ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – It's been a troubling issue in Englewood for two years: Crime and homelessness on the old K-Mart property near Broadway Street and Belleview Avenue.
But now the city is considering an ambitious plan to revitalize the area, and it's getting some high marks from local businesses.
The abandoned K-Mart has been a magnet for criminal activity. Since June, Englewood police have reported 17 calls of criminal activity on the 11-acre property or in the apartments across the street.
"They like to come inside and camp inside our store," said Shawna Nicole, the manager of a Wendy's restaurant on the property. "We have to ask them to leave because it causes a lot of problems with the customers."
But relief may be on the horizon. Galloway and company sent Denver7 renderings of a new proposed renovation of the property. It's a mixed-use retail and restaurant area called "The Hive."
Appropriately, it's generating a lot of buzz.
"I really like it," Nicole said. "I like that they want to update this and take care of the problems so it doesn't stay abandoned for like four or five years."
The City of Englewood already has approved the preliminary application for the renovation. Chuze Fitness moved onto the site last month as the first piece of the reconstruction project. A public hearing on the 19th will help gauge the fate of "The Hive." The builder told Denver7 that if all goes well, construction could begin by the end of the year and be finished in 10 months – a welcome facelift that Nicole said has been a longtime coming.
"Fixing it up really makes the are look nice, so that maybe it can help us out and get us more business," Nicole said.
The Englewood city council will hold a public hearing on the renovation project on Monday night.