Shopping centers get facelifts

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Two busy District 1 shopping centers near the intersection of Dry Creek Road and University Boulevard are getting major facelifts.

The King Soopers in the Cherrywood Square Shopping Center is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation that will expand the grocery store by 18,000 square feet.

And across University Boulevard, a new Larkburger is under construction and expected to open early next year. The popular “all natural, gourmet burger and fries” restaurant will serve as anchor tenant for the new development at the west end of the Dry Creek Shopping Center, which, according to the property manager, is nearly 100 percent leased.

Both the Cherrywood Square and Dry Creek shopping centers are more than 30 years old, but have been updated and expanded in recent years as they have become increasingly busier, especially during the noon hour on weekdays, when students from nearby Arapahoe High School walk across Dry Creek to eat lunch and shop.

Construction work on the King Soopers expansion started earlier this fall and is scheduled to be completed in June 2014. KTK General Contracting Limited is the general contractor on the project.

Matt Koppenhafer, owner and project manager for KTK, said his company is on track to complete the project ahead of schedule.

“It’s been going really well so far,” said Koppenhafer. “We’re making a ton of progress.”

The King Soopers store, which originally opened in July 1978, will close during part of January in order to allow for interior renovations to be completed, Koppenhafer said.

The expansion will add 18,000 square feet, including a new deli, produce section and additional check stands.

Other improvements include new indoor-outdoor seating areas, a sushi and cheese island, a new pharmacy and new flooring, lighting and HVAC system.

Koppenhafer said the cost of construction on the project is $4 million.

“Some people were upset when we started because we removed some trees and took up some of the parking lot with construction equipment,” said Koppenhafer, who added that there are plans to redo the parking lot and add new trees and additional landscaping.

“When we’re done,” Koppenhafer said, “it’s going to be one of the largest and most beautiful grocery stores in the area.”

In the new section of the Dry Creek Shopping Center, Max Muscle, a sports nutrition store located next to Larkburger, opened just before Thanksgiving.

Steve Peckar, managing broker for J&B Building Corp., which manages the shopping center, said “business has really picked up recently” and his company has lease commitments for two of the three remaining vacancies adjacent to Larkburger.

“We’re very excited to see Larkburger coming in,” said Peckar. “I can’t go into specifics yet on the other two commitments, but can say that one is a pasta and seafood restaurant and the other a pre-packaged, ready-to-eat meal outlet.”

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