A proposal to redevelop the old Kmart site just inside the southern edge of Englewood went before the city council in a public hearing on Aug. 19, and councilmembers are expected to hold their first …
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A proposal to redevelop the old Kmart site just inside the southern edge of Englewood went before the city council in a public hearing on Aug. 19, and councilmembers are expected to hold their first vote on the plan Sept. 3.
The William Warren Group, envisioning a retail and restaurant cluster at the site to be called The Hive on Broadway, is seeking a zoning change that would permit self-storage on the west side of the building to provide the financial stability to market the rest of the redevelopment.
Before the Aug. 19 public hearing to discuss the request for a planned unit development at the former Kmart site at 200 W. Belleview Ave., Dustin Jones took the mic to address Englewood City Council during regular public comment.
Jones, vice president of acquisitions for Ogilvie Properties, the organization that purchased the former Sports Authority corporate headquarters in Englewood, talked about the CubeSmart Self Storage units that occupy part of the site. He said there are around 880 self-storage units at the 1090 W. Hampden Ave. property, but only 61 percent of those units are occupied.
“(The old Kmart) is a great site with tremendous opportunities for a higher and better use than its most recent life as Kmart. We understand as well as anyone the need to adapt to realities that impact potential uses as well as the market for a particular site,” Jones said before the hearing, questioning whether the market for self-storage units is oversaturated.
Following regular public comment, Englewood City Council listened to presentations regarding the Kmart building that has been closed since 2017. Developers dream of it becoming The Hive on Broadway — a retail and restaurant space, accompanied with the self-storage brand StorQuest. For that dream to become a reality, a zoning change would need to be approved by the council.
The site is currently zoned for uses like restaurants and retailers, but not self-storage units. If council approves the zoning change, developers will be able to improve the site’s building, parking lot, add new landscaping and lighting, and design aesthetics, according to city documents.
“We believe we’re presenting an exciting and viable solution to readapted reuse for this building today. We are requesting that storage be allowed in the old Kmart building to act as an engine for the rest of the property and turn it into something that we can all be proud of,” said Zeb Ripple, managing partner for the commercial real estate firm Capital Pacific, a company involved with the proposed project.
As the public hearing ensued, Jon Suddarth, vice president of real estate for the William Warren Group, which owns the self-storage brand StorQuest, noted that his company declined in the past to occupy the site where the Englewood CubeSmart Self Storage is. He said the William Warren Group made that decision due to market reasons.
“We do our homework, we passed on that site, and we’re very confident we can lease this (former Kmart) property up in a quick and expeditious matter,” said Suddarth.
Englewood resident Kathleen Bailey was planning on speaking against StorQuest occupying part of the Kmart site, but once she sat through the presentation, she changed her mind. Bailey particularly pointed to how StorQuest wants to cater to businesses if council decides to move forward with zoning changes.
“I love the simple presentation that’s adding a lot of character to what is there now. I think we’re kind of fortunate on some the problems you could have at an old site like that with what this is proposing,” said Bailey.
The zoning change is scheduled for first reading, or consideration of approval, on Sept. 3, according to Englewood Communications Manager Christopher Harguth. If passed, it will be scheduled for second reading, or final approval, on Sept. 16.
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