A vacant 32-acre greenfield in Green Valley Ranch was rezoned on Monday to allow for a grocery store and other retail businesses.
The Denver City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of the parcel, located on Green Valley Ranch Boulevard between Memphis Street and Pena Boulevard, an area in desperate need of a food retailer.
The area was last zoned in 1992 and allowed for cultural facilities, offices, and retail services but not a grocery store.
Green Valley Ranch has an approximate population of 36,500 people but according to city data last updated in May 2021, there’s only one full-service grocery store in the neighborhood.
“This project will mean we’ll no longer be considered a food desert,” said Ann White, president of the Montbello 20/20 registered neighborhood organization.
At the council meeting, developers Goldberg Property and CP Bedrock said they’ve been working on converting the greenfield into a mixed-use development anchored by a grocery store since 2016.
That anchor will be Costco, which would provide the area with fresh food options and about 270 jobs that would pay an average hourly wage of $23.
“We’ve owned this property for over 25 years,” said Adam Myers of CP Bedrock. “We’ve been waiting for this type of opportunity and this type of retailer to anchor this project … for a community that’s been underserved for decades”
The development is part of The Flyway project, which is a proposed 223,000 square-foot retail town center. Besides the retail space, the project would bring a town center and approximately 500-600 new jobs, according to Mark Goldberg of Goldberg Property.
The current rezoning fits into the Far Northeast Area Plan, a 20-year blueprint of neighborhood development pertaining to Green Valley Ranch, Gateway, Montbello and the southernmost portion of the Denver International Airport neighborhood.
“The change in zoning to allow for a grocery store was important,” said Community Planning and Development spokesperson Alexandra Foster. “We were able to highlight a community concern and priority.”
The project is set to be completed in Fall 2022.
“I know there’s folks who have been working on this for 45 to 50 years,” said District 11 Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, who supported the rezoning. “The only place we’ve had for decades is Dollar Trees and Dollar Stores … this is a huge win and I want to give all the credit to the community for their advocacy.”