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    Denver Post: Intersection of Westminster, Broomfield, Thornton Seeing Huge Growth

    Construction is underway or planned for a Marriott hotel, retail sites, medical offices and a new outlet mall at Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue.
    Spurred in part by the opening of the $177 million St. Anthony North Health Campus this spring, plots of vacant land on the north Interstate 25 corridor are quickly being transformed into commercial and retail space.

    The I-25 and 144th Avenue interchange at the intersection of Broomfield, Westminster and Thornton is seeing millions invested in new construction projects.  In fact, Simon Property Group is making plans for a new outlet mall on land it doesn't even own as other locations are snapped up and built out.

    Arizona-based Gold Properties broke ground recently on two 12,600-square-foot retail buildings west of the medical campus on the southeast corner of 144th Avenue and Huron Street in Westminster.  The same development team partnered with the Marriott Group, and next month, construction is expected to begin on the same 17-acre plot of land on a four-story, 92-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

    Total cost of the projects is $26 million, with the retail shops slated for a spring 2016 opening followed a few months later by the Marriott said Rob Friend, a partner in Mesa Gold Properties.  Mesa Gold has letters of intent from Noodles & Co., Einstein Bros Bagels, Jimmy John's Subs and a chain new to Colorado, Bricks Wood Fired Pizza.  "It's in an easily accessible location to all of north Denver and is quickly becoming kind of the new commercial corridor for the north metro area," Friend said of the interchange.

    St. Anthony's last year purchased a 22-acre parcel of land south of the medical campus, and plans are already underway for a buildout of medical office buildings.  

    "Absolutely the hospital has acted like a catalyst for this development to occur," said Westminster principal planner Grant Penland. "Offices, hotels, restaurants and tech-based businesses are often spun off when a hospital is built, and that's what you see happening here."

    Directly east of the St. Anthony North Health Campus, on the other side of I-25 in Thornton, the Staenberg Group continues to add retailers at the Grove, anchored by Cabela's.  South of that, Simon has submitted a conceptual site plan that seeks to build a 375,000 square-foot outlet mall in Thornton at east 136th Avenue.

    Julie Jacoby, retail and local business administrator with the Thornton Office of Economic Development, said she could not comment on the plan because negotiations are still in the works to purchase the property.

    Simon did not return a call for comment.

    Meanwhile, north of the medical campus, McWhinney continues residential and mixed-use development on a 935-acre site in Broomfield. North Park includes as many as 17.2 million square feet of mixed-use commercial development, a large-scale science and research park and more than 6,000 residential units.

    Westminster economic development director Susan Grafton said the city sees a mixture of uses in the area, but with a focus on employment in the tech, medical and other high-paying sectors.  "The infrastructure is ideally suited to become something like the Tech Center of the north," Grafton said, referring to the Denver Tech Center on the south side of the metro area.

    Austin Briggs: 303-954-1729, abriggs@denverpost.com or twitter.com/abriggs
    YourHub reporter Megan Mitchell contributed to this report.
Westminster Colorado Economic Development Office 4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031