A trip to the Whole Foods-anchored Crossroad Commons shopping center in Boulder now means encountering roars of machines, piles of rubble and pungent smells of exhaust and fresh asphalt.
The ongoing construction at the 28th and Pearl streets center is part of a years-long redevelopment project that will result in an expanded Whole Foods and new digs for other retailers.
But in the near-term, especially as the work has spread to the parking lots â areas that long have been sore spots for many of the center’s visitors â the development is causing headaches for some shoppers.
“Chaos” was the first word out of David Cooper’s mouth as he walked back to his car. Cooper, 23, decided to park in a newly paved and redesigned portion of the lot because the other option â a fence- and concrete-barrier-bounded lot where multi-point maneuvers and horn-blaring are common â is simply a “mess.”
On Tuesday, the “mess” nearly turned tragic as a reversing car came close to knocking over Karin Mercer’s shopping cart, which was occupied by her 3 Â½-year-old daughter.
The close call left Mercer and the driver visibly shaken, but she and her daughter continued to make their way into Whole Foods.
“Every time I come in here, I say, ‘Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t shop here until they’re finished,'” said Mercer, 40, of Boulder.
While Mercer and others lamented the construction zone, they also saw it as a means to an end: revamped parking lots designed for improved access, better flow and spaces that will face north and south. The parking overhaul was one of the main goals in the site’s redevelopment, said Matthew Booth, a regional officer for Regency Centers, which owns Crossroad Commons.
Calling the situation “a little bit of misery,” Carol Kuzdek, owner of the nearby Whole Pets, said some of her customers have griped about the construction, but they also know it’s not a lasting problem.
“The old parking lot was painful,” she said. “I look at it as, it’s difficult in the short-term, but it’ll be good in the long-term.”
Kuzdek noted a couple of changes that already seem to be benefiting her business: the demolition of the adjacent building and the addition of a new vehicle exit to Pearl Street have added visibility to her natural pet food and supplies store.
Across the way, signs are plastered to the windows of Barnes & Noble Booksellers letting passers-by know: “We are open during construction.”
Business at the book store has slowed down, but the retailer continues to crank along, said Jeff Oliver, the store’s community relations manager.
“It’s not killing us or anything,” he said.
Ace Discount Liquors, now on the corner of 30th and Pearl streets, later this year will move into a new space to the east of Barnes & Noble. Ace’s spot will be razed for a new one-story building that is projected to house Barnes & Noble in June 2009. When Barnes & Noble completes the transition, Whole Foods can begin its expansion that’s projected to be complete by 2010 or early 2011.
Tom Rich, store team leader at the Pearl Street Whole Foods, said he walks the parking lot every day to respond to customer concerns and address issues that could be potential hazards.
“It’s a time of transition, and we really want people to have the best experience every day,” he said.
While the construction has grown closer to the front of the store, creating some problems for shoppers, Rich said he has noticed that some Whole Foods customers are parking in the new lot, “and they love it.” Plus, he added, the parking lot issues could soon be a thing of the past: The whole lot could be completed within three weeks, he said.
cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it…
9/9/2008 11:34:24 PM
Oh boo hoo. Just go to Sunflower Market. They have better prices.
9/10/2008 12:52:00 AM
The first and last time I was at Sunflower Market, I picked up a bag of snack food that had partially-hydrogenated oil (trans fats) as an ingredient.You might as well be shopping at King Soopers or Safeway.
9/10/2008 1:30:55 AM
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the annoyingness of the parkinglot is not the story here.Everyone knows it’s a disaster over there.
What people want to know is some of what was suggested in the second to last paragraph: what’s going to be in all of those construction spots?WholePets will now be what?The theater is now going to be what?What’s up with that old Depot?
9/10/2008 6:31:28 AM
Such consumerism.This is proof of the hypocritical Boulder lifestyle when the only thing that matters is the parkings a biatch. And maybe it’s outside the eruv. Yikes
9/10/2008 6:34:55 AM
I can tell you that parking will be in the the spot where the Depot is right now. The Depot is scheduled to be moved on Sept 15th. Whole Pets is not going away, but the raised parking area just east of it will be more parking as well. The old theatre location is going to be the location of new Barnes and Noble. The construction on the east side of the current Barnes and Noble will be the new Ace Liquor. There will be parking from the front (west side) of the new Barnes and Noble, all the way west to where Copy Center is located and it will continue through to Turley’s like it does now.
9/10/2008 6:57:05 AM
Yes, we are a nation of WHINERS!
9/10/2008 7:42:51 AM
No, we are CITY of whiners!
