NewMark Merrill CEO: Village at the Peaks will bring quality, variety to Longmont
As the Village at the Peaks continues to take shape, it’s increasingly clear that the new retail destination isn’t like the old Twin Peaks Mall. And this is by design: The new project is a vibrant response to changes we have all seen in the retail landscape nationally and in Northern Colorado. Village at the Peaks will be an exciting retail, dining and entertainment destination with many of the stores, restaurants and services people in Longmont have said they want. Our anchors are sought after by communities all over the country — from a state-of-the-art Reg al Cinemas to the world’s top natural grocer, Whole Foods, plus a popular warehouse retailer that is a sales-tax-generating giant, Sam’s Club. These retail attractions will surround an intimate and engaging village that includes $2 million of special amenities — fountains and park space, an amphitheater and play area, fire pits, lighting, lush landscaping and music — plus a full calendar of community events and activities. In addition, the architecture of the center, which is now becoming evident, will help create an environment that will positively impact the community. Our project is being built on the site of the old Twin Peaks Mall, which declined over many years. During this long decline, other malls were built, tenants left the old mall, and retailers shifted their real estate strategies to focus on fewer stores in major, high-density locations. What this means is that a national fashion retailer at FlatIron Crossing or Twenty Ninth Street today is highly unlikely to add another location in Longmont. Simply put, this is the new reality and not entirely a bad thing. The retailers drawn to Village at the Peaks want to be in Longmont.
Given these changes, we are pleased to create such an energy-filled and appealing project. As a partner in this project, and someone who currently owns and/or operates over 70 shopping centers in over 60 U.S. cities, I think it’s important to celebrate the success that Village at the Peaks will be for the city of Longmont and residents. Here are some facts to consider: •85 percent of the tenants committed to the project are new to Longmont. In other words, they have made the difficult decision, during a tough time for retail, to move in and invest more than $100 million (excluding inventory) in Longmont, and that’s in addition to the $90 million we and your city are investing in this high-quality project. The mix for Village at the Peaks is diverse and gives visitors strong reasons to come spend time and money locally. Here is a breakdown of the retail mix so far: •26.33 percent of the center is general merchandise, like Sam’s Club, Sports Authority and Party City; 21 percent is soft goods/apparel, including the clothing and footwear sections of Sports Authority and Sam’s; 16.03 percent is grocery/daily needs, like Whole Foods and Wyatt’s; 12.79 percent is entertainment — the state-of-the-art Regal Cinemas; 9.73 percent is restaurants and food, including sit-down, casual dining and quick service; 8.22 percent is fitness, including the Gold’s Gym Longmont; 4.28 percent is health and beauty, including vision, dentists, nails and hair salons 1.62 percent is electronics — the mobile and technology stores. Of 22 announced tenants to date, eight distinct categories are represented with choices in each category. While we continue to seek out clothing stores and soft goods retailers, it shouldn’t be forgotten that of the tenants already signed, over 80,000 square feet of selling area includes clothing, shoes and other apparel items, more square footage than the original sales area of the former Dillard’s. Through its leadership, the city has provided an opportunity to take down a failing mall to facilitate replacing it with an all-new village. Village at the Peaks has attracted new investment and employment, and brings many new choices to the community. I share this perspective, as we all aspire to live in communities where we can be excited about our homes, our neighborhoods and our business environment. While the center can’t have every tenant we would wish we could get, we should be proud Longmont can attract such a diverse group of business owners who will bring great goods and services to this community. The Village at the Peaks is a great step forward for Longmont, and we hope that people will create wonderful memories here over the years ahead.