Countless Colorado business owners have softened their feelings toward cannabis after realizing how much money can be made off it. Now, one Aurora entrepreneur is taking things a step further by naming his shopping center after it — or at least its milder cousin. Aurora's Chambers Point Shopping Center will soon be renamed "The Hemp Centre:" THC for short.
"The landlord originally was not that keen on the idea of putting that type of tenant in there, but we figured there was a good chance that those types of businesses would move in across the street at some point, anyway," says Corey Wagner, executive vice president of Western Centers, the property management team that oversees Chambers Point. "We thought that we might as well get them in here so that we have at least some control over how they operate."
The shopping center on the corner of South Chambers Road and East Mexico Avenue already has some kind vibes, as it currently houses a recreational marijuana dispensary, hydroponics supply store and head shop. But Wagner says the company has plans to make it even more welcoming to the pot-friendly crowd.
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"We thought, why don’t we take an even more drastic approach and try to make this a center of attraction, unique property and one-stop shop for these people?" Wagner recalls. "We saw this as an opportunity to fill some empty spaces, but wanted to maintain our social responsibility."
Wagner says he and his staff made sure that the center's current tenants, which include a veterinarian, dentists, restaurants and a cleaning company, were okay with the name change before moving forward. After getting the go-ahead from tenants and nearby churches, he says the company started the $1 million rebranding effort by hiring a consultant to attract greener tenants such as Cheeba Hut, a hemp-based brewery and other, ancillary pot businesses (it's targeting security firms, packaging, consulting, etc. — although no leases have yet been signed with such businesses). Of course, the center will continue to consider all sorts of tenants, he notes.
Wagner hopes the rebranded Hemp Centre will make its debut in the fall; the sign is currently waiting for approval by the City of Aurora.
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