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June 17, 2010 • THE VILLAGER • PAGE 25



JUNE 17, 2010

what’s inside

REAL ESTATE  Streets at SouthGlenn is recapitalizing, Pg. 25

HOME & GARDEN  Auto Review: Jetta TDI is road warrior, Pg. 26  Plant the future with urban farming Pg. 28

DEVELOPMENT  Bye Energy moves to Centennial Airport Pg. 25  Cherry Creek trail set to expand, Pg. 27

digs DIGS is a supplemental publication of The Villager Newspaper. Produced twice a month, this new section will feature stories about home improvement and décor, lawn/garden care and landscaping. DIGS will also focus on real estate – supplying real estate agents and brokers with a platform to highlight their properties, expertise and services. NEXT EDITION: JULY 1 AD DEADLINE: JUNE 24

The Streets at SouthGlenn plans recapitalization of debt; more restaurants and stores to open this summer. Photo courtesy of Alberta Development

SouthGlenn developers renegotiate debt Submitted by Alberta Development


lberta Development Partners, the development company that created The Streets at SouthGlenn to replace Southglenn Mall, announced, June 9, a $300 million recapitalization of its debt. This was done with PCCP and Walton Street Capital. “Over the past six months, we have spent countless hours securing the cooperation of multiple lenders in a bank group to acquire the indebtedness and reinforce the capital structure of this investment, said Phil Russick, principal at PCCP, “We are now looking forward to stabilizing this core, irreplaceable property with continuity in strategy and ownership, along with our partners Alberta and Walton Street.” Retail leasing at The Streets at SouthGlenn remains strong, including 41,500 square feet of new leased space opening this summer and early fall. The Streets at SouthGlenn will soon welcome University of Phoenix, Snooze, Shine Boutique, Just Pets, Edible Arrangements, Dairy Queen, Smooch the Pooch, Pearl Vision and Cheers. In addition, two large restaurants will open their doors in June: Hodson T’s and Cantina Laredo, a gourmet Mexican food eatery. “This recapitalization will continue to further differentiate The Streets at South-

Glenn as a leading shopping, dining and entertainment destination,” said Don Provost, founding principal of Alberta Development Partners, LLC. “The Streets at SouthGlenn provides a great center for the community and our hard work over the past few months achieving this recapitalization will only enhance that experience as we continue to add tenants to the campus.” The Streets at SouthGlenn features res-

taurants, Whole Foods Market, 24 Hour Fitness, Hollywood Theaters and unique local and national women’s and men’s apparel retailers. The retail center also is home to the Commons, a city-block-long park, which features a grand fountain and fireplace, landscaping and gardens. Visit for more information.

Bye Energy adds jobs, relocates to Centennial Airport


ye Energy Inc., an integrator of alternative energy technologies for business and general aviation aircraft, has relocated its headquarters to the TacAir 8 building at Centennial Airport, the company announced June 9. The larger facility allows Bye Energy additional space for engineering and administrative staff in support of “The Green Flight Project,” which launched in February and is intended to enhance the development of a commer-

cial electric and electric-hybrid propulsion system for light small planes. George Bye, CEO of Bye Energy, said five jobs were added in conjunction with the move and expansion of The Green Flight Project. “This effort is not just an accelerator for renewable energy and general aviation, it is an economic accelerator as well,” Bye said. Work on the initial phase of the project, an all-electric proof

of concept, is being performed at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. “We were proud to help Bye Energy announce The Green Flight Project earlier this year,” said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Cor-

poration. “We are particularly pleased to see this new Colorado company grow.” Formed in 2008, Bye Energy,, also has offices in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Albuquerque. More information about the Green Flight Project is at


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PAGE 26 • THE VILLAGER • June 17, 2010

Auto Review

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hybrid technology using batteries presently being promoted by many auto manufacturers. This diesel technology and fuel economy is a long lasting design of a great engine, transmission design. Buy a proven package of engine and transmission that will run the distance. This is the second diesel tested in recent weeks and they both had the same ailment, clutching and shifting are more difficult than a gasoline engine because the diesel seems to slightly pause when accelerating. This may be an elevation, sea level problem or a symptom of diesel technology that the octane of the fuel and the operation of the engine just take a longer time to achieve an RPM boost. Once the Jetta is in motion, the power train works magnificently and the luxury of six forward gears makes for terrific traveling on Colorado’s challenging mountain highways. There is a lot of shifting in the city and it takes a slight driving adjustment to handle the diesel engine versus gasoline, but the economy and power of this diesel package is exceptional. Shifting in the city is challenging for any manual car. The best is still to come in driving the Jetta at highway

speeds; it has exceptional handling from independent suspension, an electro-mechanical steering and electronic stabilization. The entire package works exceptionally well in road handling and the wide selection of gears makes the car nimble and aggressive on the highway. It has a good feel, comfortable ride, usual electronics; the heating and controls could be clearer and are controlled by turning knobs that are hard to read in dim light. The back seat is adequate for four passengers and the trunk is large enough for a set of golf clubs and some suitcases. Along with the great fuel economy this is a practical car, priced in the mid to high $20s with options of a sunroof, special paint and rear spoiler that increase the list price. Again, the engine and transmission are well built, long lasting, and once a driver adjusts to the diesel clutch/thrust routine - it is a great front wheel drive car. This is a good, long lasting investment for a recent high school or college graduate who plans road trips across America or Colorado looking for a job. This TDI model will get a graduate to the job interview on schedule or even early.

