Retail Center Revitalization


The way we shop is changing. The way retailers interact with customers is changing. Major shifts in consumer behavior have caused dramatic changes to the retail industry. As consumers continue to shop online, all aspects of bricks and mortar retailing, including shopping center design, are under scrutiny. As shopping patterns continue to change and retailers work to adapt, the future of retail will look different than it does today. 

Recognizing retail is at a crossroads, the City of Centennial aspires to be a proactive partner within the retail environment to assist in creating the future of exciting, unique and sustainable retail centers. The City of Centennial needs to be Future Ready, Economically Vibrant and Fiscally Responsible.

Through planning, creative land use, and partnerships with the private sector, the City can play an integral role in transforming the retail landscape within Centennial- leading to businesses locating into Centennial retail shopping centers and more visitors frequenting those spaces. How we interact and partner with the private sector is evolving to greatly impact our retail shopping centers. Targeted efforts by the City with clear strategies will help transform retail assets in Centennial. 

The City is committed to:

  • Producing educational materials that include data and identify the need for the revitalization of shopping centers.
  • Illustrating how the development process works.
  • Regularly communicate the vision specific to each retail shopping center and engage with the community.
  • Seeking community input on the current neighborhood assets and what is important to preserve while having an open dialogue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is the City involved in revitalizing retail centers?

  • The City is a proactive partner in determining the future of its retail centers. There are opportunities to work with retail center owners, developers and retailers to increase the caliber of Centennial’s retail centers and create spaces where people want to be.
  • As retailers contemplate and implement changes within their operations, the City wants to lead the discussion in transforming outdated retail shopping center formats. 
  • The City recognizes that changes in brick and mortar retail development patterns must be evaluated, and encourages these changes to maintain a healthy and vibrant retail environment.
  • The City will work with existing shopping center owners, developers, and retailers to visualize the transformation of Centennial’s retail shopping centers and identify useful tools to influence the City’s retail strategies.
  • It is important for the City to be prepared and lead discussions of “what’s next” for retail in Centennial.
  • Revitalizing retail centers will help sales tax revenues remain stable to maintain consistent service levels throughout Centennial.
  • The City must work collaboratively with the retail developers and shopping center owners to address experience, creativity, customer engagement and vitality within the entirety of the centers to ensure that the City’s retailing stays relevant.

What happens if we do not engage in revitalizing retail shopping centers?

  • The physical environment of shopping centers will remain stagnant. Many retailers are adapting their spaces but larger commercial centers are not transitioning as quickly. If we do not engage, we risk our shopping centers becoming increasingly outdated.
  • Shopping centers will continue to decline, affecting their ability to retain and attract tenants and due to lack of revenue, shopping centers can fall further into disrepair because owners do not have money to make investments. In general, tenants will leave and the quality of tenants will decline, the centers will become less desirable from a consumer standpoint and as a neighborhood amenity. These centers will fall further into disrepair, impacting the City’s resources to provide services and the retail center’s owners ability to improve the center.
  • Centennial will lose its competitive edge with surrounding cities. Centennial could be relegated to outdated retail formats that struggle to maintain any relevance. When this happens, residents, tenants and investment move elsewhere 
  • When investment leaves a community, a variety of consequences follow. Shopping centers fall into blight, tenants leave, maintenance falls behind, crime can rise, and the overall value to the City declines, negatively impacting revenues and quality of life.
  • Degradation and decline of the amount and quality of retail throughout Centennial’s commercial corridors.

What can the City do to help property owners, developers, tenants revitalize retail shopping centers?

  • Facilitate reinvestment with retail centers through predictable entitlements and support (financial and otherwise).
  • Initiate and encourage a vision for creative and unique retail environments within the community to attract more customers.
  • Utilize planning, creative land use, and partnerships with the private sector to make centers more vibrant- leading to businesses relocating into these centers and residents spending time in welcoming spaces.
  • Amend regulations, development standards and processes for more predictable development outcomes.
  • Communicate City requirements, processes, and tools to desirable retailers, property owners and brokers.
  • Gauge Centennial’s assets and desirableness as a place to locate with the private sector. 

How can the City directly impact retail shopping center revitalization?

  • Provide an overall vision for retail within Centennial.
  • Influence aspects of the built environment including lighting, façade, architectural aspects, building materials, signage, etc. through enhanced development standards.
  • Advise on potential site and development impacts to include vehicular access, sidewalks and trail connections, pedestrian and neighborhood connections, and more.
  • Encourage increased investment in public spaces (sidewalks, parks, gathering spaces on site) and our retail shopping centers.
  • Create predictability for uses through the underlying zoning of every property.

What can the City not impact as part of this process?

  • The City does not control enough factors (ownership, economics, market) to specifically control which retailer goes where, or at all.
  • If the private sector complies with all codes and regulations, the City cannot force them to make changes or force a tenant to leave a leased/owned space.
  • The City cannot pick retailers/businesses. Zone districts permit certain uses on a site such as restaurants, industrial, office, etc. The City cannot control the type of restaurant if zoning allows for restaurants. The City cannot force a tenant to locate within Centennial but can work to create a welcoming retail environment built for success.

What does retail shopping center revitalization success look like?

  • Reenergized centers that Centennial neighborhoods are proud of.
  • Updated and well-kept evolving centers, with a mix of tenants and land uses that create vibrant spaces where people want to linger and enjoy themselves. Centers that continue to evolve with the changing trends and retail environment.
  • Thriving  businesses, valuable commercial real estate, and a sustainable source of revenue to provide City services.
  • Celebrate wins with us. As new businesses open, businesses adapt and celebrate anniversaries, join us in celebrating.