BY FREDA MIKLIN
At their first meeting in June, the Greenwood Village City Council approved the site development plan for Shake Shack, which is being built speedily on the western side of the 1.87-acre parcel of land at 7979 E. Arapahoe Road. It was the home of Macaroni Grill before that building was torn down in recent months. The eastern portion of the property will house another food and beverage operation, most likely Starbucks, but that will require a separate site development plan and will likely come after Shake Shack is finished.
What looks like a drive-through lane at this fast casual food restaurant will actually be an “app-through” lane, meaning that customers will only be able to use it to pick up food they have previously ordered on the Shake Shack app, according to representatives of Verdad, the construction contractor that appeared at GV City Council to shepherd through the approval. There were no representatives of Shake Shack present. That was obvious when GV City Councilmember Jerry Presley pointed out that this new restaurant and building could have qualified for the sales tax rebate provided in the Arapahoe Entertainment District if they had asked for it. Verdad representatives said they were just there to make sure construction got started as soon as possible. The rebate allows owners of new businesses in the AED, where Shake Shack is located, to keep 100 percent of the incremental three percent city sales tax generated by their business during their first year of operation, declining to 80 percent, 60 percent, 40 percent, and 20 percent over the next four years, to the extent of their costs for new outdoor capital improvements that have been deemed qualified by the city for reimbursement. GV previously approved sales tax rebates for the new 30,000-square foot entertainment venue, Pindustry, of up to $2.3 million and for The Grange food hall for $300,000. Both properties are in the same development as Shake Shack. Pindustry opened a month ago and has been bustling with activity and The Grange is well on its way to completion.
Shake Shack will consist of 3,000 square feet on one story in a 30-foot-tall building. It will have 44 parking spaces. Its seating will be split half and half between inside and outside the restaurant.
After receiving assurance that all required studies for drainage, traffic volumes, lighting, etc. were in proper order, the city council gave the project unanimous approval. Verdad representatives told The Villager that they plan to get started on the building immediately and expect to have it open before the end of the year. The construction fence appeared on the property less than 48 hours later and building is well under way.