Littleton businesses can qualify for free energy upgrades SUBMITTED BY CITY OF LITTLETON Small- and medium-sized Littleton businesses can apply for funds to pay for assessments and energy efficiency upgrades through the Governor’s Energy Office and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Participants will reduce energy and operating costs, help stimulate local clean energy jobs, and reduce carbon emissions. To qualify, a business must operate in a space less than 25,000 square-feet, submit an application, attend an energy data management training workshop, and be willing to track utility usage after upgrades are implemented.

Businesses can receive a free lighting audit, a comprehensive facility energy audit reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost up to $100, receive rebates of up to 50 percent of the cost of new energy efficient lighting up to $2,000, get paid for the cost of 50 percent of recommissioning services up to $3,000, and be reimbursed up to $100 for setback thermostats. Applications can be downloaded at and should be returned to the Littleton Building Division office at 2255 W. Berry Ave. Call Trident Energy at 303-247-0193 for more information.


June 17, 2010 • THE VILLAGER • PAGE 27

trailblazing Centennial, Parker Jordan Metro District plan to purchase 107 acres to complete Cherry Creek Trail By Joshua Cole


he end is near, which means there won’t be a finish. The city of Centennial and Parker Jordan Metro District are in the process of purchasing 107 acres of open space near Parker and Arapahoe roads around the Cherry Creek. With the land, the trail next to the creek is proposed to be completed by the end of this year. It is the final piece missing that connects the Cherry Creek from downtown Denver around Cherry Creek Reservoir and all of the way to Roxborough State Park on what could eventually be part of a near-endless bike trail. The total cost is expected to be about $3.2 million, with each party paying for half. Centennial and Parker Jordan are working on an intergovernmental agreement to secure the land. Centennial’s City Council discussed the issue in May and would likely vote on the final agreement this summer. “It has high visibility, it increases the connectivity throughout our community, and it allows the city to have control over it,” said Centennial Planning Director Wayne Reed. “It’s a project that will present the city of Centennial as a leader and is making accessible this stretch of the Cherry Creek corridor.” Parker Jordan Metro District and Centennial would each own half of the land, while Parker Jordan would be in charge of maintaining the open space. Centennial would need to pay about half of the anticipated maintenance costs, about $50,000 per year, but wouldn’t have any other associated administration costs on the park. In addition to being in charge of maintenance, Parker Jordan Metro District also would agree to pay for road access at the northern entrance, according to Centennial officials. The park was bought using reserve funds from the Arapahoe County Open Space Sale Tax’s share-back program – money the city must use on parks and can’t use on streets or other city projects. To complete the trail, the city had budgeted to use $300,000 this year. That money is planned to be used in addition to a $360,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado that Centennial received in April. The 80 acres around the creek is in a floodplain, and it has been planned to be “passive” open space, so no playgrounds. The 27 acres west of it was originally planned to be apartments but may

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now be “active” open space, which the city could possibly keep open, add a playground or build fields. However, water rights issues make building and maintaining fields more complicated, Reed said. The land has been owned by the Fetters family, which has been running a farm for generations. The Fetters had planned to turn the 110 acres east of the open space into “Vermillion Creek,” a multiuse development with shopping, housing and offices. The land was annexed in 2006, and City Council has passed development plans for the area. However, due to the economy, little progress has been made on its development.

Equity, cost concern Council members Parks are usually happy places. They’re places where friends play together, children laugh, birds sing, couples hold hands, daters stroll and everybody comes together. Yet park discussion during Centennial City Council meetings are becoming venomous, spiteful and dividing. Councilman Rick Dindinger,

who represents the west side of the city, near Southglenn, says it’s inequitable for the city to spend money on parks east of I-25. The city is also planning to build a civic center park near Arapahoe Road and Peoria that has been budgeted for about $2.4 million this year and could be up to $4.7 million, not including maintenance. “My point is we need to be looking for opportunities west of I-25,” Dindinger said. Reed said the city is working on procuring more park space. Although the vacant Marathon property isn’t viable for adding more space, the city has helped fund other projects west of I-25, including $2 million for an east-west trail near Caley Avenue. The city has also helped fund two projects in Dindinger’s District 1: A water splash pad for the Ben Franklin Pool near Julie deKoevend Park, and a new playground at deKo-

