Trader Joe’s picks Denver site

Trader Joe’s picks Denver site

Trader Joe's has signed a letter of intent to open its first Denver store on Colorado Boulevard, sources said Friday.

The store will be located on the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Eighth Avenue, three independent commercial real estate brokers who specialize in retail told the Denver Business Journal.

It would be the grocery chain’s second Colorado store, in addition to a previously announced Boulder location, scheduled to open in 2013.

Trader Joe's would not confirm or deny that it has picked a Colorado Boulevard site. Company spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki declined comment on the matter.

The land for the Colorado Boulevard location is owned by Denver hotel developer Charlie Biederman, who had planned to use the site for a hotel development in 2007. Biederman developed the Ritz Carlton downtown, which opened in 2007.

Annie’s Cafe used to be located there, but moved in 2008 to 3100 E. Colfax Ave. to make room for the hotel, which was never built.

> MORE: Dennis Huspeni’s January 2012 company profile of Trader Joe’s.

In February, Trader Joe's announced it would open its first Colorado store in Boulder's Twenty Ninth Street mall in 2013.

The new Boulder store will be located at 1906 28th St., the site of a recently-closed Applebee’s restaurant. The new building will be about 14,000 square feet, the Monrovia, Calif.-based company said.

That news caused a stir among Coloradans who have long wanted a branch of the Monrovia, Calif.-based specialty grocery chain in the state.

In an informal online survey conducted by the DBJ in April 2010, readers said Trader Joe's was far and away the out-of-state retailer they most wanted to come to Colorado.

The typical Trader Joe's store, 14,000 to 16,000 square feet, is smaller than a traditional grocer. It is known for its own brands of unique, trendy and affordable foods such as Thai lime-chili cashews, sea salt brownies and Belgium butter waffle cookies.

Trader Joe's has 365 stores in 31 states, with about half of the locations in California.

Dennis Huspeni covers real estate and retail for the Denver Business Journal and writes for the "Real Deals" blog.

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