The Streets at SouthGlenn is a mixed-use center that includes shopping, dining, living and working options that serve the neighborhood, the city, and the region. It is located at the southwest corner of E. Arapahoe Rd. and S. University Blvd. in Council District 1 of the City of Centennial. The site of the former Southglenn Mall went through a major redevelopment between 2006 and 2009 to become what we now know as The Streets at SouthGlenn.

Q:     Who owns The Streets at SouthGlenn?

A:    The vast majority of The Streets at SouthGlenn is privately owned by the original developer, Alberta Development Partners. Most of the remaining parcels, including the former Sears building, were recently purchased by Northwood Ravin. The City does not own any portion of The Streets at SouthGlenn.

Q:    How was the redevelopment of the former Southglenn Mall to The Streets at SouthGlenn paid for? 

A:   The former Southglenn Mall was redeveloped into The Streets at SouthGlenn beginning with a public/private partnership in 2006 between the owner-developer (Alberta Development Partners), the City of Centennial, the Centennial Urban Renewal Authority, and the Southglenn Metropolitan District.  

The total cost of the redevelopment was approximately $300 Million and was completed in 2009.  Alberta Development Partners invested $215 Million in the redevelopment, and the Southglenn Metropolitan District issued a bond for the remaining $85 Million to cover the cost of public improvements associated with the overall redevelopment.  The bonds for the public improvements are repaid utilizing a common redevelopment tool called tax increment financing or TIF. The redevelopment resulted in buildings having a higher property value and more people visiting The Streets at SouthGlenn, leading to an increase in sales taxes collected.  These increases in property and sales taxes, called “increment,” are used to repay the bonds.  

More specifically, 100 percent of the property tax increments (paid by the owner-developer), and 76 percent of the sales tax increment (paid for by the patrons at The Streets at SouthGlenn when they shop and dine) is used to repay the bonds until they are paid off in 2030.  The remaining 24 percent of the incremental sales taxes collected go to the City of Centennial.  Only the incremental increase resulting from the redevelopment’s success is used to repay the bonds. The base of taxes collected at the time of redevelopment still go to the City of Centennial and all other taxing authorities in the area as they would have if the redevelopment of Southglenn Mall did not occur.

Q:     Does the financing for The Streets at SouthGlenn affect what is happening today?

A:    Any new redevelopment proposed for entitlement by Alberta Development Partners and Northwood Ravin, needs to ensure enough property and sales taxes are generated to repay the bonds still in place from the original development. For example, constructing a park with no additional buildings for revenue is not feasible for this location.  Additional public spaces are contemplated in the proposal, but they cannot be the only use.

Q:    What is already allowed to be built at The Streets at SouthGlenn today under the current rights and approvals of the owner-developer to develop the property?

A:    In 2006, the City entered into an agreement, called a Master Development Agreement (MDA), with the developer to establish the process by which the Southglenn Mall was redeveloped. Part of this agreement requires a submittal of a Master Development Plan (MDP) that establishes the zoning and rules of what is allowed to be built. Plans for individual buildings may be approved through an Administrative Site Plan (ASP) if they comply with all requirements already agreed upon in the MDP, including drainage and traffic studies. The original redevelopment and all subsequent changes have been completed through this process.

Zoning: The MDP established the zoning for The Streets at SouthGlenn as Planned Unit Development (PUD). This zoning allows for a variety of uses such as retail, multifamily residential, entertainment, restaurants, office, and community business uses, all of which exist in the center today. New development of these types of uses would not require major amendments to the MDP, and can be approved administratively today, unless they don’t meet the following requirements:

Minimum Retail: A minimum of 909,815 square feet must be devoted to retail use. Currently, there is 948,403 SF of retail.

Maximum Number of Residential Units: A maximum of 350 residential dwelling units are allowed. Today, there are 202 residential units within The Portola at SouthGlenn apartment building. This means that an additional 148 units could be approved administratively and built today without any major amendments to the MDP.

Building Height: The current allowable building heights within The Streets at SouthGlenn vary across the site. No building is allowed to exceed 100 feet. For context, the current tallest building is office building north of the existing Sears building at 85 feet. The proposed amendments to the MDP affect parcels that currently have an allowable building height of 50 feet. See below for more information on the requested heights.

Q:    What changes are the owner-developers (Alberta and Northwood) proposing?

