King-sized King Soopers, east side shopping center on the way


King Soopers is expanding in the Pikes Peak region in a big way.

The grocery chain plans to build a 123,000-square-foot King Soopers Marketplace - double the size of one of its typical stores - southeast of Constitution Avenue and Marksheffel Road, just outside Colorado Springs' eastern border. The store will anchor a 24-acre shopping center to be developed.

In addition to groceries and household supplies, King Soopers' Marketplace stores have an expanded deli and larger selections of organic and natural products, among increased offerings of fresh food and produce, said spokeswoman Kelli McGannon in King Soopers' Denver office.

But the larger stores - somewhat akin to Wal-Mart Supercenters - don't stop at food and household items.

They also sell everyday casual clothing, such as Levi's jeans and Champion athletic wear; Sketchers' shoes and other footwear; plates, dinnerware and other housewares; kitchen and other small appliances; towels, comforters and other home decor items, and jewelry in a separate Fred Meyer Jewelers inside the store.

The marketplace concept offers convenience and variety, McGannon said.

"It's accommodating what a customer needs and making sure we're giving them an offering that values both their time and their money," she said. "We offer more selection and more variety for one-stop shopping."

Construction is expected to begin next year, and the store is targeted to open in spring 2017, McGannon said. It will be the eighth King Soopers Marketplace; the first opened in 2012. Other stores are in Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Fort Collins and Greeley. Another opens Nov. 11 in Parker.

In the last year, King Soopers, owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., has built stores as small as 35,000 square feet and as large as 125,000 square feet, McGannon said.

"We're not building cookie-cutter stores," she said. "So, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach. It's about building the store for the neighborhood."

But the King Soopers Marketplace at Constitution and Marksheffel will serve more than a neighborhood. It will be a short drive from fast-growing subdivisions on the Springs' east side, as well as heavily traveled Powers Boulevard and Peterson Air Force Base.

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The store also will be near the Banning Lewis Ranch - the massive, but still largely undeveloped parcel that makes up most of Colorado Springs' east side and where thousands of homes are expected to be built over the next few decades.

The shopping center will be built by Evergreen Development, a real estate company with offices in Denver, Arizona, California and Texas.

It will include a 15,000-square-foot retail building for multiple users, said Laura Ortiz, a managing principal in the company's Phoenix office. Evergreen is talking with quick-service restaurants, among others, to locate in the building.

The shopping center also will have four stand-alone buildings; Evergreen is talking with regional and national restaurant chains to occupy two of the buildings, Ortiz said.

Evergreen expects to complete the purchase of the shopping center site in December or January, and start construction next year, Ortiz said.

"The growth that has been happening and is anticipated to come around this site is what excites us to move forward with this development," she said.


Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

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