COMMERCE CITY — Less than a year after the new King Soopers opened near Reunion, another grocery store — Mi Pueblo — is arriving in the city.
“Mi Pueblo is a great local Latin grocer who focused and acted very quickly on this opportunity,” said Jim Cortney with commercial real estate firm NAI Shames Makovsky.
The 44,171-square-foot store, scheduled to open May 1, will anchor the Plaza Mexico development at 6040 E. 64th Ave.
Cortney credited the city’s efforts at attracting new business for helping make the deal a success.
“The Commerce City economic development team was extremely helpful and easy to work with,” Cortney said. “They were able to facilitate incentives in a short timeframe, which gave Mi Pueblo a great level of comfort to move forward.”
According to a press release from the city, Mi Pueblo will receive a 10-percent rebate of sales and use tax, a 50-percent rebate on city fees and a 10-percent rebate on sales and use taxes and city fees if local companies are used during the capital improvements.
The supermarket also qualifies for job creation incentives, which prove rebates for every full-time position created, and the rebate doubles if the new hire is a resident of Commerce City.
Walter Williams, economic development manager for Commerce City, praised the benefits the supermarket will provide for local residents.
“Mi Pueblo will be an anchor to Plaza Mexico and is vital to providing the surrounding community with a strong market space,” Williams said. “They are known for taking care of their local communities, ad we’re very proud they’ve chosen to expand their home in Commerce City.”
Williams is referring to the 22,000-square-foot distribution center Mi Pueblo already operates in Commerce City.
But the retail store will take over in the location former occupied by Rancho Liborio, which closed in April 2012.
Rancho Liborio, based out of California, filed for bankruptcy last year. Anthony Trujillo, a Colorado developer, helped bring the chain to Colorado in 2008.
In an interview at the time with the International Council of Shopping Centers, Trujillo said he wanted to avoid the impression that the Rancho Liborio stores were trying to cater to higher-end clientele.
“On the surface, Rancho Liborio appears to be aimed at a more affluent Hispanic, but our whole intent was to make the customer feel at home,” Trujillo said. “For our design, we studied the mercados from Latin America to see how they look like in terms of colors, individual space, etc.”
The design in the store appeared to also carry the inspiration of markets closer to home, such as Whole Foods, with an expanded produce section and aisles stocked heavily with organic foods.
The Commerce City Rancho Liborio, with its more upscale image, was occasionally at contrast with the local neighborhood. The store was located a couple of blocks away from an unsolved-murder scene, but former manager Victor Arellano said customers felt safe at the location because of a steady police presence in the area
“[The police] drive through the parking lot on a regular basis,” Arellano said. “And we often see the officers shopping in the store. The customers feel safer, and the employees feel safer, too. It’s good for business to have the Commerce City police visible like this.”
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.