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GYPSUM, CO-Next Realty Development has unveiled plans to build a 450,000-sf retail power center here that will include a hotel, a general merchandise anchor and junior anchors, along with restaurants and other services. Richard Kabat, principal with Next, tells GlobeSt.com that the company anticipates it will begin infrastructure work on the site in the spring.

The 74-acre development site is on State Highway 6 adjacent to the Eagle County Airport, visible from Interstate 70 between the Eagle and Gypsum interchanges. Kabat estimates that once construction begins, build-out will be completed in about three years at the center, which will be developed in phases. The first phase of the new center is likely to include the hotel, junior anchor and some restaurants, but that could change.

The new shopping venue, called Tower Center, will complement a 330-home subdivision being developed by Meritage Homes of Aspen on an adjacent parcel. Next Realty, which operates out of Northbrook, IL and McLean, VA, acquired the vacant land in June 2006 and shortly thereafter sold 47 acres to Meritage. The home builder plans to deliver the first phase of single-family homes on the site in summer 2007.

“There is no competing retail in the area, and the next closest comparable competing retail is 35 miles to the west in Glenwood Springs or 30 miles to the east in Avon,” Kabat tells GlobeSt.com. He says that the region needs a project like the planned Next Realty development because “This area is growing significantly in terms of its year-round population, which has grown to the point that it deserves its own retail services without having to travel far and wide to get them.”

Gypsum is within an hour’s drive of top Colorado ski resorts like Vail, Steamboat and Aspen, Kabat adds, and is the home of a year-round residential population working in those resorts that earns an average household income of more than $90,000. The new shopping center will be a place where those residents can buy routine household and personal necessities for daily living and choose from a number of restaurants.

Besides a home center, the hotel and restaurants, the project will include junior anchors and some small shops. Next Realty has retained Legend Retail Group of Denver for leasing and marketing of the property, which will become part of a Next Realty portfolio valued in excess of $375 million in 12 states.

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