BRIGHTON — One major piece of Brighton’s development puzzle will be in place as King Soopers on Bridge Street in set to open next week.
Brighton Economic Development Director Robert Smith emphasized that Brighton is a great place to do business and was excited to talk about the status of the city’s development projects as well as projects that are in the works and could come to fruition in the future.
The King Soopers located at Bridge Street and 50th Avenue will open to the public on July 16, following a 9 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. Smith said workers are now completing the load-in where they’re installing the shelving and all of the things needed to stock the store.
As the grocery store gets its finishing touches, letters of intent have been signed for all 7,000 square feet of the in-line space around King Soopers — which Smith said translates to about four or five buildings. He said King Soopers has been developing the site and that they’re trying something they’ve never done before: Acting as their own developer. Smith said the developments around King Soopers are those customers would often find in a King Soopers shopping center, such as dry cleaners, beauty and nail salons and quick-serve restaurants.
“In other words, it will have a feel similar to a lot of other King Soopers,” he said.
The initial framework for the Transwest facility is up and construction on the site is moving forward. Smith recently visited the site and called the project both “significant” and “massive.”
“Probably 100 to 120 folks were out there working, hanging drywall, putting up beams, doing all the things that construction workers do out there,” he said.
There were 25 vendors lined up to deliver construction materials the day Smith visited the site, which he said is significant because it indicates economic activity. He said the proposed time frame is for the project to be completed by the end of the year.
Transwest is relocating its headquarters to Brighton’s Bromley Interstate Business Park. The move will keep around 250 jobs in Adams County, and Transwest anticipates adding 50 jobs over the next three years.
FMC Technologies will be the newest addition to Brighton’s Energy Employment Corridor. Groundwork for the project has begun since council approved the final plat and development agreement on June 17 and a groundbreaking ceremony is in the works for later this month.
FMC Technologies, which will be located near Vestas, offers support services to the oil and gas industry. The business is anticipated to bring 50 to 60 jobs to the area.
Although the Ross store is complete, and the company loves the store, it’s waiting to open the store until the fall, according to Smith. He explained that most retailers have windows of time where they can open a store and that they missed the window of time needed to open the store in the spring.
“They didn’t quite make that deadline, so now the next window is in the fall,” he said, but added there is no official opening date yet.
Smith said load-in hasn’t been completed and that it would need to be done prior to the store opening.
According to Smith, city officials are seeing the most interest in the city’s Energy Employment Corridor. He said there are a lot of prospective developers but if they want office space or — in the case of an oil and gas-related business — they would likely build the facilities themselves.
“All of the projects we’re working on are tending to be a lot more energy savvy, energy efficient ... because the market is tending towards people wanting to get into that kind of product, and so if you build that kind of product, the demand is greater,” he said.
There is also the potential for new hotel development. Smith said part of the reason for that is because the city’s existing hotels are “full.” He said full hotels means hotels are in demand and that potential developers want to build more hotels so they can capture some of that demand.
There is also an opportunity for development at the South end of the city at the Tomahawk truck stop near Sable Boulevard and Interstate 76.
“The former Tomahawk truck stop is under contract right now, we’re trying to make that come together so that we can put together a project together there,” he said adding that it wouldn’t be another truck stop but services associated with highways such as restaurants or hotels.
Smith said they’re not seeing a huge interest from the retail industry in terms of development. He said the retail industry is just getting to the point where they are beginning to build things again and that there’s a lot more optimism out there than previous years.
“The economy feels like its moving in the right direction, Brighton has great opportunity out in front of it,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to capitalize on that opportunity — lots of folks interested in this part of the world.”