By Shawn Chitnis
DENVER (CBS4)– Safeway announced Friday they will close their longtime Cherry Creek location later this year after the management team at the shopping center decided not to renew the store’s lease.
“I was very sad,” said Sharon Rosen, a longtime customer. “Very sad and disappointed because I’ve lived in the area, in Cherry Creek, for almost 20 years.”
Safeway said in a statement they were notified by the property management company the lease will end in early January. The store has been at that location for more than 50 years.
“We hope to be given an opportunity to return to the area as the mall considers redevelopment plans over the next several years,” Todd Broderick said in that statement, the president of Albertsons/Safeway Denver Division.
Customers shopping at the store on Friday told CBS4 this is part of their weekly routine. They were not sure how they would take care of groceries immediately after learning about the closure.
“I don’t even know, it’s not good,” said Elena Svystunova, another longtime customer. “A surprise for me.”
Nick LeMasters, general manager of Cherry Creek Shopping Center, also released a statement explaining that the lease would not be extended.
“This move underscores the changes happening in the retail sector and the Cherry Creek shopping district,” he said. “As well as our commitment to Cherry Creek Shopping Center’s continued success as the region’s premier shopping destination.”
While it is unclear what will replace Safeway and when that new tenant would be ready for the public, the statement suggests it will be another type of business. LeMasters acknowledged the inconvenience of losing a grocery store but pointed out there are six other options within two miles.
“It’s very convenient for me, everybody knows me in the store,” said Krishna Nayak. “I’ve been coming here for almost 17 years.”
Safeway says it will try to place the 70 employees at the Cherry Creek location at other stores. It will also recommend customers to go to the Safeway location on 6th and Corona. The store could close as early as the end of October.
Customers still worry that the alternatives won’t be acceptable options and that the area is losing a good neighbor.
“I think Cherry Creek needs a grocery store, something closer by,” said Rosen.
Cherry Creek Shopping Center Statement:
September 15, 2017
Nick LeMasters, General Manager: “On September 8, 2017, Cherry Creek Shopping Center notified Safeway that due to long- standing contractual obligations, we are no longer able to extend its lease agreement, which originally expired in December 2015. Safeway will vacate the space by January 4, 2018.
Safeway has been an excellent tenant and a valued part of the community. We appreciate that some people may feel inconvenienced by its closing, though the area has many other options including six grocery stores less than a mile and a half from this location.
This move underscores the changes happening in the retail sector and the Cherry Creek shopping district, as well as our commitment to Cherry Creek Shopping Center’s continued success as the region’s premier shopping destination.”
September 15, 2017
The Safeway Store in Cherry Creek at 1st Ave and Steele will close following receipt of a notice of termination by Taubman Centers, which owns and manages the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Safeway’s lease will terminate on January 4, 2018.
“We are certainly disappointed having to close this store as it’s been a fixture in the Cherry Creek neighborhood for the past 51 years. We’ve been a longtime partner to many community organizations in and around Cherry Creek and we are grateful to our customers who patronized the store. We hope to be given an opportunity to return to the area as the mall considers redevelopment plans over the next several years,” said Todd Broderick, President, Albertsons/Safeway Denver Division.
Safeway is committed and working to place all 70 Cherry Creek employees at other nearby stores. No specific date has been set for the closure.
“On behalf of our entire Cherry Creek store, we want to thank our customers and the community for your longtime support. It has been our pleasure to serve you as your local grocery store for more than 50 years,” added Broderick.