Residents that make up the Congress Park Neighbors met with the developers of the proposed Walmart at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard on Wednesday night.Prior to the meeting, 245 Congress Park residents filled out a survey.Nearly three out of four admitted to having shopped at Walmart. Three out of four also, "strongly opposed" Walmart being built at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard."I think they'd be against Walmart whether they shop there or not," said developer Jeff Fuqua. "They have an issue with Walmart."About 200 Congress Park residents packed a conference room at National Jewish Health to officially state a position on the proposal for city council to consider."I've learned about Walmart's business practices, but I no longer shop at Walmart," said former Walmart shopper Denis Moynihan.
Impact On Trader Joe's Location
The Walmart itself would sit just off 9th Avenue and Albion Street, one block east of Colorado Boulevard.Besides the Walmart, the proposal also includes shops, restaurants and a natural food store. The developer mentioned four options for that specialty store:-Kroger Fresh Fare-The Fresh Market-Trader Joe's-Natural Grocers by Vitamin CottageTrader Joe's may instead open a location at 8th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. If Trader Joe's chooses that location instead, the developer will choose from the other three stores for the 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard spot.
What Proposed Walmart Would Not Include
The representative from Walmart told the residents that this location would not be a full-sized Walmart that they may be used to seeing. It would be 119,000 square feet, the fourth smallest in Colorado. The representative also said it would not include:-Tire/Lube Center-Outdoor Garden Center-Drive Thru Pharmacy-Firearms Sales-Liquor License (except for 3.2% beer)-No front-end kiosks (nail salons/banks)Residents who attended the meeting still were not swayed."I would like to see it look a lot more like high end residences, maybe senior housing (and) high-end restaurants," said Rita Highfield.The proposal to demolish the existing University Hospital and develop the land is estimated at more than $30 million."There's no other developer trying to buy this site, since we came on. There's no one interested. It's really that complicated and that expensive," said Fuqua.
Traffic Improvements Included In Proposal
As part of the proposed development, Fuqua said road changes would be made.He said the project would add a deceleration lane and acceleration lane at 8th Avenue and Colorado. A new street would be created between 8th and 9th Avenues. He also said the light cycle would be re-timed at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.There are a few more public hearings, including a September 6 meeting about traffic, before city council gets a chance to vote on the proposal.