BY FREDA MIKLIN
In July, Business Den reported that four buildings in Greenwood Village had gone into receivership at the request of Voya Financial which had made loans on them because the loans were in default.
All the buildings are located in Greenwood Village District Two, west of I-25. One is located on seven acres at 7100 E. Belleview Avenue, directly across the street from the highly successful Belleview Station mixed-use development. The other is the Triad office complex, three five-story buildings at 5660, 5670, and 5680 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard on 22 acres, steps away from GV’s Orchard Light Rail Station. It is by far the largest property in the area around the Orchard Light Rail Station.
In September, Westport Capital Partners, the California company that owned and reportedly owed $18.5 million on the 164,000-square foot office building at 7100 E. Belleview Avenue, announced it was signing over for the property, for which it paid almost $20 million in 2015, to Voya in a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure agreement.
There has been little new development or redevelopment on Greenwood Plaza Boulevard adjacent to the Orchard Light Rail station in the eight-tenths of a mile between the Landmark Towers at Berry Avenue and the former Marilyn Hickey Ministries building at 8081 E. Orchard Road that has been boarded up for the past five years. If The Triad becomes vacant, many believe crime will be an increasing threat to the neighborhood because of Triad’s proximity to the light rail station along with the inherent risks of all empty buildings.
Back in 2017, there was talk of a Whole Foods grocery store going into the Marilyn Hickey property. That development didn’t happen. Instead, all the tenants in the building were forced to leave and it has been boarded up and shuttered ever since. Occasionally, emergency responders like South Metro Fire Rescue use the property for drills, since it is large and empty. GV Police have also had to frequently remove squatters there.
We previously reported that Focus Property Group, owner of the Triad complex, told The Villager that they were not able to refinance the project, on which $50 million is owed to Voya, so it would be lost to foreclosure.
In 2018, the Greenwood Village City Council revised its master plan, which says that residential development anywhere along the I-25 corridor, including near the Orchard and Arapahoe Light Rail stations, is discouraged, except for single-family homes on at least one-quarter acre of land. No developer has proposed building single-family homes of any size in either location since that policy was adopted. City planners have told the council that they get almost weekly inquiries from developers wanting to present plans for high-end multi-family homes there but they are told the city council will never approve any type of multi-family residential, including townhomes or condos, regardless of the density, design, or quality, so there’s no point in proposing it.
The master plan encourages retail, restaurants, and office buildings. Since COVID, GV and the Denver metro area have had a steady 25% vacancy rate in built office buildings. Restaurants and retail have not been built along the I-25 corridor in Greenwood Village either, except at the Landmark complex, likely because that type of development occurs organically when people live nearby.