Construction is picking up along Belleview Avenue west of the South Platte River.
The Centennial Square shopping center, across Belleview from Home Depot and home to Dollar Tree and Dairy Queen, is adding a sizable new building as part of an overhaul by its new owners.
Next door, the Platte 56 townhome development is getting closer to completion, with most of the 56 units already sold.
Further west, however, there's little news about Columbine Square, the former strip mall demolished in 2018 after sitting vacant for years.
'The Belleview Connection'
Construction activity is heavy behind King Soopers and the AMF Lanes bowling alley at Centennial Square, which was bought by Armstrong Capital Development in 2017 for $7.5 million, according to county records.
The shopping center, which includes five buildings, is being overhauled and rebranded as The Belleview Connection, said Kathryn Sorensen, Armstrong's vice president of development.
“We're working on giving it a new lease on life,” Sorensen said. “It's in a great location, and we're not changing the nature of it. We're excited to see shovels in the ground.”
The first order of business: construction of a 22,000-square-foot building at the center's northwest corner, to replace a building that burned down years ago, Sorensen said.
The building will be home to a Planet Fitness location, Sorensen said, and should be open by this fall.
The center's other buildings will all be “freshened up” with new exteriors to match the new building, Sorensen said.
“We want to give the center a more modern and cohesive look so it doesn't look like the fitness building is tacked on,” Sorensen said.
The center's current tenants, including the dollar store, a furniture consignor, a liquor store and a yoga studio, will all stay, Sorensen said, though Armstrong is courting several new tenants.
Meanwhile, units are being sold at a rapid clip at Platte 56, an upscale townhome development just east of the shopping center, abutting the South Platte River.
Residents are starting to move into some of the development's 56 units, said sales specialist Kathy Donahoe. Forty have been sold so far, she said, with the final 12 yet to be released for sale.
Units range in price from roughly $450,000 for a 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom unit to $750,000 for a 2,100-square-foot, four bedroom unit, according to the company's website.
“It's a great alternative to downtown Littleton,” Donahoe said. “You have everything you need — groceries, banking, Home Depot — within walking distance. Not to mention the proximity to the Mary Carter Greenway. You know what they say in real estate: `location, location, location.' ”
There's little to report at Columbine Square, however. Redwood-Kairos Real Estate Partners, the site's owner, submitted designs for a possible mixed-use, high-density development for the site at Belleview and Federal Boulevard for review by city staff last November, but have taken no further official action.
The plans would require rezoning the site, which would kick off a lengthy review and approval process, according to city staff. Redwood-Kairos did not respond to a request for comment.
Watching the evolution
Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman said she's glad to see improvements along the corridor, especially in the context of the Belleview Corridor Plan, a vision document ratified in 2018 that spells out plans to revitalize the area.
Brinkman said she remains a little miffed, however, at how close Platte 56 sits to the river.
“It's just too close to the trail,” Brinkman said. “I wish we hadn't allowed it to get so close. It's hard to visualize things in a two-dimensional drawing.”
Still, Brinkman said she's glad the project will add dozens of new homeowners to the stretch.
“Watching that demographic come in, hopefully they'll support redevelopment of the area,” Brinkman said.
More for-sale units would make a good addition to Columbine Square, Brinkman said.
“I'd like to see smart multi-use,” Brinkman said. “Not super high density. I'd like some nice neighborhood shops and places people can gather. That's what the community has told us they want.”
Overall, Brinkman said she's hopeful.
“It'll be interesting to watch it all evolve,” she said.