Breckenridge City Market expansion moves ahead, but it’s far from a done deal
Efforts to create a better shopping experience at the City Market grocery store in Breckenridge are progressing, which is good news for locals who feel like such an addition is long overdue.
Seeing the store’s often crowded aisles and long checkout lines, especially at peak times, Breckenridge officials have put a development agreement in place with City Market, and town council gave the document the final OK on second reading last week.
“It should have happened a long time ago,” said Breckenridge resident Rick Lystlund as he left the store Tuesday afternoon.
His feelings echoed the sentiments expressed by a handful of other locals who were also doing some grocery shopping just two days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and had heard of the possible expansion project.
“I’ve been wanting this for years,” said Carol Ann McGregor, who lives in Breckenridge but admitted she tries to do as much shopping as she can in Dillon because the Breckenridge store has been such a hassle.
The finalized development agreement is a major step forward in efforts to grow the town’s biggest grocery store by more than 10,000 square feet — a roughly 17 percent increase in size — but it’s not the last piece of the puzzle that has to fall in place before the proposed expansion can become reality.
Next up, City Market will need the town’s approval on a development permit, which acts much like a site plan, said Peter Grosshuesch, the town’s director of community development.
After that, City Market will need to secure a building permit, which will also have to go through the town’s approval process, he said.
Neither the development permit nor the building permit is expected to be too much trouble for City Market, though, as Grosshuesch said that plans to expand the store are fairly simple because it’s a rectangular building on flat land and the expansion would go at the back of the structure.
“It’s not too terribly complicated of a site plan,” Grosshuesch said, adding that City Market has filed an application for a development permit and the town is reviewing those plans.
The City Market store is owned by Kansas-based Kroger subsidiary Dillon Companies and operates out of the Parkway Center property, which is owned by the Ofpers Partners.
Representatives of City Market have been in discussions with town officials over the development agreement, which was approved last Tuesday and allows the town to turn over seven density units equal to about 1,000 square feet each to make the expansion project work.
According to the development agreement, City Market would grow by 17 percent by absorbing 3,534 square feet of existing space at the shopping center and adding 6,567 square feet of new space onto the back of the grocery store.
The seven units of transferrable density would cover the new space and come from a pool of unused, developable density that’s tied to a number of town-owned properties, but it won’t come without strings attached.
As a safeguard, the development agreement mandates that any density provided by the town strictly be used for a grocery store and not anything like furniture or barbecue sales.
Talking about the proposed expansion, attorney for the landowner Kent Willis said Tuesday that he sees positive signs suggesting it will come to fruition, but he explained the expansion project is moving forward on “two parallel tracks.”
On one front, City Market is chasing the development permit with the town, and the landowner is pursuing lease negotiations with City Market on the other, Willis said. The development agreement takes care of the extra density, but City Market must secure the necessary permits from the town and work out a new lease with the landowner.
“We have sat down with City Market and are discussing lease terms,” Willis said. “There’s some work to be done, but that’s moving forward in a positive way.”
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