The pothole filled parking lot of the former King Soopers at the northeast corner of 20th Avenue and Depew Street holds a lot of stories as well as dreams for our community. With the exception of Depew Liquor and La Cascada, the retail stores sit vacant. The exterior shell of the vacant King Soopers is covered with painted over graffiti.
Residents are full of hope for the redevelopment of this property, yet what is its history?
Stories begin with it once being a city dump which might hold the remains of Roger the Elephant. The land was also once a field which sat to the south of Edgewater Elementary School. Longtime resident Pauline York remembers allowing local youth to ride go-carts through the field. Bill Bossert also remembers the site holding a combination of football, baseball and track fields for Edgewater High School in the 1950s. Home plate and the spectator stands were where Depew Liquor is currently located.
Then in 1978 the land was purchased and King Soopers became the anchor of what was then called Edgewater Village. As Edgewater grew and changed, King Soopers decided to vacate the property and move around the corner to Sheridan and 17th Avenue. The City of Edgewater purchased the property in 2004 for $1.6 million and it has sat vacant since.
Since the City of Edgewater purchased the property there have been a number of ideas for redeveloping the property. The first idea was a $4.5 million Civic Center on the property that would be built by September 2005. The proposed plan would have brought together Edgewater civic services including police, fire, public works, courts, council chambers and administrative office under one roof.
This proposal did not gain traction so the City of Edgewater moved on and worked with Ice Ranch for three years trying to bring an ice rink to the area. Again, the hope was to move city services onto the property anchored by the Ice Ranch. But in June of 2011, Ice Ranch pulled out of the development because they lost funding.
Now another developer, Trinity Development, is under contract to purchase the land from the City of Edgewater. Trinity has received a second contract year extension in the hope of finding an excellent anchor for the development. You can see the potential plans for the use of the land here. Statements by Trinity Development representatives point to a “natural grocer” as an anchor as well as townhomes and apartments. These representatives say they are in the homestretch of the finalizing the grocer for the space.
Stay tuned over the next year to see what concrete developments are in store for this property at the northeast corner of 20th and Depew.