Article by Jaclyn Allen, ABC 7 Denver
At first glance, the buildings on the corner of South Chambers Road and East Mexico Drive in Aurora look like any other strip mall.
But look past the nail salon and the tattoo parlor, and you may notice a trend: A dispensary, a head shop, a grow store.
“What we decided to do was have a shopping center that was focused primarily on the marijuana industry,” said Corey Wagner, an executive vice president with the property management and investment company Western Centers. “We see this as a unique real estate play. It’s the only one like this.”Once a run-down strip mall, investors gave it a $1 million facelift and a new name: The Aurora Hemp Marketplace.And it has worked: The occupancy in the center has gone from only 60 percent to almost 95 percent, and business owners report a steady stream of customers, stopping in multiple stores.
“It’s fantastic. It’s a one-stop-shop for anybody that comes here,” said Michael Scialfo, the general manager at the dispensary Rocky Road Aurora.
For many dispensaries it has been hard to find landlords who will rent to the pot industry, which is why he said it is so important for them to be good neighbors.