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Business by business, Colorado Mills is approaching its November target date of being completely open following the devastating May hailstorm that forced the popular mall in Lakewood to close for repairs.
On Aug. 11, the Yard House restaurant on the mall’s east side will join the Super Target, JumpStreet and UA Colorado Mills Stadium 16 as mall businesses that are ready and open for customers.
“We spent some time deciding if we wanted to open early or wait for the rest of the mall to open,” said Darcy Coghill, director of operations at the Yard House. “But we’ve built up such a loyal customer base after 14 years, we didn’t want to wait.”
Businesses on the mall’s east side that have opened so far all have external entrances, which gives them an advantage over businesses like Cleveland Creek Lodge and Log Furniture, which was located inside Colorado Mills and had to move to the FlatIron Crossing Mall in Broomfield while repairs are made.
“We opened up at FlatIron at the end of July on a six-month lease,” said Geoff Cleveland, owner of Cleveland Creek. “We’ve always wanted to try this mall, and the situation at Colorado Mills gave us a little push.”
The mall was closed and evacuated during the hail storm that hit the west metro area on May 8, and has remained closed ever since. The roof recevied massive damage, and there was flooding throughout the mall.
The mall closure is costing the city about $300,000 to $350,000 a month in taxes, said Larry Dorr, Lakewood’s finance director. If the Mills remains closed until November, that would total about $2 million.
“Our goal is to have the common areas open, safe and functional before Black Friday and to have as many tenants open as possible,” said Kate Hudson, the mall’s public relations curator in an Aug. 2 statement. “Finishes of common areas will be completed during evening hours extending into early 2018. Individual anchor tenants with exterior entrances will open as soon as possible. We appreciate the patience of our retailers, shoppers and community during our closure for restoration.”
The Yard House location sustained extensive water damage and had to have its sheet rock removed as part of reconstruction. It was able to start its redesign in early June after roof repair was completed. The reopened restaurant will have a new look, with new tile, paint and woodwork, Coghill said.
“We were able to retain 80 percent of our team members during this time,” she added. “We compensated our employees while we were down, sending some to other locations, and others spent their time doing volunteer events.”
Cleveland hopes to return to the Mills when it reopens, but he can’t say when that will happen.
“We’re not going to commit until we get a sense of what anchor businesses are returning,” he said. “We got to the Mills about once a week, and we do see progress. They’re working hard, but it seems like still a long way to go.”
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