Highlands Ranch development stirs emotion

Wendy’s must fit theme; storage facility draws ire

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While the Highlands Ranch Developmental Review Committee sent two prospective businesses, Wendy’s and Town Center Self Storage, back to the drawing board at June’s DRC meeting, a few residents let it be known loud and clear they didn’t want either business in Highlands Ranch.

Town Center Self Storage has designs on filling up a 2.8-acre lot in Town Center East, north of Freddy’s and west of the Ridgeline Technology Center off Sgt. Jon Stiles Drive. The business took its share of lumps from the DRC in terms of aesthetics and design, but it was the comments from the audience that stirred the biggest emotions.

“As far as the architecture is concerned, we feel like we’ve done our best to essentially make it look like everything else around,” said Jon King, owner of the proposed facility. 

“Could I suggest we put some barbed wire and some Sing Sing on this structure too, because it looks like a penitentiary,” responded Highlands Ranch resident Brock Norris. “I’m just very disappointed in something coming in again that doesn’t enhance our Town Center and is not in conjunction with what we were all expecting.

“I’m very disappointed in Shea again.”

Former Highlands Ranch Metro District board member Philip Cullen also expressed concern about what he called “a very disturbing look that is unfavorable to the community.” Cullen said businesses such as the proposed 441-unit, three-building storage facility are hurting property values in that part of the community.

In addition to the potential storage facility, Cullen also took issue with Wendy’s arrival adjacent to Corner Bakery in Town Center South. And despite talk by the fast-food chain of unveiling its new concept, which features relaxed seating and a fireplace, Cullen rebuffed, “You can put a tuxedo on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Wendy’s, which debuted its new look before the committee, was told that it needs to find building materials that would allow it to fit in with the architectural theme of surrounding businesses. The project was approved on a conditional basis.

The storage facility is yet to be approved by the DRC. 

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