A preliminary vision for “Vermillion Creek,” a proposed multi-use development near Parker Road and Broncos Parkway. Courtesy city of Centennial evend Park, northwest of Arapahoe and University Boulevard. Further, the city still might be able to find grants that could repay the city for purchasing the land around the Cherry Creek trail, Reed said. Other members of Council strongly support the Cherry Creek addition, although the most vocal of whom live east of I-25. “I don’t want to get into keeping score,” said Mayor Cathy Noon. “This was in Our Voice, Our Vision. This is an opportunity to put our name on it. I’m going to be supporting this.” The opportunity to purchase the land around the Cherry Creek

wasn’t certain until earlier this year, and the civic center park project is part of two of the city’s master plans, Reed said. Purchasing land for park space on the site of the former Marathon Oil Company, near South Broadway and West Dry Creek Road, would be complicated due to rezoning needs and would be too costly especially because the city of Littleton wouldn’t help, Reed said. Despite being adjacent to the city of Littleton and on the land of a former employer for many Littleton residents, the land is in Centennial., 303-773-8313 ext. 301

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PAGE 28 • THE VILLAGER • June 17, 2010


SWIC plants community garden By Joshua Cole


ost children dream of being a pop star but instead become something else. Taja Sevelle wanted to be a botanist but got distracted with pop stardom. Most celebrities want to be perceived as down-to-earth, but few are literally as down-to-earth as Sevelle. While many celebrities tape public service announcements or speak out against problems thousands of miles away or hundreds of miles in the air, Sevelle has spent the last five years working to tighten communities, reverse poverty, make diets healthy and prevent hunger. Sevelle started Urban Farming five years ago. Since, more than 650 community gardens have been planted across the world, including a new one in southwest Denver that was planted on June 2. “Our goal is to get rid of hunger in this generation,” Sevelle said. The Westwood plot, run by the Southwest Improvement Council, on the 3400 block of West Kentucky Avenue, is one of three Urban Farming gardens in Denver. The 20-foot-by-20-foot plots average a half-ton of food every year, according to a spokesman for Triscuit, the cracker brand that is funding 50 gardens in 20 cities this year, including the SWIC garden. SWIC plans to use the food for its food boxes, which about 160 families get each Friday. Since SWIC started giving food boxes, the organization has prided itself on giving dairy as well as fresh fruits and vegetables – healthy food necessary for a balanced diet but many people often replace with cheaper, unhealthier, processed foods. Fresh food is getting more expensive, and demand for food and the boxes have been growing. At the SWIC garden planting,

Urban Farming Founder Taja Sevelle helps Lily Romero, 4, and Milynda Romero, 8. Photo by Joshua Cole

dozens of children, the elderly and others aged between – including Sevelle – were on their knees digging in the ground. Seedlings included tomatoes, basil, peppers and cabbage. Food should start being ready in early July. “Changing behaviors changes attitudes,” said Jan Marie Belle, SWIC executive director. Belle hopes the garden will be a metaphor for the community. “When planting, you see it grow. The next day, it’s a little more perky,” Belle said. The garden is on a section of land that SWIC originally purchased for first-time home buyers, less than a block away from SWIC’s main building. Volunteers from SWIC will water the garden and till the soil. An Urban Farming regional manager will be on call for help in maintaining the garden.


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“I think it’s absolutely great, and I hope they expand,” said Margaret Blakley, 83, who’s had a garden for 50 years. “It brings people together and teaches them how to do things. Home-grown food is much more healthy, and they taste better.”

the solution to world hunger and poverty? On June 2, with cameras put away, community members back home or at work, Sevelle was on her knees digging up tomato plants into fresh soil, putting them at an optimal distance from other plants and the water system – doing it with her bare hands.

Sevelle started Urban Farming in 2005 while living in Detroit, where she saw decaying neighborhoods every day. People were giving up food to survive. After talking with people who had lived through World War II, she connected a problem and understood a possibility. During World War II, 20 million houses had “Victory Gardens” in their backyard. The Victory Gardens produced about 40 percent of the domestic food supply and allowed .Sevelle has got the attention and the support, but her work is far from over: She’s been able to slow down, but she still works 14-15 hours per day, she said.

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The gardens represent more than just food: they’re an attitude change. Growing food is empowering, planet-saving and community-building. They’re contagious, fun and hopeful. Associated with Urban Farming are education programs around farming, food, nutrition, community and leadership. Shared gardens can bring neighbors together as something that people work on and eat together. “We’re going to take our shovels and our rakes, and we’re going to build this community,” said Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez. “One of the things that connects us to our neighbors is right here. Do you know how beautiful this neighborhood would be if everybody had a garden? Do you know how hungry I would be walking around and smelling all of those fresh zucchinis and squash?” The community gardens are symbols so that individuals can plant their own backyard gardens. Triscuit’s “Home Farming” project and website, triscuit. com/homefarming, is a resource center to help people grow food wherever they are – whether in a home with a backyard that gets lots of sun or at an apartment in the shade. “People shouldn’t feel like they can’t be a part of this if they don’t have enough land,” said Jim Low, director of marketing for Triscuit. “It can be as simple as a basil leaf on a windowsill.”, 303-773-8313 ext. 301

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digs 06-17-10  

digs is a supplemental publication of The Villager Newspaper. Produced twice a month, this new section will feature stories about home impro...

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