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Rocky Mountain Retail


Few places on earth are as scenic as Boulder, Colo. But, over the last several years, the city’s retail attractions seem to be matching its tourist draw stride for stride.

The development that has perhaps attracted the most amount of attention is the newly opened Twenty Ninth Street project in downtown Boulder. Developed by The Macerich Co., Santa Monica, Calif., the 805,000-sq.-ft. outdoor lifestyle center sprawls over 62 acres of shopping-and-entertainment-district vitality and open-space tranquility.

Twenty Ninth Street is anchored by a Macy’s department store, Wild Oats Market (which is based in Boulder) and The Home Depot. The development sits on the site of the former Crossroads Mall.

What is most significant about the design and plan of Twenty Ninth Street is how well the new development blends with an already distinctive downtown area. Twenty Ninth Street was designed by Macerich to complement, rather than compete with, popular Pearl Street. “We purposely created Twenty Ninth Street to appeal to the Boulder customers,” said Lain Adams, property manager. “It’s very important to us that we complement Pearl Street, so we have merchants that are different—so that, together, we can raise the retail profile of Boulder as a community.”

Tenants of Twenty Ninth Street include Eddie Bauer, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor Loft, Apple, Borders, Staples, a soon-to-open 16-screen Cinemark Theater, and restaurants such as Santa Fe, N.M.-based Railyard Restaurant and Saloon and a Denver restaurant called Ai Sushi and Steak.

Thanks to some diligent upfront efforts by Macerich, the local community has clearly thrown its support behind the new development. According to Adams, Macerich representatives worked daily with city officials, as well as residents, throughout the planning and building stages. “We started the process with a three-day facilitated workshop for 1,200 residents designed to uncover what they wanted to see in this development,” explained Adams. “We followed that with more than 100 community presentations, 50-plus hard-hat tours and the launch of an advisory group we called ‘Twenty Nine for Twenty Ninth Street.’ Through these 29 people from all walks of life, we got a good idea of what the community would respond to.”

Just as innovative was a marketing idea Macerich coined “29 Random Acts of Kindness,” in which the Twenty Ninth Street staff took to the streets of Boulder, performing random selfless acts. “We gave away water on a hot day, and we went to a school shortly before Halloween and handed out glow sticks and glow bags” for use during trick or treating, said Adams.

Twenty Ninth Street

Location: 1710 29th St., Boulder, Colo.Size: 805,000 sq. ft. on 62 acresDeveloper: The Macerich Co.Major tenants: Macy’s, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, The Home DepotStatus: Opened to the public on Oct. 13, 2006; center is 85% leased with numerous new stores and restaurants opening throughout 2007.Project highlights: Green building practices were used during the construction of Twenty Ninth Street, as 82% of the razed Crossroads Mall building was used toward the new development. A quarter of the development is open space, it’s landscaped with indigenous plants, designed with local materials and operated with a “Boulder-centric” view. An amenity program called The Wonder of Science provides a walking outdoor exhibit that focuses on space and earth sciences.

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