by John Kiljan
Dear CLRC members and friends,
Listen up neighbors! You can help yourself and your neighborhood by patronizing the businesses in the shopping centers near Ralston Road and Independence Street.
This isn’t your usual “shop locally” appeal. Many of the local businesses in the three shopping centers that run from Kmart east all the way to Pizza Hut’s take-out and south to Ace Hardware (collectively known as the Triangle) are suffering from a fall-off in business due to the reconstruction of the nearby park and the traffic diversions caused by the closing of Garrison Street to the north.
The businesses closest to construction work at the Garrison Street park and the strip mall that hosts Chuck E. Cheese’s seem to be having the toughest time. The Garrison Street closure at Ralston Creek has diverted the traffic coming from the north down Kipling Street to the east and to the west, passing around the Triangle.
That closure is expected to last until at least January and possibly through February when Garrison Street can finally reopen. What will help a little is the recent reopening of the first few hundred feet of Garrison at Ralston Road. However, that is only a two-lane opening and it is also where the heavy trucks go in and out of the construction site. Moreover, that intersection is scheduled to be rebuilt later this year under a separate contract.
Half a dozen of my neighbors have told me they are making an extra effort to shop in the Triangle during construction — mostly because they can see the drop-off in business or they know employees who are seeing their hours cut. We all should.
Those businesses have shown their loyalty to us over the years as the Triangle has declined as a shopping attraction. Now is the time to show our support for them as we all go through the inconvenience of a major construction project.
But there are other ways you are helping yourself and your neighbors if you shop locally:
The economy is getting better, and the Triangle may be closer than it has ever been to getting a private-sector redevelopment offer. We don’t know what that offer will look like or when it will come, but we do know that potential investors do look at sales tax revenues and customer support before deciding to invest. Seeing those sales numbers hold up could make the difference for an investor.
And the sales tax the City captures if we aren’t taking our business to Wheat Ridge or Westminster or Denver is another bonus. Those sale-tax dollars translate directly into more money for things such as our own street improvements and faster snow removal during winter storms.
I can’t think of anything that would improve the neighborhoods along the central Ralston Road corridor more than a revitalized Triangle. But it gets better still. The City’s proposed 2013/2014 budget for capital improvement projects includes an allocation for community recreation facilities to support redevelopment if the City can capture an urban renewal project for the Triangle.
No, it’s not Belmar, but the Triangle still offers a lot — groceries, auto repair, tires, personal services, a variety of sit-down and take-out restaurants, sports bars, friendly people and more. So wherever you have been shopping since construction began in the park, now is the time to help out our neighborhood and reward yourself by shopping at the Triangle. And remind yourself to ask your friends and neighbors to do the same right through the coming winter months. The holiday season is often the break-even time for many of our businesses.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community regularly posts information on its website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ as it becomes available. Or you can friend us on Facebook. Our new Facebook name is now ‘Clrc Arvada’.
John Kiljan, CLRC Notes: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
September 25, 2012