Food co-op adding locally-grown eats to growing Stanley Marketplace area

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Originally published October 27, 2016 by Brandon Johansson in the Aurora Sentinel

“The part of Aurora that we are in has less access to food and is considered more of a food desert.”

AURORA | A few years from now, northwest Aurora residents can expect to see a flock of hungry folks from Stapleton streaming over the Denver border and beelining it for Aurora.

And it’s not just because the Stanley Marketplace is coming to Aurora, though officials are confident that much-anticipated project will be a major draw for metro-area foodies.nm_theheights_mockup_2016-10-17

Instead, the herds pouring into Aurora will be headed for the new Nourish Community Market. Officials from the co-op announced plans last week for a 10,000-square-foot market at 2352 Dallas St. The market, which will be open to everyone, not just the more than 750 members of the co-op, will be on the ground floor of the Heights at Westerly Creek condominium building in the city’s Westerly Creek development across Dallas Street from Stanley.

Kim Soko Schaefer, project manager for Nourish, said the co-op behind the project is aiming for an opening date in 2018.

In the meantime, she said they are working to raise enough money for the project and to grow the ranks of their member-owners from about 750 to between 1,000 and 1,500.

While co-op members receive dividends when they shop at the store, Schaefer said everybody will be welcome at Nourish, which will specialize in locally grown, pesticide-free produce.

“It is a store that anybody can shop at,” she said.

The market is one of three the co-op company has planned for metro Denver. The Westwood Food Co-op in west Denver is slated to open this year, and another is planned for West Colfax Avenue.

The location near Stanley is an ideal one, Schaefer said, because about 75 percent of the co-op’s members live in Stapleton.

Also, the northwest corner of Aurora doesn’t offer a lot in terms of natural and fresh produce.

“The part of Aurora that we are in has less access to food and is considered more of a food desert,” she said.

Nourish is slated to be one of several store fronts in The Heights at Westerly Creek, which is being developed by 5280 Development Group.

Nouara Sadaoui, part of 5280, said the plan is for 120 to 140 condos ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms.

On the main floor there will be more than 30,000 square feet of retail space, she said, and that will likely include a restaurant and office space as well as Nourish.

Sadaoui said she expects being so close to Stanley will be a boon for The Heights because businesses that can’t score space there will still want to be nearby.

The Westerly Creek development is part of a building boom in the city’s far northwest corner, an older neighborhood that has long stood in stark contrast to adjacent Stapleton.

While the Stapleton side of the line has boomed for the past decade — with thousands of swank homes, new parks and shops along Quebec Street on the old airport’s western edge — the Aurora side has lagged behind in terms of development.

But 2016 has seen dramatic change on that front.

Stanley is a major piece of the neighborhood’s building boom and officials have said it should open next month with around 50 businesses.

And it’s not just dining and retail that is coming to the neighborhood.

More than 300 new homes — a mix of single-family homes, townhomes and duplexes — are slated for the 27-acre stretch of land on the Aurora side of Stapleton.

The Aurora neighborhood, part of Stapleton’s larger Bluff Lake neighborhood, will run along east 25th and 26th avenues for about 10 blocks, starting at Fulton Street.

The Aurora homes in Bluff Lake are expected to cost from the high $200,000s to $400,000s, and are under construction now, with buyers moving in next year.

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