City’s redevelopment project luring businesses

An effort to revitalize a shopping area in Federal Heights was buoyed with the opening of a new burger chain.

City officials celebrated the addition of a new Smashburger restaurant Dec. 15 and 16 at a sneak-peek event for the public. The restaurant, located at 2690 W. 104th Ave., in Federal Plaza East, was scheduled to officially open its doors Dec. 17.

The Denver-based fast casual chain is the latest addition to Federal Plaza East, which recently celebrated the opening of an Ace Hardware store. Other businesses in the shopping area include a McDonald’s, Jimmy John’s and Panda Express.

It’s been a flurry of business activity for a city not exactly known as an economic powerhouse. Economic developent officials say Federal Heights is often more amicable to negotiating assistance packages with individual companies to help lure more businesses.

The area also is ripe for development, said Robert Smith, economic development director for Federal Heights.

“I think retailers are understanding this is a strong market here to do projects,” Smith said. “Opportunities we have are being realized at this point.”

Economic development officials with Federal Heights said the Federal Plaza East parcel is quickly becoming one of the city’s biggest successes. The 10-acre mixed-use center, which is being planned by the Federal Heights Redevelopment Agency, was acquired by the city in 1999 to help spur commercial development.

A master plan for the area, approved earlier this year, includes more development opportunities, including a water feature for children to play in and other park amenities to attract shoppers.

City officials said the location of the plaza at Federal Boulevard and West 104th Avenue provides an opportunity for the area to serve as the “social heart” of Federal Heights.