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 June 1, 1999

Interlocken workers await restaurants, nearby services

BROOMFIELD — It seems that in new business parks, the last things to arrive, long after companies have opened their doors, are the services for those businesses.

Where are the dry cleaners, the restaurants, the gas stations, the connector buses, the office supply stores?

At Interlocken business park, some companies have been operating sans service for years.

Sure, catering companies make a killing strolling through offices with baskets of sandwiches, muffins and salads. But you can’t serve a reheated burrito to a perspective client or employee visiting the office. Sometimes it’s nice to leave the building for a meal.

But the nearest sit-down restaurant for Interlocken workers in Broomfield is

Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill or The Armadillo at 120th Avenue. There are delis, hamburger joints, pizza places, and a scattering of Mexican and Chinese food restaurants, but by and large, there is a void.

And restaurants are just one of the missing services. Typically around busy office complexes, businesses crop up that cater to the needs of the tenants, such as office supply shops, dry cleaners and banks.

But the challenge with bringing services to a business park such as Interlocken is that the demographic is unknown. Developers are creating a community where there was none before. Unlike adding a gas station to a corner of town that is growing, Interlocken came out of the dust.

“I don’t know if there is a best way of having it happen,´ said Garrett Baum, director of sales and marketing for Interlocken business park. “Obviously when businesses come in they want to see services. But retail stores need to see a certain demographic before they can build.

We’ve achieved the demographics at Interlocken to support them.”

Those demographics include more than 100 businesses, the majority of which own the land the company operates on. The largest employers Sun and Level 3 will bring in several thousand more employees, nearly the same numbers as at smaller business parks with retail strips.

Over the next several years the business park will welcome a Montessori school, an athletic club, ATMs, a travel agency and more. The Omni Hotel will bring in a number of restaurants and several new developments are just receiving approval and are being drawn up. This is all part of the master plan, which has been followed since the beginning, says Fred Niehaus, spokesman for the business park.

“Everything you see activated now is not happening randomly,” Niehaus said. “Interlocken has planned for the types of amenities and support. The one by-product that we have seen is now you’re going to see professional support services; law firms and engineering firms, professional support services that support corporate side of businesses. It’s akin to the old manufacturing scheme where you put in a plant and suppliers flock. Support services flock to the park.”

Any flocking that’s happening is to nearby Flatiron Crossing mall, due to open in 2000 in Broomfield. Already several restaurants have expressed interest in leasing space at the new mall. The mall and Interlocken are feeding off each other to bring developments to the area, but none too soon.

“We influenced the quality of projects around the park because of the quality inside the park,” Baum said.

In order for businesspeople in the park to run errands during their lunch hour, they have to drive into Broomfield or Westminster for banking, dry cleaning, photo processing, getting gas, mail services, and the like.

But Baum says it really isn’t an inconvenience.

“I’ve been here three years, and I was probably entertaining clients more than anyone,” Baum said. “It wasn’t a bad situation. When people come here I would drive into the city of Broomfield, Louisville or Superior or even into Westminster. In five minutes I can get to any number of services.”

But it sure will be nice when those ATMs come into the business park, and when the 11-acre retail parcel is built out. At the moment, there is no public discussion of the type of businesses or which ones will lease the space in the retail parcel.

“We’ve done surveys of what they want at our retail parcel,” Baum said. “I think we can see it break ground as soon as this year. It’s similar to the mall. Other retail parcels around us are on similar time lines.”

Those time lines should please the delivery service companies that are raking in profits from serving Interlocken businesses.

“Maybe 25 percent of our business comes from Interlocken,´ said Lori Graham, owner of Bread Winners Catering, a 7-year-old business located at the Jefferson County Airport terminal. Graham recognizes the difficulty the business park is facing when considering retail services.

“Who’s going to put retail in where’s there no customer base?” asks Graham. “We operate a cafe. But it’s taken a long time getting the word out and getting a steady client base.” But her catering business is another story.

“We’ve done virtually no marketing for the last four years, but we haven’t had to. It’s just word of mouth,” Graham said. “With these companies growing at the rate they’re growing, the demand for having the lunch brought in will continue. I am happy to see the restaurants coming. It think it will fill a void. We offer 30 items on our lunch menu and after five days a week, they want something else.”

BROOMFIELD — It seems that in new business parks, the last things to arrive, long after companies have opened their doors, are the services for those businesses.

Where are the dry cleaners, the restaurants, the gas stations, the connector buses, the office supply stores?

At Interlocken business park, some companies have been operating sans service for years.

Sure, catering companies make a killing strolling through offices with baskets of sandwiches, muffins and salads. But you can’t serve a reheated burrito to a perspective client or employee visiting the office. Sometimes it’s…

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