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Westminster names first development partners for new downtown

(Aug 11, 2015)


The City of Westminster and Westminster Economic Development Authority today announced its first development partners for the new Downtown Westminster.

Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is moving ahead quickly with plans to open a 40,000-square-foot cinema featuring its funky blend of movies, beer and food, combined with creative community events for movie lovers.

“We see great opportunity in the Downtown Westminster site, and we’re looking forward to bringing our special brand of entertainment there,” said Dave Kennedy of Alamo.

Alamo will be part of a mixed-use block of development on the western side of the 105-acre site, which is located at U.S. 36 and Sheridan Boulevard.

Sherman Associates, a Minneapolis-based developer with a strong track record of community building, is proposing to bring a mix of residential and retail to three blocks on the site, with one block incorporating an indoor community market. Two blocks are along 88th Avenue and the third is north of the existing JC Penney store.

Workforce housing is a key component to the proposal, which includes multifamily rental units in five-story buildings. The development proposal also includes building to LEEDTM Silver construction standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.

“We’re all about building communities and enriching neighborhoods, and we see this as a great opportunity for us to bring that ethic to Westminster,” said George Sherman, president of Sherman Associates. “We’re known in the industry for our quality developments, and we’re excited to be partnering with Westminster to achieve this bold vision for a new downtown.”

In another strong development, the city and WEDA have reached agreement with JC Penney to clear the way for construction to proceed on the new roadways and utilities near its existing store. This comes as negotiations advance on a new long term lease agreement that would see the high performing store become a vibrant and integral part of the Downtown Westminster site.

The timing of the JC Penney agreement coordinates well with the start of construction of the roadways, utilities and public spaces on the site. The first phase of this infrastructure work will be completed by mid-2016, with construction of the first buildings to begin later that year.

“We’re delighted to see such enthusiasm from the private sector for this site,” said Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison. “The market is truly responding to our community’s vision for a vibrant downtown.”

In 2014 the city approved a master plan for the site that will guide its transformation into an urban development emphasizing outdoor life and pedestrian and bicycle friendliness – all in keeping with a city already well known for its parks, open spaces and trails.

“The city is committed to partnering with the development community to build an active mixed-use urban center for its residents and businesses,” said Deputy City Manager Jody Andrews. “Dave Kennedy and George Sherman are the perfect partners: they are unique, high quality, high vision community builders.”

Having the new downtown develop over time, one block at a time, by different developers and builders means it will “be a true downtown,” he added.

Although the latest news relates to developers with a national presence, city officials also emphasize the importance of a local flavor when talking about the mixed uses on the site.

“If we’re clear on one thing, it’s our drive to bring a strong local flavor – in restaurants and retail – to our new downtown,” said Andrews.

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About Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema combines dinner, drinks, films and events, all under one roof. The theaters have been heralded for their unique programming events and high exhibition standards, earning accolades like “Best Theater Ever” (Time Magazine) and “the coolest theater in the world” (Wired). Alamo Drafthouse Cinema provides a unique combination of theater and restaurant, showing first-run movies, independent films and special events with an extensive menu made from scratch. Guests order all food and drinks from servers who quietly attend to them throughout the movie. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the pre-show entertainment. Instead of a barrage of advertising, the Alamo shows a curated collection of rare and humorous clips. Additionally, Alamo Drafthouse protects the theatrical experience with a zero tolerance policy for people who disrupt the film with talking or texting.

About Sherman Associates

Sherman Associates is a commercial real estate developer based in Minneapolis. Sherman was founded in 1978 by George Sherman. The company has completed over $2 billion in development. Currently, the firm’s multifamily, commercial and hospitality portfolio consists of properties in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado and North Dakota and employs over 400 people.

About the City of Westminster, Colorado

Westminster, Colorado, population 109,000, is located in the northwest quadrant of the Denver metro area, halfway between Denver and Boulder. A full-service, award-winning city, Westminster is renowned for excellence in its development, parks, open space, and high quality of life. Westminster’s new downtown will redefine the future of suburban America. The 105-acre site at U.S. 36 and Sheridan Boulevard connects to one of the region’s busiest bus rapid transit corridors and hundreds of miles of bikeways. Downtown Westminster - with a unique and vibrant mix of residential, office and commercial uses - will provide one more great reason for residents, businesses and visitors to live, work and play in Westminster.

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