What are the best retail areas in Boulder?

by Market Real Estate | Aug 15, 2018 |

While Boulder wrestles with its identity as a small city or a big town, one thing is clear: for it's size, it has a thriving retail sector. From specialty retail shops to large chains to a legion of restaurateurs, Boulder has the perfect location for any business looking for retail. Where you go will depend on your budget and specific needs.

Downtown Boulder

  • Anchored by the pedestrian mall on Pearl Street, this area is by far Boulder's most visible and expensive retail area. Tourists and locals alike swarm the area looking for a bite to eat, a necklace to keepsake, or a local craft beer to try. But that endless foot traffic and mountain-town-ish charm come with a price...
  • Average price per square foot: $40-$65

29th Street Mall

  • Redeveloped and opened in 2006, this vast retail area (between 28th and 30th and Arapahoe Ave and Pearl St) features a mix of pedestrian-friendly outlets, box store anchors, and restaurants. Hungry lunch-breakers arrive at high noon, en masse, to chose from dozens of fast-casual options (hot tip: arrive early to find parking). And the mall hosts a series of outdoor events throughout the summer. Anchors include Trader Joe's, Macy's, Staples, Home Depot, Century Theaters, and Colorado Athletic Club. With the endless hustle and bustle, you will also find downtown-like prices...
  • Average price per square foot: $40-$60

Village Boulder Shopping Center

  • It's a maze of retail where the goodness never ends. And its located in the smack-dab center of Boulder. In just one square city block you find a mix of well-known anchors like McGuckin Hardware, Sprouts Farmer's Market, and World Market, and small retail and restaurant favorites like Larkburger, Zolo, the Buff, and Grandrabbits Toy Shoppe. But unlike its powerhouse neighbor, 29th Street Mall, you aren't paying downtown-like rent. With a central Boulder location and prices riding just below the high-end, this area checks all the boxes.
  • Average price per square foot: $25-$30

Ideal Broadway Shops / Community Plaza Shopping Center

  • Getting out of downtown and central Boulder, this would be our first natural stop. The two strips sit adjacent to one another with little Alpine Ave in between. The area is small, but mighty. Favorites like Ideal Market (Whole Foods), Moe's Broadway Bagel, and Breadworks make this a regular stop for both nearby residents and Broadway travelers. It has proximity to downtown (just one panting hill away), but also has parking.
  • Average price per square foot: $25-$30

The Holiday Neighborhood retail area

  • If we continue our journey north on Broadway, we will eventually reach the Holiday Neighborhood retail area (between Violet Ave and Lee Hill, roughly). Here you will find smaller retail properties ideal for coffee shops, restaurants, and practitioners. Popular among The Holiday residents and cyclists (related), it is quieter and attracts a dedicated cohort.
  • Average price per square foot: $20-$25

Baseline Retail Area

  • Let's turn around on Broadway and head south. First stop: Baseline. At the area near Baseline between Broadway and 30th, you will find a smaller retail area that nevertheless includes multiple grocery store anchors, coffee shops, and a few restaurants. Its proximity to the University of Colorado's largest dormitories (William's Village) and other residential neighborhoods keeps retail shops busy all hours of the day.
  • Average price per square foot: $25-$30

Table Mesa Shopping Center (south boulder)

  • And at the southiest point on Broadway we at last reach the Table Mesa Shopping Center. Here we find a blend of grocery anchors, restaurants, and shops which target the fine residents of the area. Lucky's Market recently opened its largest store here and longtime Southern Sun enthusiasts keep the brewpub alive and well with a steady stream of business.
  • Average price per square foot: $18-$25

East Arapahoe

  • For the business looking for up and coming retail areas, check out the area of Araphoe just west of 55th. It is quickly becoming a restaurant hotspot (Blackbelly Market, Pica's, BRU) that offers relief from the congestion of central and downtown Boulder. But hurry, prices are quickly on the rise.
  • Average price per square foot: $15-$20

28th Street Corridor

  • Up and down busy 28th Street from Valmont to Iris you will find strip mall heaven. Small, affordable, slightly eclectic. Boulder's only Asian Market, Dunkin Donuts, Puddle Car Wash... this is the zone for running the no-nonsense errands on a time budget.
  • Average price per square foot: $15-$20

The Hill

  • The historic Hill neighborhood. Home to hordes of students from August to May. All hungry and looking for ways to get what they need within walking distance. To succeed on the Hill, you need strong enough sales throughout the school year to sustain you during the low summer season. Or, have a business that draws all Boulder residents, not just students.
  • Average price per square foot: $20-$30

Worth Mentioning...

On all sides of 29th Street Mall you have smaller areas that benefit from the heavy central traffic of 29th Street, but at slightly lesser prices.

  • Crossroads Commons: North of the 29th Street Mall, this retail strip is anchored by Colorado's largest Whole Foods location. Both sides feature other errand-worthy shops like Bicycle Village, Barnes and Noble, and Whole Pets. Average price per square foot: $30-$35.
  • 28th Street Box-store strip: Directly west you will find a larger box-store strip with tenants like REI, Bed Bath Beyond, and Hazel's Beverage World as well as many chain restaurants. Average price per square foot: $30-$35.

No matter what you are looking for, there is a retail location that will meet your needs in Boulder. Give us a call when you are ready to shop.

Written by Market Real Estate