Nine Mile Corner breaks ground
After years of planning and a prolonged court battle waged by neighboring communities that ultimately made its way to the Colorado Supreme Court, the Nine Mile Corner mixed-use project in Erie broke ground this month.
The project, a public-private partnership between Erie, the town’s Urban Renewal Authority and developer Evergreen Devco Inc., will include both residential and commercial properties on a roughly 48-acre site at the southeast corner of Arapahoe Road and U.S. 287.
Grading and infrastructure work has begun on the 26-acre retail component of Nine Mile Corner. The shopping center will be anchored by a roughly 120,000-square-foot Lowe’s Home Improvement store.
The Nine Mile Corner project began in 2015 when Erie officials identified the city-owned parcel for development and put out requests for bids from builders. A development agreement with Evergreen was reached the following year, but the project came to a screeching halt soon after when neighbor and occasional rival Lafayette attempted to block its progress.
Concerned over the potential for Erie to poach retail tenants and tax receipts from its own planned commercial areas, officials in Lafayette — home to a planned, Stephen Tebo-owned mixed-use development directly across U.S. 287 from Nine Mile Corner — attempted to condemn the land over which Nine Mile Corner would be built.
After three years of legal squabbling and a decision by the state’s highest court barring Lafayette from condemning the property, the municipalities reached a settlement in 2019.
“It’s been a long journey for everyone,” Tyler Carlson, managing principal and executive vice president at Evergreen, told Bizwest. “When we started this project, I don’t think we anticipated that it would take this long and that the Supreme Court would get involved. But the town of Erie and the Urban Renewal Authority have been great partners.”
He continued, “Since we started , the mayor has changed, the town council changed, the town administrator changed. It’s a whole new set of faces, but what hasn’t changed is Evergreen’s commitment to executing this project with the town.”
Evergreen is currently grading the site and plans to start stormwater infrastructure installation next month.
Vertical development will begin in 2021 and buildout is expected to be complete by 2022.
Carlson said it is Lowe’s goal to be open by the 2021 holiday season, and the hope is to open the first of the surrounding retail spaces around the same time.
“Bringing major anchor retailers, like Lowe’s, to Erie will provide hundreds of jobs and new life to the area, which is especially needed during these difficult economic times due to COVID19,” Laura Ortiz, managing principal and president of Evergreen, said in a prepared statement.
Evergreen is in search of a second anchor for the shopping center and “we’d love for there to be a grocery component at Nine Mile,” Carlson said.
The residential component of Nine Mile Corner calls for the construction of 287 attached, market-rate rental units spread across several two- to four-story apartment buildings. There will be six studios, nine townhomestyle units, 140 one-bedroom units and 132 two-bedrooms.
Leasing is expected to start by the end of 2021 with full buildout finished by August 2022, Carlson said.