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Surrounded by piles of rubble and unfinished store fronts, construction crews work around the clock to put finishing touches on ornate landscape designs and opulent interior spaces. The opening of a mall is never a small affair.
The long-awaited 29th Street Marketplace will open its doors to the public on Friday, Oct. 13. The occasion, “When Worlds Collide: The Fusion of Shopping, Science and Community,” will be marked by a weekend of festivities including live music, product demonstrations and food sampling, retail discounts and a science exhibit.
“This mall, with its outdoor concept, brings something completely unique to Boulder,” said Andrew Litzau of the soon-to-be-open Panera Bread. “Boulder has been missing a concentrated shopping center, and the mall fills that void.”
Retail businesses on Boulder’s other shopping center, Pearl Street Mall, are most likely going to suffer loss of business from the new mall, said Chris “Classic” Rowley of Bart’s CD Cellar. But, he added, the mall is not a bad thing.
“I think this mall is kind of necessary,” Rowley said. “Pearl is a mall, but then it isn’t. That’s why Flatirons has been so successful, people want malls to go to.”
The open-air plaza is a high-concept shopping center, with stores and restaurants divided among the everyday, dining and entertainment, home and retail fashion “neighborhoods.” The mall will feature stores such as Muttropolis, a pet store opening its first Colorado location, an Apple Computers store, the Puma concept store and White/Black, a store devoted to white and black clothing.
29th Street replaces the now defunct Crossroads Malls. Crews broke ground for the marketplace at the beginning of 2005, and because construction is not yet complete, Friday’s opening is only a partial opening.
“Like most lifestyle centers, 29th Street will debut in phases,” Lain Adams, senior property manager said in a released statement. “Within a few months (of the opening) we’ll celebrate Wild Oats’ opening and look ahead to Century Theatres coming online, as well.”
The mall also features an interactive science exhibit showcasing the work of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, CU’s JILA and Laboratory of Atmosphere and Space Physics, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Space Science Institute. “The Wonders of Science at 29th Street,” as the exhibit is called, will be a central theme to the opening ceremonies.
In addition to its science-oriented activities, the grand opening will feature a ribbon-cutting event Friday at 9:30 a.m. “Science Saturday” will give the public a chance to meet scientists from Colorado and will showcase demonstrations from Mad Science. “Wellness Sunday” will feature a rock-climbing wall, yoga seminars and chair massages from Massage Envy.
“We’re actually pretty excited for the new mall because it’s close to our houses,” said junior engineering students Rami Foster and Jeff Arnold. “We won’t have to go all the way to Pearl or Flatirons anymore.”