Malled!

For revenue-hungry cities in the northern metro area, it's shop 'til you're dropped

City officials anticipate that Larkridge will generate around $8.5 million in sales-tax revenue in its first year of operation. Much of that will be funneled to the urban-renewal district that the city created in order to upgrade the vast infrastructure improvements that the development will necessitate, but Busck is still giddy about the revenue possibilities that the mall will create. He's much more wary of growth to the north, especially in the fast-growing towns of Dacono, Firestone and Frederick, and has been an outspoken critic of large-lot, semi-rural ranchettes in Adams and Weld counties. "These folks are going to be coming into my city one way or another," says Busck, who's also a boardmember on the Denver Regional Council of Governments. "And they're coming in now, and a lot of them aren't even counted in the metropolitan district."

But as long as they come with cash -- and leave when they're done shopping -- he can live with it.

In Northglenn, the earliest of the mall pioneers, officials recognize that the continued growth will have its effect -- particularly since landlocked Northglenn is missing out on the northern I-25 boom. With the opening of Larkridge, the city is preparing for a 10 percent drop in sales-tax revenue at the Marketplace at Northglenn. But that's not much of a concern to Perlmutter, which recently put the Marketplace up for sale, with a reported top bid of $87 million.

 
 
 
 

The company wants to focus on bigger and better properties. The future, after all, is just one zoning change away.

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