Construction Watch

Glendale Moving Forward With Entertainment District. Again.

The Glendale Entertainment District will feature a concert venue, a movie theater, restaurants, nightclubs and a resort hotel.
The Glendale Entertainment District will feature a concert venue, a movie theater, restaurants, nightclubs and a resort hotel. Central Street Capital
The City of Glendale may finally get its long-postponed entertainment center, with a development company set to develop ten acres of city-owned land as the Glendale Entertainment District, with a concert venue, movie theater, restaurants, nightclubs and a resort hotel.

"Back in the ’70s and early ’80s, we were kind of known as the entertainment area of Denver metro. For the last decade, we've been working on trying to get this project going," says Chuck Line, Glendale deputy city manager.

Thanks to a Glendale City Council vote on May 26, Central Street Capital now has the contract and go-ahead to break ground on the $150 million project this fall, with a targeted opening date of late 2023. Located on land along the banks of Cherry Creek and bounded by East Virginia Avenue, South Colorado Boulevard and South Cherry Street, the Glendale Entertainment District — known in previous project iterations as Glendale 180 — will feature "a vast array of premier entertainment options, including a 40,000 square foot live music concert venue, movie theater, casual and fine dining, a proposed app-based sportsbook gaming hall, pubs, rooftop bars, nightclubs, exclusive shops, a new 200 room resort hotel, and beautifully landscaped outdoor plazas," according to a press release announcing the district deal.

The district will also have a common consumption area where patrons can gather and imbibe together after getting drinks from different bars. And with Glendale's liberal last-call laws, they'll be able to keep buying drinks until 4 a.m. The common consumption area could be the site of "Oktoberfest-type events" once it's up and running, Line says.

Glendale wants to create a "sense of place" near Cherry Creek, Line says, and the entertainment district will be "a good anchor for that."

Glendale currently has two common consumption areas, each of which has only two liquor-licensed establishments. Line believes the district's common consumption area could feature over a dozen liquor-licensed businesses. Glendale had helped push for the legislation that created the option for municipalities to create common consumption areas more than a decade ago; Denver is finally moving forward with its own plan.

A decade ago, the proposed entertainment district was dubbed the Riverwalk; in early 2016, the City of Glendale made a big splash with the announcement that the concept had morphed into Glendale 180, but that project hit plenty of false starts. Most recently, Lincoln Property Company was working with Glendale to develop the land, but the two parted ways earlier this year.

Line says that Glendale, which began negotiating with Central Street Capital in February, expects fast results from the new development company, with a site plan due by the end of June.

"We are thankful to the City of Glendale for allowing us the privilege of developing one of the most unique entertainment districts in Colorado,” Rob Salazar, president of Central Street Capital, says in a statement announcing the deal.

The basic infrastructure for the project will be funded in part by tax money.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.