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The site of the 1.3 million-sf Cinderella City, razed two years ago, is awakening as a Sleeping Beauty for developers proposing an 800,000-sf mixed-use urban center.

City Center Englewood, which will be positioned on the razed mall’s 55 acres, is being developed by Miller Weingarten Realty, a Denver-based company comprised of Weingarten Realty Investors of Houston and Miller Development of Denver. The joint venture has sealed a ground lease, retaining ownership in 200,000 sf of the completed retail project, located in Englewood, a Denver suburb.<p.Construction will begin in October, with completion anticipated by mid- to late 2001. The first tenants include a 27,000-sf Bally's Health Club and 23,000-sf Office Depot. About 125,000 sf is being designed for specialty and service-oriented retailers, ranging in size from 1,500 sf to 10,000 sf. The development will host four or five restaurants and about 25,000 sf of office space.

“I think Miller Weingarten will do a great job,” Tom Mathews, a retail broker with CB Richard Ellis told GlobeSt.com. “They’ve got a great location, especially now that they’ve got a stop on the recent light rail line.” The light rail line, which opened in July, connects downtown Denver to the southwest suburban corridor. More than 65,000 vehicles pass the project daily.

Cinderella City, built in 1968, once was the largest regional shopping mall west of the Mississippi River, attracting shoppers from in and out of state. But, like hundreds around the country, Cinderella City began a slow death as a result of changing demographics and competition from newer centers built closer to residential and commercial hubs.

In 1998, Cinderella City kept a date with a wrecking ball, opening today’s door for the 55-acre urban redevelopment that will combine retail, residential, commercial and civic projects into a New Urbanism project. The development’s residential component, a 450-unit apartment complex, will be developed by Trammell Crow Residential while Wal-Mart is building a 130,000-sf store, scheduled for a September opening.

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