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DENVER-The tony Cherry Creek shopping center’s Safeway is up and running following a five-month, $10-million renovation and expansion.

The store is 4,000 sf larger, bringing its size to 35,000 sf. That is a small store by suburban standards, but Safeway considers its Cherry Creek store as an urban, neighborhood grocer.

Safeway has a 15-year lease with the owner of the shopping center, the Taubman Co., based in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Taubman would like to move Safeway to the west side of the mall on Denver’s east side and replace it with a Nordstrom.

Last June, Nordstrom announced plans to open a store at Cherry Creek in 2003, but there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome. A development agreement hammered out years ago, prevents Taubman from building a grocery store on the west side. Taubman wants to modify the agreement, but neighborhood groups have not been receptive to the idea. Also, Safeway’s $10 million investment would make it more costly for Taubman to move it, says Nick Le Master, the mall’s general manager.

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