Colorado Mills exec hopes customers give the mall the ‘benefit of the doubt’ after Nov. 21 reopening

When customers return to Colorado Mills next week after a nearly half-year hiatus, they’ll see a mall that still needs work.

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Colorado Mills will open a small portion of the weather-rocked mall Tuesday and continue work throughout 2018. Nov. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  colorado mills; lakewood; mall; shopping; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado;

Colorado Mills will open a small portion of the weather-rocked mall Tuesday and continue work throughout 2018. Nov. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

When customers return to Colorado Mills next week after a nearly half-year hiatus, they’ll see a mall that still needs work.

The owner of the property, Simon Property Group out of Indianapolis, rushed to get the shopping center open ahead of Black Friday to make sure retailers caught the shopping season and the city of Lakewood stopped losing sales tax revenue, said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills division. Colorado Mills is scheduled to reopen its doors 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“We made a decision not long after we started the remediation of the project to try to get as much of it as we could open by the holidays, knowing going in, realistically, we wouldn’t be able to complete the job,” Goodman told Denverite this week.

Colorado Mills closed May 8 after a highly destructive spring storm dumped hail that damaged the roof and flooded common areas as well as stores. Days of rain followed the storm.

Work still needs to be done on the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping center. A media preview event is scheduled for Monday so reporters can see the extent of restoration completed.

“Any roof that’s out there of this size and any type of property of this size has the occasional leak here and there. But we never had any major issues,” Goodman said. “This could not have been foreseen. It was simply bad luck and then bad luck on top of the bad luck with the continuance of the rain.”

Goodman declined to share an estimate of the damage. From January through September, Simon Property Group spent $72.7 million on repairs and maintenance nationwide — about a $569,000 or 1 percent increase year over year, according to a financial report released earlier this year.

The city of Lakewood expected to lose $2.7 million in sales tax revenue through 2017 because of the mall closure.

“Reopening next week is sending a really good message to the community: We actually care. We’re a part of something that’s a little bit larger here,” Goodman said. “I tend to think they’re going to give us the benefit of the doubt, understanding when looking at the center it’s not complete and we did this for reasons.”

Prior to the storm, Colorado Mills housed more than 200 retailers. More than 100 are expected to reopen in November and December including Michael Kors Outlet, J.Crew Factory, LEGO, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Victoria’s Secret, Yard House, Off Broadway Shoes Warehouse and Burlington.

Six retailers with exterior entrances to Colorado Mills opened earlier this fall, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jumpstreet, Super Target, United Artists Theatres & IMAX, Yard House and Yoga Pod.

The remaining retailers will open in 2018 as the restoration continues. The Denver-based Mexican restaurant Los Chingones is expected to open a new location at the mall next year, according to Simon.

The Neiman Marcus Last Call store is the only location known to be leaving the mall.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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