Today’s Denver Post has an article on the status of the Happy Canyon Shopping Center project titled: “Happy Canyon shopping center: Indictments, delays and light at the end of the tunnel”
Here is a photo I took in August 2018 – nothing has changed since (except 4 months of exposure to weather).
The article paints a somewhat rosy picture, in my view, of the likelihood of progress on the center – quoting “people involved with the project” and “partners” as saying that the project is moving forward: “Once work starts again next month, it is expected to open in June”.
I’m a firm believer in the concept of this project and its benefit for the neighborhood – I can’t wait for it to be completed as it will be a much needed addition. I think too that it will be great for our home values (if executed properly) as it would add a revitalized, modern and walkable component to our already-great neighborhood environment.
However, I have a real hard time believing that construction will start next month – or much less be complete by June. Even if things were to get sorted out so work could start I have a hard time believing 5 months is sufficient to complete the building renovation – much less the tenant finish for each of the spaces.
According to a quote from , Tony’s marketing manager, they are still interested. However, I’d be very surprised if they had a lease in effect still. If I were them, I would sure be curious who the new owner will be (see below), who is managing the project, whose going to own the rest of the center and who the other tenants will be before I committed to any deal, plus I’d negotiate more favorable terms since I got shafted by the whole legal dust up and delay.
I’m sure they want to know as well what will happen with the liquor store component – which was the anchor tenant in the marketplace. The licencing placard on the site identified Shelly Dragul as the applicant for the liquor license if my memory serves me correctly. I know the Dragul family has other liquor stores – including the Incredible Wine and Spirits on Arapahoe, which was shuttered last time I checked…I’m not sure how this component plays into Mr. Dragul’s legal difficulties. One would think all the tenants would want to understand this before committing more resources.
Unfortunately, I think the key quote in the article is the very last line, from the receiver, Harvey Sender, who controls the frozen assets of Dragul (9.4% equity in the safeway building; 100% of the equity in the surrounding strip center according to the article):
“It will probably be sold at some point. And it may be sold long before it is completed.”
Nothing in this quote says to me this project starts next month or is done by June. I read from that quote that the assets will be sold, and I’m sure Mr. Dragul, or his partners in the deal, will not go quietly into the night, which will take time to sort out….
I sincerely hope that I’m wrong on all my speculation and this project opens in June – however, I’m not holding my breath…!