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Durango goes ‘real’ too

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Boxes and more boxes

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado’s I-70 corridor continues to look more like urban America in all its majestic boxy and bigger-box wonder. The latest shift is in Glenwood Springs, where a 405,000-square-foot shopping centre has opened on the city’s west side.

Biggest among the boxes is a 125,000-square-foot Target that is described as a new prototype – not quite a Super Target and not quite a standard Target. That means groceries but no produce department.

Neither of the existing big boxes, Wal-Mart and K-Mart, appears to be fleeing with the arrival of target, although the Glenwood Springs Post Independent suggests that K-Mart has troubles ahead.

Arriving later this autumn are Lowe's, Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Pier 1 Imports, plus a variety of smaller stores ranging from Allure Day Spa to Verizon Wireless. Several hundred housing units are also in the offing.

Also on the I-70 corridor in the mountains, a Target, a Home Depot, and two Wal-Mart Supercenters arrived last year, with a Costco thought to be in the soon-to-come mix.

West Vail showing its age

VAIL, Colo — The commercial complex in the West Vail component of Vail looks very 70ish, which reflects when it was built. Seas, not oceans, of parking lots describe the theme in the Safeway-McDonald’s area.

Now, city officials are dangling the idea of redevelopment to make it look New Urbanistic, with small, city-style blocks, a smattering of parking next to the buildings, retail on the ground floor with office and housing on the upper floors. A main street would run through it.

The closest prototype at hand is at Riverwalk, the project in Edwards, located about 10 miles west, which was constructed beginning in the mid-1990s. Jeff Winston of Boulder is a consultant on the project, as is Ian Thomas. The Vail Daily reports that businesses in the complex have not done well in the last several years as they have faced competition from new down-valley shopping complexes – including the Riverwalk.

Sharp increase in ESL students

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Although the enrolment has grown very little overall, the number of ESL — English as second language — students in the Steamboat Springs schools continues to spike. The school district has 68 students, most of them native Spanish speakers, compared to 12 only three years ago, reports The Steamboat Pilot.