Updates are on the horizon for Woodlawn Shopping Center

Starbucks, pho restaurant slated for area anchored by Arc store

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Addicts to two of the tastiest legal vices — Starbucks and pho, a Vietnamese soup — will appreciate the changes coming to Woodlawn Shopping Center at 1500 W. Littleton Blvd.

The shopping center will soon host a pho restaurant where Blueberry’s Bakery and Café used to be on the center’s west side. A three-lane bank kiosk building is likely to be torn down and replaced with a Starbucks in the coming year.

The center is anchored by Arc Thrift Store, which recently opened in the distinctive swoop-roofed old Safeway building formerly occupied by Savers Thrift Store.

Plans to demolish the bank kiosk at the center’s north side to replace it with a Starbucks are proceeding apace, said Heather Descagnia, the vice president of development for United Growth Capital Management, which owns the L-shaped strip of stores under a subsidiary called Cadence Littleton Co. LLC.

“We’re in planning review and addressing first-round comments,” Descagnia said. “I don’t foresee any issues that will block it yet. We anticipate approval in January, and we’ll get started after that.”

A developer will construct the building’s shell, then Starbucks will outfit the interior, Descagnia said, adding that customers should be able to start walking through the door by the end of next year.

Woodlawn has seen a raft of tenants come and go, and in recent years has occasionally struggled with vacancies. Cadence bought the property in 2015 for $10 million.

Cadence has taken steps to improve the center to make it more attractive to tenants, said Chase Grieve, the center’s asset manager.

“We repaved the parking lot and increased the nighttime visibility to help reactivate it at night,” Grieve said. “We’re working on a couple other lease deals. They’re not inked yet, so I can’t give names yet.”

Grieve was enthusiastic about the center’s future.

“We’ve had a lot of leasing activity lately,” Grieve said. “We’re hoping to rebuild the tenant mix and increase the vibrancy of the center. Starbucks coming in will be a great use and a big traffic driver.”

The owner of the forthcoming pho restaurant could not be reached at press time, though documents name him as Duc Cao Le.

“He’s an experienced operator,” Grieve said. “We’re excited for him to get opened up.”

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