By John Colson
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
The Kroger national grocery store chain, owner of the King Soopers and City Market chains in Colorado, has submitted a development plan to build a new grocery store on the central portion of the property known as the Crystal River Market Place (CRMP), located along the west side of Highway 133 and the north side of West Main Street in Carbondale.
The proposal was received at Town Hall last week, and the development application documents are available for public inspection at the front reception desk. Town Hall is located at 511 Colorado Ave.
The site of the proposed development currently is owned by Crystal River Marketplace LLC, a development group that tried to develop the CRMP project over the course of about a decade. Those plans were twice shot down by Carbondale voters, once in a 2003 vote about the CRMP, and again in 2012 concerning a second development plan called the Village at Crystal River.
The present City Market proposal, known as the Carbondale Marketplace, has been in the works for about a year and calls for development on three distinct lots, which are to be purchased by Kroger from CRMP LLC at some undetermined point. The remainder of the 24-acre property, or roughly 14 acres, is labeled as “reserved for future development.”
The largest part of the Carbondale Marketplace development site, labeled Lot 2, encompassing 6.6 acres, would house a relocated, 59,195 City Market store to replace the smaller, decades-old existing store in the Crystal Village Plaza, located at the southwest corner of Highway 133 and Main Street, across Main Street from the new store’s site.
The current owner of Crystal Village Plaza, The Kroenke Group (founded by billionaire Stan Kroenke) has announced no development plans for the plaza, although officials have said in the past that the existing City Market store would be closed down and “repurposed” into another use if the Carbondale Marketplace plan is approved by the town.
The new City Market store would be coupled with a group of retail spaces on what is known as Lot 4, which encompasses nearly an acre and a half to the north of Lot 2, and which is designed to include a liquor store and a restaurant attached to the grocery store at the north end of the project site.
Lot 3, which covers less than half an acre, is intended to house a gas station accessible either from Highway 133 or an extension of Hendrick Drive, which would enter the development site from Main Street and turn eastward to intersect with Highway 133, avoiding the parcels that now contain a 7-Eleven store and a real estate office.
The development plan calls for four entrances to the marketplace site — two “three-quarter access” points off Highway 133 and two driveways off Main Street, one of which would involve extending Hendrick Drive from the Crystal Village subdivision across Main and into the new marketplace parking area.
According to the development plans, the parking area is to be a large lot between the commercial buildings and Highway 133, which is to contain a total of 315 parking spaces, including 8 ADA accessible (under the Americans with Disabilities Act) spaces, 15 for “high occupancy vehicles” and 15 designated for hybrid or “energy efficient” vehicles.
According to documents on file at Carbondale Town Hall, the Carbondale Marketplace is to be built using a wide range of “green” construction methods and operational technology, including solar panels on the roof of the complex, and an energy management and monitoring system to minimize energy usage.
Plans call for the use of used, recycled, recyclable and “bio-based” materials, and the use of “indigenous” building materials manufactured within a 500-mile radius.
Other green proposals include the use of LED (light-emitting diodes) as a further limitation on power consumption, high-efficiency air conditioning and heating equipment, leak detection and other equipment to limit energy use in the refrigeration units used in the store, and other green technology.
The store’s management also expects to implement a “waste management plan” that will list the different types of waste generated by the store and whether it is to be salvaged, recycled or disposed of in a landfill or incinerator.”
The City Market development plans currently are being reviewed by the town’s planning staff and will be forwarded to the planning and zoning commission for the initial public review process starting on Jan. 21, 2016.
Following a P&Z review, which can include at least one public hearing, the proposal will then move on to consideration by the town Board of Trustees.
Published in The Sopris Sun on December 3, 2015.