Expensive problem with facade design pushes completion date for Regency Park renovation back to 2020

Completed in 1990, the Regency Park center at 93rd and Metcalf has aging facilities that its owners say make it hard to attract tenants.

A design mistake on the new facades for Regency Park has caused at least a six-month delay in updating that shopping area.

Construction was to have begun by May 1 on the L-shaped shopping area south of 91st Street and Metcalf Avenue. But city officials last Wednesday approved a new starting date of November 1. Completion will be delayed until June 30, 2020.

Stores in the area, which include Micro Center and Natural Grocers, will have more modern facades and signs and the parking lot will be updated with the intent of drawing in more customers and revitalizing the area.

Those facades were all ready to go this month when the $30 million project hit a snag, said attorney John Petersen, who represents developer Mission Peak Capital. As construction came closer, designers realized the facades wouldn’t work given the way the existing buildings are constructed, he said.

“It stopped the project with a bit of consternation because it looked like a $1 million increased cost to solve the problem,” he said.

Developers came up with a new design for less than that, and it is being reviewed by city planners. In the meantime, the construction will have to wait.

Regency Park will get public funds in the form of a community improvement district and exemption of some of the sales tax on materials. The CID is for $7.3 million on a special 1-percent sales tax in the district, and the sales tax exemption would save developers $768,000.

Besides the facades and parking lot, the development will bring new sidewalks and curbs plus an additional 4,500-square-foot building along Metcalf Avenue to be built as soon as a tenant is signed.

The city council’s finance, administration and economic development committee approved the delay unanimously with little discussion.

A rendering of the original proposed Regency Park makeover. Designers are working on a tweak to the original plan.