AGrand Experience

When developer McWhinney Enterprises first conceived the design, the amenities and the feel of Grand Station at Centerra, the mixed-use project in the company’s hometown of Loveland, Colo., it focused on one user in particular—the office tenant. An uncommon approach to establishing the image of an entire development, envisioning the type of person who would occupy the office space allowed the developer to give a face and a personality to a million square feet of retail, office, residential and hospitality.

According to Jack Wolfe, president of commercial/mixed-use development for McWhinney, “We’re going after the creative class of office-space user,” he said. The creative class counts architects, interior designers and advertising agencies among its ranks—“the kind of professional who is wearing an iPod,” added Wolfe. “These are people who appreciate an experience: When they go out for a cup of coffee, they want an experience. When they go to lunch or run next door to work out, they want it to be an experience.”

Indeed, experience is what Grand Station at Centerra will be built around. Anchored by Hotel Valencia, the development will include 480,000 sq. ft. of retail, dining and entertainment, a premier fitness center called Club One, and such unique amenities as an authentic, operating double-decker streetcar, the 60-ft.-tall Grand Clock Tower, and a central gathering area coined Grand Square surrounded by cobblestone streets that encase a pavilion, open areas, firepit and an interactive water feature.

Grand Station at Centerra

Location: Loveland, Colo., at Interstate 25 and US-34Size: 1 million sq. ft. on 60 acres, comprised of 480,000 sq. ft. of retail, dining and entertainment, 145,000 sq. ft. of office and 100,000 sq. ft. of medical, plus residential and hotelsDeveloper: McWhinney EnterprisesMajor tenants: Anchoring the development is Hotel Valencia, a boutique luxury hotel, joined by Club One health-and-fitness center. Retail lineup to be announced.Status: Grand opening is slated for fall 2009.Project highlights: Located within Centerra, the McWhinney master-planned community, and adjacent to the Poag & McEwen and McWhinney joint-ventured Promenade Shops at Centerra, Grand Station at Centerra will be a LEED-certified mixed-use development unique to northern Colorado. Shopping, dining, entertainment, hospitality, office and medical, fitness, civic and living opportunities are set off by such special amenities as a Grand Square, Grand Streetcar and a Grand Clock Tower.

The overall design of Grand Station at Centerra references Colorado’s historic train depots. While the adjacent, and much-heralded, lifestyle center joint-ventured by McWhinney and Memphis, Tenn.-based Poag & McEwen— The Promenade Shops at Centerra—features a breezy, Main Street look, Grand Station bases its design on northern Colorado’s railway history and other local influences.

“[In creating Grand Station at Centerra], we wanted something that would be the heart and soul of Centerra,” said Wolfe. Centerra is the 4,000-acre master-planned community, developed exclusively by McWhinney Enterprises. “We knew we had to create a great experience and a reason for people to come.

“Geographically, we’re at the 100% corner of northern Colorado, sitting adjacent to Interstate 25 at the major turnoff to the Rocky Mountain National Park.”

The planned community’s proximity to the Rockies makes it a natural attraction to the 100,000-plus cars that drive by each day. The LEED-certification of its mixed-use project gains Centerra favor from both the City of Loveland and from environmentally conscious Coloradans. “Building for sustainability is important not just to the people who live, work, shop and eat here,” said Wolfe, “but also to us as developers. Sustainability is what we all need to be striving for.”