LAKEWOOD, COLO. - We finally have information on Colorado Mills! And not because the property manager finally decided to tell us much of anything.
At the end of the Lakewood City Council meeting on Monday, the city manager gave council an update on the mall that has been closed since the May 8 hail storm.
"It's gotten a lot of media attention and it seems as if this is a nice place to do an update for our community," said Lakewood city manager Kathy Hodgson. "I talk to the General Manager almost every day, to get updates. The good news is the temporary roof is on."
Hodgson said that city police, zoning and permitting crews are at the mall every day.
Late last week, Next reached out to the stores that have exterior entrances, to see if they were allowed to open before the mall itself. Stores like:
-Dick's Sporting Goods
-Nike Factory Outlet
-Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse
-Burlington Coat Factory
-Neiman Marcus Last Call
We only heard back from Forever 21 and the public relations firm for Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse. Forever 21 did not answer our question and just said it was open until further notice. The PR firm for the shoe store promised to get back to us, but never did.
Thanks to Lakewood, we have our answer.
"Stores that have an exterior entrance, as those get cleaned up and are fully restored, they're going to open as ready," said Hodgson.
The city manager also revealed this website, which provides updates for store owners and employees.
There are links to job opportunities and help with unemployment. There's also a section called "Memos," which includes a link to the "Colorado Mills Letter to Tenants" that the mall would not confirm as legit.
That letter suggests the mall won't be open until November, but Lakewood has heard differently.
"They had said they would open in November, now they are saying they're going to open just as soon as they can, as soon as it's safe," said Hodgson.
The only store attached to Colorado Mills that has been open despite damage is the Super Target. That store was closed for eight hours after the storm, but has been open since.
One look inside, however, makes you wonder why. There are missing ceiling tiles all over the place, dim lighting, if any, on the electronics side of the store, driers set up near wet carpet, buckets under leaks and certain departments blocked off altogether.
There are even exposed tiles and tarps covering leaky areas on the grocery side.
"Ceiling tiles aren't considered a critical issue in food safety," said Jefferson County Public Health Environment Health Director Jim Rada. "We really focus on food safety issues; control of temperatures, the ability to practice hygiene, the ability to be sanitary in the operation."
He said despite the appearance of the store, it is A-OK for food safety.
"We had staff in there as late as this afternoon and they indicated to us that the facilities are all in good condition," said Rada. "They need to have adequate refrigeration, they need to have hot and cold running water, in order to do the job and maintain the food in safe condition and OK for consumers to take home."
We did not get a reply to an email to Target media relations as of Tuesday night. According to Rada, the exposed ceiling tiles were to remove wet tiles and let air flow up to dry to facility out.
UPDATE (May, 26): Target reached out to us to say the store remains open because "we want to provide our guests with an easy and convenient shopping experience."
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