Putting those smaller scale shops in a place that acts almost like a showroom, and combining that with an activated alley, has brought a lot of foot traffic to Dairy Block, Martin said. The $1 million worth of local art is another attraction.
“We’ll never be stagnant; we’ll always be evolving and bringing new experiences,” Martin said.
Essentially, retailers are creating places where consumers want to hang out and spend time. And that’s not just in the heart of the city.
Kliewer noted that a particularly interesting trend is the urbanization of the suburbs — walkable, mixed-use projects outside the urban core that feature chef-concept restaurants, dog-friendly breweries and boutique fitness centers.
Places like The Yard in Lone Tree and Olde Town Arvada have done this well, he said. They feature cutting-edge concepts one wouldn’t typically expect in suburban areas.
Regarding situations like Toys R Us, big box retail still has a place in the new age. It just might look different.
“[Toys R Us] stores have good real estate,” he said, in terms of visibility and location.
In March, the Denver Business Journal reported what some of those old locations might become. Like JLL’s vice president of retail, Matt Writt, Kliewer said fitness, entertainment and grocery retailers are likely candidates to take that space.
Overall, retailers follow consumers – and many consumers are moving to Colorado for the attractive lifestyle, healthy economy and robust job market, Kliewer said.
“I don’t see any end in sight with growing and attracting retailers to Colorado.”