Belmar is the redevelopment of Villa Italia, a former 1.4 million square foot enclosed regional mall in Lakewood, a first ring suburb of Denver. The nation’s largest mall west of Chicago when it opened in 1966, Villa Italia’s sales and occupancy were on the decline, reaching 30% in the 1990’s. Contributing factors to the mall’s decline included changes in the marketplace, shifting demographics, new competition, loss of anchor stores, and refinements within the retailing industry. For most of its existence, Lakewood was a cluster of homes loosely arranged into 13 neighborhoods. It needed a unifying center—a place to which all residents would naturally gravitate. The opportunity to redevelop Villa Italia into a new mixed-use master planned community created a new tax base and a new “downtown” that today includes residential, retail, office, civic, and cultural uses and functions. One of the most successful “greyfield” transformations in the nation (23 city blocks). At build-out, Belmar will include 1,300 for-sale homes and apartments, two million square feet of retail and office space, nine acres of parks, and the Laboratory of Art and Ideas, an ambitious public art and cultural facility.
McStain Neighborhoods was a residential developer in the redevelopment, completing 132 row homes, with prices escalating by nearly 10 percent per year in a stagnant market. As a principal, Jeff Kingsbury’s role was leading market research, product development, marketing strategy and sales management to optimize the return on McStain’s $46 million investment.
Award for Excellence, Urban Land Institute
Charter Award, Congress for New Urbanism