BRENTWOOD -- Starbucks is not waiting until its new Streets of Brentwood location is built to start serving coffee at the lifestyle center; the Seattle-based retailer is expected to open up shop by the end of the month.
"I'm excited -- I wish I had coffee right now," said Kristen Weidemann, Streets of Brentwood general manager.
Weidemann explained that while Starbucks broke ground this week on its new store, it has decided not to wait until it opens at the end of the year to start brewing again.
"We didn't want to lose Starbucks in the area and Starbucks didn't want to lose the area for six months while they build out their space," Weidemann said.
The new store is just one of several changes at the lifestyle center, which RED Legacy recently acquired. Also planned are new ligthing, fencing, parking and more.
The coffee retailer is tweaking the old Code Brew location, next to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, she said, to serve as a temporary location. She anticipates that it will open for business by the end of April.
City officials said that when the new Starbucks is built, it will include a drive-thru and it will share its 7,500-square-foot building space with three other tenants, including Sleep Number Bed. The new building is being erected on the dirt pad between BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and it's estimated to be completed by the end of 2013.
Other construction on the premises is being done by RED Legacy in the form of renovations, which in the short haul will improve parking, lighting and circulation. RED Legacy purchased the 350,000-square-foot Streets of Brentwood lifestyle center in September 2012.
"We're really trying to take this first year and just look at the things that we saw drastically wrong with the property -- the lighting, the circulation, the pylon sign and get that all done this year," said Weidemann, who anticipates the current renovations will be completed by May 20.
In the first phase 17-foot exterior parking lot lights were replaced with 25-foot poles and lighting itself increased from a two-head fixture to a three-head. Center court lighting will also be increased from a 14 foot- pole to a 20-foot.
"It's an amazing difference," said Weidemann. "It's not dark and scary any more -- it's nice and bright in the evenings."
Other renovations include removing the hardscape between the fountain and AMC Theater to make room for 60 additional parking spaces.
"What we are doing is shrinking the green-scape a little bit," Weidemann explained. "We'll still have the green, the lawn, the chairs, it just won't be quite as big, but it will give them more parking spaces there."
Circulation will be improved two-fold during this construction phase, not only will the fountain area become the center of a new round-about intersection, but there will also be a one-way traffic lane installed in front of the theaters.
"It's going to be 22 feet wide, which will enable a drop-off area," Weidemann said in regard to the southbound thoroughfare in front of AMC Theater. "We won't have any parking there, but a car can pull up drop the kids off and another car can still go around."
With the reduction in green-scape, the children's playground area is being moved closer to the soccer area at the east side of the center near Jos. A Bank and LensCrafters.
"We are going to add some fence in there to make it a little safer for the kids," said Weidemann. "And we have the sunshade already installed which gives shades to the moms when they are hanging out."
The relocation of the play area, also allows RED Legacy to properly irrigate and slant the lawn area to prevent puddling like that in the current play area.
The final addition to the center is a 60-foot tall signage pylon depicting up to 13 Streets of Brentwood retailers. The pylon will be located at the northeast corner of the Highway 4 bypass at Sand Creek Road.
"We're moving forward, and we hope that everyone likes the improvements that we are doing for the center," Weidemann said.