The Safeway adjacent to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center will close its doors permanently in the coming weeks, months before its Jan. 4 deadline, the Colorado Real Estate Journal has learned.
“We are planning to close the store at the end of the month,” said Kris Staaf, director of public affairs for Safeway. CREJ had previously reported that the store was closing.
She does not yet have an exact closing date, although some employees of the store said they believe it will close Oct. 30.
“We are looking to place all our employees (at the store) before the holidays,” Staaf said.
The grocery chain also hopes to open another store in the area.
“We are interested in Cherry Creek and hope to be given an opportunity to return to the area as the mall considers redevelopment plans over the next several years,” Staaf said.
Last month, Taubman Properties, the owner of Cherry Creek Shopping Center, announced that the Safeway would need to leave its location at 3100 E. First Ave. by Jan. 4 in order to honor a contractual agreement.
Safeway had been a tenant in the building for the past 51 years.
“We were surprised to find out that they planned to close early,” Nick LeMasters, general manager of the shopping center, said Tuesday.
“We have since learned after talking to them that Safeway has a very structured closing process and they will likely be in that space for the remainder of their lease term,” even though the store won’t be open to the public in November and December, LeMasters said. “So we probably will not get the space back until early January” as originally expected, he said.
Taubman plans to fill the building, which has approximately 50,000 square feet, with new tenants.
“We plan to repurpose the building with new tenants and will not be redeveloping it into a higher-density development, as a lot of people speculated,” LeMasters said.
He said he expects an announcement will be made before year-end on the new tenants.
“I expect we will have commitments for all of the space” before the end of the year, he said.
Shoppers in the store in its remaining days can find bargains.
“Currently we are at 20 percent off most departments,” with meats being 10 percent off the normal price, Staaf said.
“Prices typically get lower as we get closer to closing the store,” Staaf added. The store will continue to stop basics, such as milk, bananas and bread, through the “close-down process,” she said.