysis of three scenarios: 1) retail big box or mid box development; 2) horizontal mixed use with a mix of retail and residential uses; and 3) vertical mixed use containing both retail and residential uses for the specific purpose of determining the feasibility of redevelopment options.
In fact, I’ll just reproduce a large section of the study’s text that is the most approachable and interesting for residents:
Summary of Findings
1. The Diagonal Plaza site has the potential to accommodate between 169,000 and 243,000 square feet of retail, 192,000 to 490,000 square feet of residential, and a 52,000 square foot hotel (136 rooms).
Based on the redevelopment goals identified by the City, the EPS team developed three redevelopment plans featuring a range of development magnitude. Scenario 1 (Commercial Only) features 243,000 square feet of retail uses and a 52,000 square foot hotel served by surface parking. Scenario 2 (Horizontal Mixed Use) features 180,000 square feet of retail space, 192,000 square feet of residential (160 units) and a 52,000 square foot hotel. Both the retail and hotel are surfaced parked, while the residential includes structured parking. Scenario 3 (Vertical Mixed Use) features a higher density mix of 169,000 square feet of retail, 490,000 square feet of residential (402 units), and a 52,000 square foot hotel. This scenario features a mix of surface, structured, and underground parking. Office uses could be substituted for retail and residential uses in Scenarios 2 and 3 based on changing market conditions and demand.
3. A redeveloped Diagonal Plaza site would be attractive to a limited number of larger format stores interested in access to the Boulder market.
There are three anchor stores, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, and King Soopers Marketplace with an expressed interest in the Boulder market that would consider the Diagonal Plaza location. Based on store criteria as well as broker and tenant input, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, and JCPenney are also possible anchor tenants. The larger format stores are a destination anchor use and can therefore attract customers to more peripheral locations, such as the Diagonal Plaza site.
These anchor stores range in size from 88,000 to 125,000 square feet and most often purchase vacant property to develop their own store.
Certainly read more of that PDF if you’re into it, but it seemed to me this would be the most interesting place to leave it for now. That, and I’ve got beer to brew…

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