Trader Joe’s to open Springs location in 2015

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Logo_staticCalifornia-based specialty grocery chain Trader Joe’s struck a deal Tuesday to open another Colorado location at University Village Colorado shopping center in Colorado Springs.

Trader Joe’s plans to open a 12,400-square-foot stand-alone store at 5342 N. Nevada Ave. — near the intersection of Nevada Avenue and Garden of the Gods Road — sometime in 2015, according to spokesperson Alison Mochizuki.

The company signed a longterm lease for what will be its sixth Colorado location, the size of which falls in the middle for Trader Joe’s stores that typically range from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet. Mochizuki declined to comment on how many people the store might employ.

John Winsor, who helped broker the deal with Olive Real Estate Group Inc., said construction is expected to begin within 30 days on a pad site in the northeastern corner of the plaza, next to SteinMart. He said the buildout should bring the total square-footage of University Village to 575,000, well on its way to a goal of 650,000.

Winsor said he has worked actively with developer Kevin Kratt and realty partner Tom Cone to finalize the deal that has been roughly six months in the making. Now that the lease is signed, he expects the impact on University Village to be noticeable.

“They are such a unique tenant and such a huge draw of customer traffic that there is no doubt they will attract other potential tenants,” he said. “It has been our goal to bring in unique kinds of tenants ….”

University Village will also see more construction throughout the complex, he said. New tenants include a running shoe and apparel store, a massage center, an upscale San Diego-based eatery called Cowboy Star, a Starbucks and a second location of popular breakfast restaurant Over Easy, which is based in downtown Colorado Springs.

News of Trader Joe’s breaking into the local market comes nearly two years after the chain announced it would open its first Colorado location in Boulder. The 14,000-square-foot store at 1906 28th St., formerly home to Applebee’s, opened the same day as the other two in Denver and Greenwood Village.

What was a state devoid of Trader Joe’s just months ago is slated to be home to six of the stores with the arrival of the Colorado Springs location. The chain opened three stores Feb. 14 in Denver, Greenwood Village and Boulder and has plans to open two more in Denver and Fort Collins by year’s end.

The University Village Colorado development was opened in October 2009 and currently is anchored by Costco Wholesale Club, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Kohl’s and most recently SteinMart. According to analysis by Olive Real Estate group, nearly 500,000 peoplelive  within a 25-minute drive of the complex, including the more than 10,000 students currently attending UCCS, which is directly east across Nevada Avenue.