It’s unclear what’s in store for the Safeway site in Cherry Creek.
The management of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center where Safeway is located said Friday it’s not ready to give details on the store’s replacement. Whoever takes the spot will likely pay top dollar to be in the area near the mall and high-end shopping district Cherry Creek North.
Where Safeway is located at 3110 E. First Ave. is one of the most expensive and least vacant areas when it comes to retail space.
The latest market report from CBRE Research shows that on average retailers were paying $56.49 per square foot in the Colorado Boulevard/Midtown area. That would put the lease for the 52,500-square-foot Safeway site at about $2.97 million a year.
For comparison, the average annual lease rate in Denver was $18.17 per square foot, according to the retail market report from July.
“The region’s retail sector continues to benefit from relatively low interest rates and a robust residential market, which has supported an increase in consumer spending,” the report states.
When announcing Safeway’s departure earlier this month, the general manager of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Nick LeMasters, said, “This move underscores the changes happening in the retail sector and the Cherry Creek shopping district, as well as our commitment to Cherry Creek Shopping Center’s continued success as the region’s premier shopping destination.”
The Cherry Creek Shopping Center notified Safeway on Sept. 8 that “due to long-standing contractual obligations, we are no longer able to extend its lease agreement, which originally expired in December 2015,” LeMasters said in a statement.
Safeway spokeswoman Kris Staaf said Friday an exact closing date for the store has not been set, but the supermarket will likely be gone in the next several weeks.
“We are working to place all 70 employees at other stores,” Staaf said in an email.
LeMasters said Safeway needs to leave the space by Jan. 4.
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