A:    The proposed changes only affect the farthest north and south areas of the center including the location of the Sears and Macy’s buildings. The majority of The Streets at SouthGlenn will remain the same. Due to the closing of Sears and potential future closing of Macy’s, the owner-developers are seeking to entitle new retail, residential, office, and entertainment uses in order to sustain and enliven The Streets at SouthGlenn. You can view conceptual renderings of these proposed changes here: 

            Alberta Conceptual Image #1            Alberta Conceptual Image #2            Alberta Conceptual Image #3

        Northwood Conceptual Image #1       Northwood Conceptual Image #2       Northwood Conceptual Image #3

                               The Streets at SouthGlenn Aerial #1           The Streets at SouthGlenn Aerial #2

To achieve this vision, a major amendment to the MDP is required. This means the request must go to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a recommendation and to City Council for a decision.

Specifically, the following amendments to the MDP have been requested:

•    Decrease the minimum required amount of retail from 909,815 to 500,000 square feet.

          - Currently, there is 948,403 square feet of leasable retail area, including the Sears and Macy’s buildings, which are approximately 305,000 square feet combined.

•    Increase the allowed number of residential units from 350 units to a total of 1,950 units.

          - Currently, there are 202 residential units within The Portola at SouthGlenn apartment building.

•    Modify the permitted building height for the Sears parcel from 50 feet to 100 feet; and permitted building height for the Macy’s parcel from 50 feet to 75 feet. 

Several amendments to the MDP have been approved since 2007. You may download copies of the original MDP and all amendments, as well as the MDA, here.

Q:    What is prompting the proposed changes?

A:   Retail is changing.  People in search of convenience are shopping online instead of going into a brick and mortar store.  Others are choosing to spend their time and money on experiences rather than traditional goods.  These national retailing trends are profoundly affecting the industry.  Big box stores are most impacted, and the recent closure of Sears and announcement of the closure of many Macy’s stores across the country is evidence that the City of Centennial is not immune.  

The owner-developers of The Streets at SouthGlenn have recognized this trend and have developed a plan in an effort to support and enhance The Streets at SouthGlenn.  Their proposal includes more of what exists there today; walkable retail, restaurants, office and residential.  The new residential is proposed by the owner-developer because it would provide a boost to existing stores and support development of new walkable retail that is most insulated from shifting retail trends.  Residential is also proposed because it is in high demand in the local market.  

With a decreasing number of big box retailers available to fill vacant big box stores we have observed the national trend is that vacant big box stores remain vacant or become uses such as gyms, temporary holiday stores, and other uses that generate limited or no retail sales tax revenue and decreased property values.  If the redevelopment of the closed Sears at The Streets at SouthGlenn were not to occur, these uses could become a reality at the vacant Sears as well as Macy’s. While there are no imminent plans for a Macy’s closure, no retailers are immune to changes in retailing which creates an opportunity and a need for the City to take steps to prevent deterioration of Streets at SouthGlenn similar to what happened to Southglenn Mall the last time retail trends shifted away from indoor malls. 

Q:    What is the review process and timeline for the proposed MDP amendment?

A:    The City has not received a formal submittal to amend the Master Development Plan (MDP). The owner-developers presented their vision for The Streets at SouthGlenn to City Council at the January 7, 2019 City Council Study Session. View the presentation here. Click on item #13a.

The owner-developers have hosted one community meeting and met with City staff to receive initial feedback on their desired changes in order to prepare for a formal submittal. The formal submittal is anticipated after a second community meeting has taken place and additional public input received.  Please see the detailed Review Process and Timeline here.

Q:    What are the criteria used by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council to make a decision?

A:    Planning and Zoning Commission may make a recommendation to City Council who may approve a major amendment to the MDP upon a finding that: 
1.    The amendment is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Centennial NEXT; 
2.    The amendment is consistent with the intent of the overall design and mixed-use concept of the Master Development Plan; 
3.    The amendment will provide public benefits to the project and the City as a whole; 
4.    The amendment is determined to not present the likelihood of the project not meeting the requirements of the MDA or any financial obligations of CURA or the District concerning the project; and; 
5.    The amendment is compatible with or will not materially and adversely affect existing development on adjacent properties, or measures will be taken to substantially buffer or otherwise substantially mitigate any incompatibility or adverse impacts.

Q:    How does City staff review the application?

A:    The City will follow the amendment process outlined in the MDA, which includes the five criteria listed above.  The applicant is required to provide information on how the specific criteria will be met, including information about traffic impacts, parking, public/private outdoor space, water/sewer/stormwater, impacts to Littleton Public Schools, height and visual impacts, and financial viability.

Q:    How can I be involved? How is my input used?

A:   The Process Map shows opportunities for public input. Written public comments become part of the permanent public record and are attached to the Staff report submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council prior to them making a recommendation or decision about the project. City Staff and decision makers will take all comments received into account and work in good faith with the owner-developers to reasonably mitigate anticipated impacts. Legally, the decision of whether to approve or deny the requested amendments to the MDP must be based upon the five criteria listed in the MDA.

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