Cherry Creeks moves to sun-powered shopping

Cherry Creek mall switches to solar, renovates spaces, welcomes new stores

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The Cherry Creek Shopping Center will flip the switch this month on a new set of solar panels being installed on the roof.

Nick LeMasters, the general manager of the mall, said the amount of sun that Colorado gets, as well as changes to the industry, has made it cheaper to take the leap into using solar energy. He estimated about 40 percent of the energy used in common areas of the mall will come from the solar panels.

“We reached a point economically that solar began to make sense,” he said. “It’s very significant in the amount of cost savings.”

In addition to being a smart business decision, LeMasters said he felt it also was the right thing to do.

The solar panels are not all that’s new at the mall.

Pandora and Finish Line are renovating their stores, while Vans, the California-based shoe store, is moving to a different spot inside the mall, LeMasters said. Brooks Brothers also moved to a different space in the upper level.

Many of the chain brands in Cherry Creek do renovations to keep up to date with the look of their brand. LeMasters said the renovations are a partnership between the mall and the stores that lease the space.

“That’s really where our focus and our emphasis is,” he said. “We are thrilled at the number of stores that are coming with us this year — or will be with us this year.”

The AMC Theater in the mall is another example of a business renovating its space to keep up with the modern brand. The theater will have a bar as well as reclining seats once the renovations are finished. It will have the movie-going experience that people have come to expect, LeMasters said.

Stores, such as menswear store Untuckit and Eyebobs, found their homes online and are now breaking into mall retail. Both stores are set to open soon in Cherry Creek. They join other online outlets that opened in the mall like glasses store Warby Parker and Fabletics, which sells women’s athletic wear.

“They represent the clicks-to-bricks idea,” LeMasters said. “These were pure internet plays that said `We want brick and mortar.’ ”

LeMasters also hinted that the mall will be announcing several new tenants in the coming months, but declined to name the stores. With luxury fashion store Hermes also starting its buildout in the mall this year, LeMasters said he’s excited for the rest of 2019.

“It’s going to be a very big year,” he said.

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