9/10/2008 7:50:09 AM
Wal-mart always has a big open parking lot with fresh air and a great view of the Flatirons with the snowcapped continual divide in the distance behind them.
Plus I don’t have to create so much garbage by buying all those small packages that whole foods and sunflower markets and sells.
But I guess it makes some people feels superior to pay more and have ego boosting small packages with all the latest key marketing phrases.
I never could figure out why tofu grown in a clear cut in the Amazon is “local” or “green”.
9/10/2008 8:06:57 AM
Rather than just open a second store in the brand new location they already own at 29th street,Whole Foods chooses to disrupt an entire city block for years,tear down a building that is not even 20 years old (the theatre), and force the city to move an historic building. How very green of you Whole Foods.Just like Boulder to adore a company like this, while insisting on dictating how the rest of us should live in the name of the environment! Just ridiculous, the city should be held accountable for allowing this shameful waste of resources.
9/10/2008 8:09:16 AM
It’s still a great place to be seen.
9/10/2008 8:12:47 AM
For sure Boulder is a city of whinners who are more concerned about appearing to care about the world than actually doing anything about it.
9/10/2008 8:19:52 AM
“The first and last time I was at Sunflower Market, I picked up a bag of snack food that had partially-hydrogenated oil (trans fats) as an ingredient.”
And this is significant how?
9/10/2008 8:22:58 AM
Maybe Whole Foods feels guilty about backing out of the 29th Street Location, and is trying to make shopping at 29th Street pleasant by comparison.
9/10/2008 8:23:10 AM
Even before the construction that parking lot was a headache. Whole Paycheck is a waste of money anyway as you can get organic food at King Soopers for half the price.
9/10/2008 8:37:08 AM
Can someone please explain to me why there is a Whole Pets in the first place? Dogs eat their own poop, do you really think they care if their food is organic?
9/10/2008 8:39:45 AM
elirenfo: “It’s still a great place to be seen.”
Hit the nail on the head.
9/10/2008 8:45:48 AM
if they eat organic then the dog poop they eat is organic …My dog loves eating he and hisdalmation roommate bella’s organic dog sh!t..
9/10/2008 8:46:04 AM
The Whole Foods parking lot at any location is a death trap.
9/10/2008 8:49:34 AM
I love how no one is actually defending this crap. There is more to life than crying about being inconvenienced whne buying rice syrup fruit snacks and free range chicken eggs. Most people have bigger problems in their lives than veganite, SUV driving, Cell phone using, fair trade tea drinking, yoga sitting, non working boulderite housewives that have nothing else in their lives to complain about!
9/10/2008 9:00:35 AM
Enough of this, when are we going to talk about putting in a left turn signal at some inconsequential intersection, so we can debate the pros and cons of wasting gas while idling versus public safety because some wino is shuffling across the street right when the arrow turns green?And when he stops right in front of you and barfs, now that’s the kind of entertainment this city needs.Being seen with the Beautiful People at Whole Fools versus having to creep my Prius around a bunch of crunchy granola types?Can’t hold a candle to the kind of tempest in a teapot I’m talking about.
9/10/2008 9:02:09 AM
Boulder Daily Whine…
Chaos? You are inconvenienced going in to get your tofu and have to walk an extra minute, and this is news?
Next we’ll hear area man has to manuever around cyclist, or, dog poo left on trail in headlines.
Only in Boulder…
9/10/2008 9:16:01 AM
You forgot that these people can’t walk a 1/2 a block and have to have the flashing yellow lights and stop traffic while the car’s spew their co-2. This is green at it’s best.
9/10/2008 9:32:26 AM
I love how the city council wants individual owners to deconstruct for house remodels, etc. but the schizophrenic pile of copper wires, concrete, asphalt, steel, etc. from this work is going to a land fill. I watch often, truck after truck to be loaded by the backhoe and drive away.
9/10/2008 9:35:19 AM
I can’t get a handle on the journalistic intent here.
Is this an opinion piece or a feature article?
Either way, pretty bad.Get it together, DC.
9/10/2008 9:47:45 AM
Aww, poor Whole Foods shoppers. Boo-hoo. Get a job!
9/10/2008 10:40:54 AM
Hey wilson, “The first and last time I was at Sunflower Market, I picked up a bag of snack food that had partially-hydrogenated oil (trans fats) as an ingredient. You might as well be shopping at King Soopers or Safeway.”
Are you kidding? 90% of the country can’t afford to buy stuff at any fufu market like that. This is a prime example of Boulder elitism and snobby wealthy pigs who must have the best of everything.
Be glad you have ANY food. Jerk.
