Month: May 2015


Imagine a shopping experience where you can browse through heirloom tomatoes, lavender, freshly dug potatoes and goat’s milk cheese, all grown or produced locally. But you’re not walking a parking lot from tent to tent having rushed to get there in the limited hours the Farmers Market is open on Saturday mornings – you’re shopping indoors on a Wednesday afternoon! And you’re able to buy locally sourced meats, fresh packaged salsa, prepackaged and prepared dinner entrees and some small batch hand creams and body lotions with natural ingredients … all at the same time.

That’s what we’re planning for the former Albertson’s store space at the Hidden Lakes Shopping Center on the northeast corner of 72nd and Sheridan in Westminster.

The benefits of farmers markets with the convenience of a retail presence and the innovation of local sourcing and distribution are the founding principles of the Local Foods Campus Phase 1 at Hidden Lakes.

The project organizers identified this phased approach based on the realities of funding and investment, motivated property owner who believes in the local food concept and a building that is a clean slate for the project.

A real, tangible benefit to this phase of the project is that it will regenerate a depressed area, the Adams County side of Sheridan at 72nd. Property values in this area have actually lost value from 2009 to 2015, shocking in today’s real estate market! By revitalizing this vacant retail anchor into an attractive local foods grocery store that will bring shoppers and community events, and by generating much needed sales tax revenue, surrounding properties will see increased values.

We are ready and are moving forward with this phase of LFC! After multiple meetings with and discussion with residents, citizens, business owners council members an city staff, our discussions are now moving to senior city staffers to work out the details and timeline.

Imagine, shopping at your Local Foods Campus Market … in October of 2015!

Campus Details

One of they keys to the success of the Local Foods Campus and the reason it is slated to be built at 72nd and Sheridan in Westminser, Colorado is because that intersection is in the Southwest Urban Redevelopment Area. While many have heard of a URA, how they work is somewhat of a mystery, a mystery that the organizers of the Local Foods Campus have just recently begun to understand.

A URA is established to renew and revitalize a part of the community to

  • Enhance mobility in the area
  • Renovate or redevelop the deteriorated and/or outdated retail…buildings
  • Enhance the aesthetic appearance of the areaURA map
  • Reduce the retail vacancy rate
  • Improve property values…and
  • Improve the tax base of the City

Sounds like great goals for this part of Westminster, right? We agree!

Since 2004 when the SWURA was established, tax revenues generated within the SWURA have been used to help develop the southwest corner of 72nd and Sheridan, bringing area residents a Walmart megastore. On the northwest corner a retail strip center with a Starbucks, sandwich shop and cell phone store as well as a nearby housing development have benefitted from the SWURA’s bonding and taxing capabilities.

With the opening of the large Walmart retail store, sales tax revenues increased, and have been used to repay bonds to develop the sites. But according to city documents, nearly $5.2 million in incremental sales tax revenues have gone back into the City’s general fund, spent on projects such as the light rail station and new city center mall.

The City of Westminster has no further plan to develop projects to meet the stated goals of the SWURA which has 13 more years of capacity to fund innovative, community-building projects. Our Local Foods Campus is a perfect fit, meeting five of the six goals of the SWURA!

The Local Foods Campus fits with the agricultural heritage of the Shoenberg Farms site, will build local small businesses in food growing/raising/production, provide new jobs, keep local money circulating in our local economy, help local families to get healthier and reasonably priced foods, and redevelop and revitalize the SWURA in exactly the way it was intended to function.

Bringing public policy to a tangible result that benefits the residents … that’s the goal of LFC.

Campus Details

As we are working to open the Westminster Farmers Market in the Hidden Lakes Shopping Center on June 6, in the meantime, won’t you consider registering through our “Take Action” form to let us know you support the project? And like us on Facebook?  And let your Westminster City Councillor know you support this project? Their support is critical to this project. What we have laid out will benefit residents of the South Sheridan URA, develop the retail capacity and sales tax base, incubate local businesses and provide jobs. As one of our supporters said “It’s a win/win/win!” Here’s how to reach them:

Or mail your comments to them c/o City Manager’s Office, 4800 W. 92nd Ave., Westminster, CO 80031.

Campus Details

The Local Foods Campus (LFC) project in Westminster is a partnership created to bring about a strong, sustainable regional and local food destination. With a retail presence, educational opportunities, business incubator and food processing facility, LFC will create a vibrant local food hub.

We all need to eat, and the LFC will capitalize on the interconnectedness of food, community economy and the environment. Our goals for the project include:

  • Helping children and families develop a relationship with how their food is produced
  • Developing local businesses and jobs
  • Helping local food growers/raisers/producers to connect sustainably with their consumers, year-round, seven days a week
  • Based on the concept that food produced and sold locally keeps our local economy more robust, reduces the carbon footprint of the marketplace, creates shared value and builds community relationships.

The Local Foods Campus will be a phased project to be located in buildings at 72nd and Sheridan in Westminster, Colorado. The first phase will be built out in the Hidden Lakes Shopping Center, in a former grocery store building, and will include a retail center for produce, locally sourced packaged goods, meats, cheeses and more. Phase Two expands into a processing facility, culinary education center and business incubator, across Sheridan in the historic Shoenberg Farms buildings owned by the City of Westminster.

This once 800-acre dairy and egg farm and facility dates from 1911. Though now bordered by urban developments, housing and retail centers, the buildings still stand as a reminder of Westminster’s agrarian past. Adapting the historic milk barn, egg production facility, silo and farmhouse into a modern agricultural-related purpose is a great benefit to the citizens of the area.

Our project organizers, with deep experience in retail food operations and farmers markets, have worked with city, county and state government agencies, non-profits, chambers of commerce, educational institutions and citizens groups to craft a plan that is visionary, beneficial and achievable.

In the meantime, won’t you consider registering through our “Take Action” form to let us know you support the project? And like us on Facebook and let your Westminster City Councillor know you support this project?

General News, Uncategorized

We are pleased to be a part of the Westminster History Center’s History Day, an event for teachers and families to explore local history and resources. We’ll have a tent and tables with information about the Local Foods Campus and the Westminster Farmers Market, too. Might have some seedlings to hand out!

The event is free, and runs 10 to 4 on Saturday, May 2. It’s in the historic school house at 72nd and Lowell and the grounds around it. I hear there will be some live music and costumed history interpreters, too!

The Local Foods Campus

We are an incredible new partnership created to bring about a strong and sustainable regional and local food hub. Creating vibrant local food companies, supply chains, and access to ensure affordable, healthy, local food to Colorado Front Range citizens are the top priories of the project. The Local Foods Campus positively impacts the community through education, farming, food distribution and food production. We all need to eat, and the Local Foods Campus will inform and educate as to the delicate interconnectedness of food, community, economy, and the environment.

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