Contact Us

Glendale Entertainment District Secures Financing To Move Forward

Glendale Entertainment District Secures Financing To Move Forward
The first phase of Glendale Entertainment District is expected to be anchored by an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Nearly seven years after it was first announced, an ambitious entertainment district in Glendale has the financing it needs to begin development, courtesy of $70M in bonds sold by D.A. Davidson.

The project won approval from the Glendale City Council last year, and when complete, will add a major retail and hospitality component totaling nearly 214K SF to the busy Colorado Boulevard corridor through Denver and Glendale, the municipality carved out of Denver’s center.

The master-planned project called the Glendale Entertainment District is expected to develop in two phases, with the first anchored by an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Groundbreaking on Phase 1 is expected later this year, with a grand opening planned in 2024. The triangular site is bordered by East Virginia Avenue, Cherry Creek South Drive and South Cherry Street.

Phase 2 could include a hotel, as well as retail and restaurant space, according to a press release from D.A. Davidson, but is still in the planning stages. Central Street Capital will serve as master developer for the site.

The Glendale Entertainment District was first proposed in 2015 under the name Glendale 180. At the time, it was planned as a $175M entertainment and retail district south of Virginia Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and Cherry Street.

But the plan ran into opposition, particularly in the form of a legal battle between the city of Glendale and the owners of Authentic Persian and Oriental Rugs, which is located in the redevelopment boundaries as they were initially proposed.

The Kholghy family, which owns the rug store, objected to the use of eminent domain to purchase its property to make way for new development, touching off a three-year court battle that was ultimately ruled in favor of the Kholghys, preventing the city from developing the land where the store sits, at 550 South Colorado Blvd. 

This ruling caused the city to shrink the size of the proposed development, removing the portion that fronts Colorado Boulevard, one of the busiest streets in Denver.

The legal struggle also made it difficult to secure a developer for the project, but ultimately Central Street Capital stepped in. The locally based company is the family office of the Salazar family, among the wealthiest in Denver.

D.A. Davidson secured the bonds for Riverwalk Metropolitan District, a move that allows the city of Glendale to use a mechanism in Colorado law in which local governments can form metro districts for the purpose of completing development components in the name of providing public services.

“This highly anticipated project required complex financing elements, deep team expertise and a visionary developer to help effectively build it out in a cost-effective and sustainable manner,” D.A. Davidson Managing Director Brooke Hutchens said in a release. “It’s a pure example of how the right financing tools and team can ensure the successful delivery of a project of this scale that will support a thriving Denver and its community members long into the future.”

Glendale Entertainment District is also the largest ground-up retail development set to begin in metro Denver since before the pandemic.