Closure of Safeway in 2015 blamed for causing nearby small business to shut down

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AURORA, Colo. -- When the Safeway grocery store at East Quincy Avenue and South Buckley Road was operating at its busiest, the nearby Summer Valley Liquors was making $100,000 a month.

In 2015, that Safeway location closed, along with several others in metro Denver, and today Summer Valley has an eviction notice on its door.

"I am losing everything if he kicks me out tomorrow morning I don't have any money to feed my children," Amrit Thiara, the owner said.

Since Safeway's closing Thiara estimates a loss of $80,000 a month. Rent has naturally fallen behind and prior to the eviction notice the landlords actually increased the rate.

Safeway is now a Vasa fitness but Thiara says the foot traffic is not the same.

"I have customers crying for me because they know I've been here ten years and my customers are my family," Thiara said.

Thiara's story is likely to be repeated as more landlords struggle to replace large scale anchor stores.

Just this week Kmart announced it was closing two stores in Colorado: One at West Alameda Avenue and South Broadway in Denver and another in Grand Junction. Macy's also announced over 60 of its stores will close nationwide. None of those are in Colorado.

While Thiara is still hoping for a rent compromise with Leon Capital, her landlord, she says the lesson for small businesses is to pay attention to the anchor store. It can have a real impact on your bottom line.

Leon Capital representatives confirmed the rent increases and eviction notices emphasizing it is the current nature of real estate.