LOVELAND — It could be the set for the next Stephen King apocalyptic movie.
The once bustling, 328,824-square-foot Outlets at Loveland, 5661 McWhinney Blvd., is almost empty. Wind blows the early leaf fall from one end to the other without the obstruction of cars in the parking lot.
The sign at Interstate 25 still says “Outlets” but the digital advertising message board below that is dark.
Exactly four businesses and two churches occupy the facility. One of the businesses, the Christian Store, has a note on the window announcing a clearance sale.
The other three, a used-car lot operated by Auto Integrity, the Be Well Clinic and the Innomax mattress store, are open for business but full of questions about what is to become of the facility.
Innomax, with more than a year left on its lease, is bookended by the two churches.
“They’re not telling us squat,” a salesman at Innomax said. “The only things I’ve heard is from tenants leaving,” he said.
The “they” is Craig Realty Group Loveland LLC, the owner of the Outlets, which is a division of Craig Realty Group of Newport Beach, California. It has 15 outlet-mall operations around the country, including those at Loveland, Castle Rock and Silverthorne.
In Loveland, the office at the Outlets is locked. A sign visible on the unoccupied front desk invites visitors to continue on to the right to the management office, as if the access door is unlocked. The listed phone number offers an opportunity to leave a phone message, which wasn’t returned.
A call to Craig’s Denver leasing office also was not returned.
A receptionist at the Newport Beach office transferred a call to an associate’s voicemail, and a message left there was not acknowledged.
While a webpage for the Outlets at Loveland still indicates that the center is open, the last post on the center’s Facebook page was from November 2019.
The property has not changed hands, or at least if it has, the transaction is not yet recorded at Larimer County.
Bob Paulsen, current planning manager at the city of Loveland, said the city also is in the dark.
“We have no applications, no pre-applications. We have had random phone calls but no one identifying themselves as the owner or owner’s representative,” Paulsen said. “We’ve heard multi-family [redevelopment] mentioned, but nothing serious.”
That leaves just a Google search, which renders a nasty message in red: Permanently closed.