McWhinney Partners with RED

October 20, 2010 Posted In

By Pat Ferrier, Loveland Connection

McWhinney, developer of the 3,000-acre Centerra project in Loveland, is partnering with RED Development to further develop land east of Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 34.
New development, potentially within two years, is expected to include single stores and large retail centers and could eventually include a new owner for The Promenade Shops at Centerra.
RED Development LLC, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and Phoenix, Ariz., owns more than 30 shopping centers that are either open, in development or under construction.
It developed the 540,000- square-foot Shops at Walnut Creek in Westminster in 2006 but sold the property a year later to Pine Tree Westmin-ster LLC of Northbrook, Ill.
Dave Claflin, vice president of marketing for RED Development, said purchasing the bank-owned Promenade Shops at Centerra “would be on the table. Our primary thrust of the partnership is to develop new retail, but I think they would consider(buying Promenade) as well.”
McWhinney President John Shaw declined to comment on the potential purchase of the shops.
The Promenade Shops, developed by Centerra Lifestyle Center LLC, a partnership between McWhinney and Tennessee-based Poag & McEwen, went to foreclosure sale in July but received no bids, putting the property back in the hands of KeyBank. Centerra Lifestyle Center owed more than $32 million on the project.
The shops remain open with business as usual. Shaw, who worked for Opus, a national real estate development company, before joining McWhinney, worked on two projects with RED in Minneapolis. He said he approached the company about the partnership after “a number of retailers contacted us and expressed interest in Centerra property.
“We decided in order to appropriately address that, we needed to find a partner,” Shaw said.
RED brings with it the national retail contacts that McWhinney lacks, he said. “Because of those important contacts and their expertise, our partnership with RED will further establish Centerra as the epicenter of retail shopping in Northern Colorado,” McWhinney CEO Chad McWhinney said in a statement.
The first likely project of the McWhinney/RED Development partnership will be east of The Promenade Shops at Centerra on land originally planned for Grand Station, McWhinney’s expansive 1 million-square-foot mixed-use project.
McWhinney abandoned Grand Station two years ago when the economy declined. RED’s only other Colorado property is in Eagle — land that it bought with the intent of developing a s hopping center but that it has not developed yet, Claflin said.
At the time McWhinney gave up on plans for Grand Station, representatives said development on the east side of Promenade Shops could transform from a vertical to more horizontal design.
That is likely the direction any development will go, Claflin said.
“Typically, our designs are more horizontal, but over the last couple of years, we’ve definitely stressed adding mixed development where it’s appropriate, and it’s becoming more appropriate all the time,” he said.
“That being said, it’s still early on in the design and research phase to commit to one particular format over another.”
Because of strong interest from retailers across the country, the initial development is expected to be a mixed-use development that includes retail, office and some residential properties, McWhinney said in a statement. They anticipate that further development will follow.
An online search of RED properties throughout the country reveal tenants such as Pottery Barn, Williams & Sonoma, cinemas, JJill, Aeropostale, Yankee Candle, Coldwater Creek and others.
“We do a fine job of catering the retail and the design to suit the local community,” Claflin said. “We don’t do cookie-cutter designs … we try to fit the local community.”

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