The lease was running out on Sandra Foa's Gioia store at the Pearl
Ron Werner and Jim Hering were looking to expand their HW Home store
And FlatIron Crossing was looking to have a little bit of Boulder's
Pearl Street in Broomfield.
"The projections for the village were very positive," Foa said, "and
so for all of those reasons, I decided I would relocate."
In 2000, Foa closed her Pearl Street location and relocated the
store to FlatIron Crossing. Her Gioia store was one of nine Boulder
retailers who set up shop in the shopping mall's 240,000-square-foot
Foa eventually closed her FlatIron Crossing store and seven other
Boulder retailers at the mall did the same, some of those also ending
their runs in Boulder. Now only one HW Home still
operates in Broomfield and Boulder.
The village looks much different today than it did when the mall
opened. A third of the original retailers there no longer remain.
The indoor/outdoor theme was unique. In May 2000, Shopping Centers
Today noted FlatIron Crossing as one of a few "hybrid centers" that
combined an enclosed mall with a streetscape component. That concept
was the first shift in mall configuration since 1956, the magazine
"It's evolving in terms of the right tenant mix to fit in that
environment," said Charles Ozaki, Broomfield's deputy city and county
manager, of the village's change.
Timing becomes an issue
The early 2000s were no cakewalk for any business, Foa said.
"I think several things happened simultaneously Sept. 11, the
economy in Colorado, the high-tech and telecommunications in that area
were experiencing difficulty," Foa said.
But more specifically to the village, its anchor, the 14-screen AMC
movie theater, did not open until November 2001.
"The project opened in phases," said Hugh Crawford, the mall's
manager. "It's always better to have everything open on day one. That
hasn't necessarily happened."
The village had to weather more than the region's economic troubles,
It had to weather the elements from settling soils to
whipping winds to manmade machines.
The driveway between the mall and the village also created a
barrier, she said.
"You couldn't tell if you walked out of the food court. You didn't
know there's a village there," Foa said. "It didn't flow naturally from
the mall out to the village."
Things are easier to second-guess after time has passed, she
"It takes time for those to build up," she said. "So some of it was
just timing and the time it takes to create something."
Time allows for change
The driveway between the interior mall and the village eventually
was blocked off to all vehicles but the valet.
The mall continues to correct walkways damaged by settling
Along with aesthetic improvements, such as lighting and signs,
various attractions from a jumpy castle to street fairs
The tenant mix also has changed.
A Brunswick Billiards store is replacing Djuna, a Denver-based
furniture store that closed in May. Iron Mountain Winery is taking over
the space formerly occupied by Weekends, a Boulder-based clothier that
tried a second store at FlatIron Crossing, only to revert back to
focusing solely on its Boulder one. SpaMedica fills what used to be
"We've concluded the outdoor village needs to be more
destination-oriented, i.e. the theater, restaurants, dining, and some
of the one-of-a-kind retailers," said David Scholl, vice president for
the Phoenix-based Westcor, which developed the mall and now is owned by
the Macerich Co.
That destination helped force a tweaking of HW Home into HW Home
Advantage furnishings available at a more moderate price
The transition of the store allows for less cannibalization of the
company's two other locations, said David Sumrak, director of sales and
marketing for HW Home, which has a third store in the Cherry Creek
"Because it is part of a mall experience, we're getting a huge
amount of younger families and the younger executives," he said.
Five years after setting up shop in the experimental village, Sumrak
said HW Home is happy with its choice.
"Yes, they're having some of the businesses leave, but by fall all
of those spaces are going to be full again," he said. "And we're still
learning, but it's been a good four-plus years since we've been at
FlatIron and we're more in tune with the area."
Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at (303) 473-1332