9/10/2008 10:48:29 AM
It’s quite nice of the Camera staff to put this forum out here and let all you angry pranksters vent on each other daily — as well as the staff.
Instead of assaulting them, you should be thanking them.Maybe send some chocolate.
9/10/2008 10:52:25 AM
I have a suggestion. Instead of shopping at a place that people shop at just for the status of spending too much money one can go shop at a much
friendlier store and shop at The Sunflower Market instead of Wholepaycheck and then they won’t have something to whine about. Grow
up people. It’s a parking lot. It’s not the end of world. Get a life.
9/10/2008 10:53:38 AM
Sunflower’s prices are cheaper than Safeway.But hey, Safeway is a fufu market, isn’t it?
9/10/2008 10:54:21 AM
So one item you found had some trans fat in it. What’s your point? My bet that you would probably find the same thing at Wholepaycheck. I can’t believe that these people are adults. My three year old nephew is more mature than these people complaining about a damn parking lot.If you
don’t like it shop somewhere else and go home and call the police because you need to whine and complain about someone making too much noise. People are dying and being killed everyday in Iraq and people in Boulder are complaining about a f*c*ing parking lot. Am I wrong but is there not a story almost everyday in the Daily Camera someone complaining about some insignificant annoyance in Boulder? Yesterday it was about bike racksthat are going to be put in at the public schools. Now it’s about a parking lot. What’s next? PEOPLE OF BOULDER GET A LIFE!!!!
9/10/2008 11:08:04 AM
Safeway is the most expensive in town! Seriously, I had to walk out the other day. It’s all about praying on the students’ funds with them.
Anyway, the owners of Crossroads Commons are the ones doing all of the parking lot and building renovation. Whole Foods doesn’t own the center, though they did want to expand and so the owners are accommodating that. Also, they have been planning a larger store for 3 or 4 years now, so it doesn’t make sense to build another store at 29th street (which you would all complain about anyway, right?). The depot was moved from its original place downtown when RTD wanted to build a bus station there. It will soon be at the train stop east of 30th, which was its original use – as a train station. I just hope it gets easier to go through that parking lot on my bike, because I’ve always feared a little for my life.
And at the risk of losing my ‘good spot’ do you guys know about the garage?
9/10/2008 11:48:31 AM
Shoppers — as pedestrians and as drivers parking or leaving the lot — should adjust to the conditions and be particularly careful.It is pretty chaotic.
It would be nice if Whole Foods and B&N posted some architectural plans or a model of the completed renovation so folks knew what to look forward to.
9/10/2008 12:08:46 PM
This explains why my footman is a bit peeved these days.
9/10/2008 2:02:08 PM
moremilesplease, I think the store at 29th Street that people were talking about was the site of the Wild Oats that was going to be there before Whole Foods took them over, so it isn’t a matter of building something there – it’s already there, and sitting sadly unoccupied.
I have to agree with you that the parking lot at Crossroads Commons has always been a crowded, frenetic pain in the arse.I have never liked shopping at the Pearl Street Whole Foods.It seems like there are a lot of really pushy, passive/aggressive people who shop there, and it’s generally an unpleasant experience, what with that and the overly-inflated prices.I don’t often go there, since Vitamin Cottage is much cheaper, far less pretentious and carries most of what I need.Sunflower is just as cramped, crowded and full of pushy inconsiderate types as Whole Foods is.And yes, that Safeway on 28th and Iris is overpriced.Not only that, it’s poorly organized.
But back to the topic at hand, now that I’ve had my turn to gripe: The parking lot at Crossroads Commons is dangerous, unpleasant, and probably won’t be a lot better once the dust settles.Too many folks who think the most expensive vehicle has the right of way and think it’s cool to shop somewhere just to be “seen”.
9/10/2008 3:28:04 PM
Super Target beats them all.They have a decent selection of gourmet and organic foods, too, for WAY less.And you can buy just about anything while you’re there so no other stops.I mean, if you’re reallyinterested in reducing your carbon footprint.
Shopping at Whole Foods is about the experience of feeling healthy and environmentally sensitive while shopping.There is no way you can convince me that boxed macaroni and powdered cheese sauce mix is organic, healthy or natural, even if it has a recycled cardboard box, no added coloring and a cute bunny on the front, all for five times the price of Kraft. But if it makes you feel better about buying it…..You get what you pay for.
There’s no way to justify the expense of feeding a family of hungry teens off of a Whole Foods grocery experience… I’m going to Super Target.
9/10/2008 4:08:33 PM
Maybe you could get NObama’s best friend Bill Ayres to take care of the problem.
9/10/2008 6:43:42 PM