Strip of Aurora shops opts for hemp-centric brand

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An Aurora shopping center is leaning into its green reputation this fall in an attempt to become a one-stop shop for everything recreational marijuana.

The Chambers Point Shopping Center at the corner of South Chambers Road and East Mexico Avenue is in the process of rebranding itself “The Hemp Centre” — of “THC” for short — as a nod to the several marijuana-centric stores located within the plaza.

Phil Guerin stands outside his shop, Myxed Up Creations, which will be moving to a larger location within the Chambers Point Shopping Center. Photo by Sara Hertwig
Phil Guerin stands outside his shop, Myxed Up Creations, which will be moving to a larger location within the Chambers Point Shopping Center. Photo by Sara Hertwig

“We’ve been giving it some thought for a while,” said Corey Wagner, executive vice president of Western Centers, the plaza’s presiding property management firm.

He said part of the decision to go through with the rebranding effort was a means of controlling the inevitable.

“Why not embrace that type of tenancy where we can control that?” Wagner said. “If we can make a positive impact on the community by embracing this, we want to do it because that’s a better route than ignoring it when it’s inevitably going to happen.”

Wagner said that the center’s landlord has reinvested about $1 million into the plaza over the past 18 months and has plans to court new firms that can be tied in any way to the pot industry. Currently, the center boasts one recreational pot shop, a hydroponics store and the accessories store Myxed Up Creations.

“(The branding) allows us to chase tenants that support the industry,” Wagner said.  “Overall, it’s for businesses that are impacted by the industry, everything from a hemp clothing store, to a medical doctor who tells patients the best marijuana to consume and in the best way based on their ailments. We’d also look at a counseling center, though we obviously can’t have an in-patient center.”

Wagner said that his team has recently been in talks with Cheeba Hut, the pot-themed sandwich chain, though there are no concrete plans for a new restaurant to open at the South Chambers plaza.

The shopping center is currently about 80 percent occupied and has 10,000 square feet of unfilled space, according to Wagner. Following a recent overhaul of Myxed Up Creations, the plaza boasts about 50,000 square feet of total retail space.

Wagner said that the center’s landlord has reinvested about $1 million into the plaza over the past 18 months and has plans to court new firms that can be tied in any way to the pot industry. Currently, the center boasts one recreational pot shop, a hydroponics store and the accessories store Myxed Up Creations.

Western Centers has notified the several non-marijuana-themed businesses in the center of the rebranding effort and has received mostly positive feedback, according to Wagner.

“The tenants have been receptive to it,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of energy out there as a result of this.”

Tyson Place, owner and operator of Grofax 4 Hyrdoponics, said he supports the change.

“We’re thumbs up for it,” Place said. “It gives kind of a comprehensive feel and allows customers to come, get their supplies, their smoke if they want to, and then head over get their hydroponics supplies.”

But not all of the center’s business owners echo Place’s enthusiasm. Stuart Aanes, a doctor of veterinary medicine at the Chambers Point Veterinary Clinic, said he is frustrated by the name replacement.

“If you asked me personally if I would like to change The Chambers Point Shopping Center to The Hemp Center, my answer would be no,” Aanes said. “But it’s the landlord’s decision and times change.”

He added that his thoughts on the rebranding will ultimately be contingent upon how the name change affects his business.

“My relationship with the landlord will change according to what actually happens,” Aanes said. “If my business goes in the tank, then I will have something to talk about. If it’s better, well then (the landlord) will want more money and I’ll be grateful to pay it to him. I guess only time will tell.”

Wagner said Westerner Centers is currently waiting for the city to OK the new THC signage, though the approval process is typically more concerned with the size of a new sign rather than the content.

The shopping center could be ready for a grand reopening with its new signage in late October or early November, according to Wagner.

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Mcs Vette
Mcs Vette
6 years ago

50% graduation rate.. pot shopping center.. this is the NEW Aurora…

Dusty Jurney
Dusty Jurney
6 years ago

Saudi Aurora Rocks!