Westminster’s new downtown is starting to take off.

Over the next two years, more than 1M SF of development and $240M of private investment will be built on the site of the old Westminster Mall, which was razed to make room for an urban center in the more-than-100-year-old community in the Denver region’s northwest corridor.

The city is building Central Square, a $5.5M, 1.2-acre plaza that will host up to 200 events annually. It is expected to open late this year.

The new roads and six-story public parking garage already are open. The 118-unit Eaton Street Apartments, a mixed-use project wrapping around the garage that includes workforce housing, is under construction and expected to open late this year. Eaton Street, being developed by Koelbel & Co. and Longs Peak Advisors, will be available to residents earning 60% or less of the area median income, or about $50K annually for a household of four.

Minneapolis-based developer Sherman Associates has started construction on a five-story residential and retail project called Ascent at Downtown Westminster at Westminster Boulevard and 88th Avenue. The project will include 24K SF of retail, 255 residential units, including 10% workforce housing at rents lower than market rate, and underground parking. The project will seek LEED Silver certification and feature amenities such as large outdoor living and community areas, a fitness and yoga studio, a rooftop pool and an outdoor kitchen. Sherman also has started work on a second mixed-use project just off Central Square.

The next projects to start construction will be an Alamo Drafthouse and Origin Hotel, which will house a 9K SF Marczyk Fine Foods market in its lobby. Mississippi-based Thrash Group is developing the 125-room Origin, a boutique hotel slated to open early next year. The hotel also will have a chef-driven restaurant. Thrash is looking for the right first-floor tenant to complement Marczyk.

“It’s block by block,” Westminster Real Estate and Development Manager Sarah Nurmela said. “We are watching the development start to go up and getting increased interest daily. The development community is now seeing the amenities we’re putting in, and that has gone a long way to bringing interest to the site.”

The city is now talking with developers about for-sale residential and office developments.

“We have a lot of multifamily rental coming online,” Nurmela said. “It establishes a presence on the site, but we want to diversify the offerings.”