by John Ludwig, Downtown Expert
As reported recently, the Pavilions Shopping Center in Downtown Denver along the 16th Street Mall sold to Gart Properties for a cool $94.5 million. The Pavilions is perhaps best recognized for its large-font display of the word “Denver” that stretches over the top of its third-level retail stores.Also, it’s known perhaps infamously for its rather sterile brick wall facing 15th St. The wall was improved a few years ago with an actual mural.
A curious development, the shopping center has no interior hallway. Instead, it is divided by Glenarm Street in the middle and faces north. Consequently, the outdoor walkways get little sunlight and holiday shoppers must negotiate the elements when visiting the stores.
New ownership provides an opportunity to inject some new life into this phenomenal location at the crossroads between LoDo and the Museum District/Civic Center Park. The new owners have a long history in Colorado. The Garts are hopefully thinking of ways that the Pavilions can better serve downtown residents and tourists alike ,and they should know. A July 3rd, 2008 Denver Post article by Margaret Jackson speculates on the possibility of a new ground floor anchor. That could possibly include a grocery store or a department store.
Retail Shopping in Downtown Denver
Downtown Denver has long been missing out on the opportunity for large retail. Now, hopefully that will change! The 16th Street Mall is already one of the state’s top tourist attractions as re-confirmed in a recent report. So why, not make room for another Macy’s? It certainly can’t hurt. Downtown residents and office workers can skip a trip to Cherry Creek. Also, tourists can start to brag about more than just downtown’s high caliber hotels and dining. The other tenants (Barnes & Noble, Virgin, United Artists, Maggiano’s, etc) would certainly benefit from the additional customer base.
Downtown’s residential base has grown dramatically in the past decade. Dispite lacking any grocery store. Discussion has swirled for years on this topic. Now, perhaps the new owners of the Pavilions and Whole Foods execs will see the vision of what would surely be a big hi. Add a grocery store right in the center of a high-end residential community!
And don’t forget about the Pavilions mass-transit appeal. Light rail is only a block away. So, why wouldn’t potential shoppers take the light rail into downtown to go shopping? You can’t do that in Cherry Creek! Makes sense doesn’t it?