Broomfield City Council unanimously approved the redevelopment of a portion of the FlatIron Crossing Mall last week.
The approved agreement is for the redevelopment of the former FlatIrons Village area and the former Nordstrom property. The city and county will contribute $49.9 million to the development, according to the council memo, plus specific fee and building use tax reimbursements.
Broomfield’s Planning Director Anna Bertanzetti told the Council during the Oct. 12 meeting that FlatIron Crossing provides about 20% of Broomfield’s retail sales and use tax collections in a typical year.
“Although the owner has continued to invest in the property over the last decade, the owner has now determined that it’s the right time to propose this major reinvestment into the property to enhance the center and further energize the shopping area,” she said.
The project is designed to take advantage of the approximately 34 acres of underutilized space south of U.S. 36 and west of Interlocken Loop. The AMC theater and retail shops will stay, but the expansive parking lots will eventually be replaced with new construction. The overall FlatIron redevelopment plan is slated to include between one and three office developments, between one and three multi-family residential developments, one hotel, two to four restaurant/retail pads, outdoor gathering areas, structured parking and removal of some of the parking lots to accommodate the development, the memo explains.
Bertanzetti noted the applicant, the mall’s owner and manager Macerich Co., requested three variances, including increasing the maximum building height from 86 feet to 135 feet, modifying the size of a parking spots and reducing the private open space area to 25%.
She said the reduction in open space “is not uncommon when we’re talking about high density mixed-use areas,” and she noted similar reductions in Arista and Baseline.
The approved plan permits up to 750 multi-family residential units within the initial phases, and 20% of the units will be rented at 80% of Broomfield’s area median income. The developer anticipates to submit future site development plans once the custom zoning details are in place, the memo states. Macerich will meet the public land dedication through a 2.1 acre land dedication, a 6.4 acre credit for a portion of the prior Varra Park dedication and a waiver for the estimated $1.4 million cash in lieu.
Director of Economic Vitality Jeff Romine explained to the Council that in 2001 Broomfield agreed to provide $81.3 million to support needed infrastructure and improvements related to FlatIron Crossing, which was financed using sales and use tax. The current debt is about $53.2 million and is expected to be paid off in 2031.
Still, he said the estimates sales/use tax collected from the tenants of FlatIron Crossing from 2001 to 2020 is about $250 million in revenue to the city and county, creating an estimated 3-1 ratio. Romine said city and county staff expect about $350 million in additional investments will be spent on the project.
“The real key, at least from the way we’ve looked at it from the economic outcome, is it creates that 18-hour place,” Romine said. “And that 18-hour place becomes critically important to the success.”
Macerich leadership have continually emphasized the goal of creating a shop-work-live-play experience at FlatIrons.
According to the agreement, specific development milestones must be met to trigger Broomfield’s payments. The first milestone, scheduled to be completed on or before Dec. 1, 2022, is the substantial completion of the demolition of the former Tavern Grill building and other buildings, and the substantial completion of the demolition of the necessary portions of the parking lot. The second milestone is scheduled to be met on or before Dec. 1, 2023, when the “application for and receipt of permits from the City required to commence construction” of a 200- to 400-unit residential building, at least 20,000 square feet of new retail space, 2.5 or more acres in finishes and green space and improvements to the trail/walkway on the western side of the property, the agreement states. There are a total of five milestones outlined, with the final milestone scheduled on or before Dec. 1, 2029, when both phase 1 and phase 2 of the project are scheduled to be completed by.
A rendering of the proposed FlatIron Crossing redevelopment looking north at the FlatIron Crossing mall, which will remain intact. (BizWest / Courtesy image)
A concept review for the property was held in July, and the Council provided feedback on the proposed plan. Generally, the Council said they wanted more affordable housing and more public land in the project.
Councilman William Lindstedt, ahead of the Oct. 12 vote, said he wanted to acknowledge how important the deal is.
“The jobs, the long-term financial health of our community, all come down to this mall. I’m really excited for the added density and economic traffic we’re going to have here,” he said. “I know this isn’t everything everyone wants in this deal. I would’ve loved the 60% (area median income) housing, but it is what it is. I’m just very excited to see this moving forward.”