The Sopris Sun

City Market developer slates open house at TSC

Sopris Sun Staff Report

The developers who hope to put a new City Market grocery store on the west side of Highway 133 have scheduled an informal open house to present the project to the public at the Third Street Center from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 26, according to a notice sent to nearby by residents.

“This meeting is being held as a courtesy to the community that the proposed development site is on,” said the notice. “ … The intent of the meeting is to inform you of the proposed project and to engage an open dialogue of any issues and/or concerns you may have.”

According to the notice, the applicant is City Market/King Soopers, 65 Tejon St., Denver, CO 80223. The rest of the project team is Galloway & Company Inc, (consultant), 6162 S. Willow Dr., Suite 320, Greenwood Village, CO 8011 and Aaron McLean (site development coordinator) 303-770-8884; Sopris Engineering, LLC (engineer) at 502 Main St., Carbondale; and Naos Design Group, LLC (architect) 5031 S. Ulster St., Suite 300, Denver, CO 80237.

Next Wednesday’s open house comes nearly 15 years after plans first emerged for development of a 24-acre parcel of land on Carbondale’s western edge. Recently, the town accepted an “an introductory application” from King Soopers (locally known as City Market under the corporate banner of the Kroger grocery store chain).

The land in question is located to the north and west of the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street, and does not include the existing 7-Eleven store at that corner, or the real estate office next to it.

As presented in the introductory application, the submission is for a complex of businesses, including:

• A 58,000-square-foot grocery store to replace the current City Market, with a drive-through pharmacy;

• A secondary retail space of approximately 7,000 square feet;

• A gas station.

The project site is nearly eight acres in size, and has been reported to involve the sale of that parcel by its current owners to the Kroger chain.

In a summary about the introductory application, Town Manager Jay Harrington reported, “This is not a formal application at this time. The applicant submitted the material so that town staff and other referral agencies can provide preliminary comment prior to a formal application. The formal application will most likely be submitted in September, with public hearings before the P&Z [planning and zoning commission] and the board [of trustees].”

Assuming the plan moves forward, town staff have indicated that it will require submission of a subdivision plat, a utility plan, a drainage plan and a traffic impact study, along with documents showing how the plan complies with the town’s zoning codes.

In addition, according to reported statements by town planning director Janet Buck, some parts of the proposal would need special-use permits, and the commercial buildings would need to be built according to the town’s International Green Building Code.

The plan is contingent upon an agreement from the current owners to subdivide the larger, 24-acre parcel and to sell the 7.8-acre portion to Kroger/King Soopers.

According to the planning consultant that is shepherding the proposal through the town’s review process, Galloway & Co., the new store is needed because the old one is outdated, inefficient and too small.

Carbondale’s elected leaders have expressed cautious optimism that the current plan will get a better reception from the community than the earlier, much larger development proposals, which were twice voted down by the town’s electorate.

The submission of a development proposal by King Soopers, even as an “introductory” matter, seems to put to rest concerns among town officials that City Market might move out of Carbondale entirely and relocate to a new commercial center midway between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, at the development site known as Cattle Creek Crossing.

Published in The Sopris Sun on August 20, 2015.