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DENVER-Locally based CMCB Development Co., headed by Carl Chang, brother of former tennis great Michael Chang, is the successful bidder for the 17-acre retail development on the Denver International Airport property along Peña Boulevard. The development–called the Peña Project–is the first phase in what could be a 500-acre retail development along the major highway in and out of DIA.”We were pleased with all the companies that submitted proposals, but CMCB’s was very strong and shared our overall goals for the Peña Project,” says Stan Koniz, DIA chief financial officer. He says the project, which will incorporate the airport’s 45-minute waiting area, will “deliver a quality retail village that will serve the 30,000 workers at DIA, as well as provide attractive retail outlets for people to wait for arriving passengers.”

He says the goal is with this type of development is to increase non-airline revenues. “Every dollar we earn from concessions and other sources reduces the cost to our airlines and their passengers,” he says. Koniz said DIA’s concessions program has been extremely successful, totaling more than $1 billion in gross sales since the airport opened in 1995. He said the Peña Project “will allow us to boost that figure even higher.”

DIA’s steadily decreasing airline fees were a major factor in attracting Southwest Airlines, he says. Non-airline revenues allowed DIA officials to lower the fees charged to airlines and helped bring Southwest to Denver.

“Denver International Airport is a trendsetter in this type of commercial land development program,” says Susan Stanton, vice president of the DIA Partnership, a regional economic development organization comprised of public, private and community leaders. “Our research has shown that airports throughout the country are looking at their land as an asset and a way to provide more services to their customers, which in turn would reduce costs to the airlines that serve them.”

Stanton tells GlobeSt.com that the retail center on the 17-acre site likely will be in the neighborhood of 100,000 sf to 150,000 sf. It’s too early to say how much it will cost, she tells GlobeSt.com. “I have not heard of any capital number attributed to it,” she says. And it’s way too early to speculate on what will be built or how many sf will be constructed on the entire 500-acre project, she tells GlobeSt.com. “At this point, we don’t know,” she says. “But any commercial development on the land has to be airport-related in some way.”

Redwood Real Estate Partners LLC will be CMCB’s financial partner, and SullivanHayes Brokerage will lease the property. The Chang family bought SullivanHayes from Denver developer Jim Sullivan for an undisclosed price. SullivanHayes has leased or sold more than 15 million sf of retail property in the last five years at properties like Arapahoe Crossings, Stapleton, Northfield at Stapleton and Westminster City Center.

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