Demolition begins of dilapidated Regatta Plaza in Aurora

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AURORA, Colo. -- It's kind of like a bad neighbor moving away. That's how some people feel about a dilapidated shopping center that is undergoing a transformation.

The city of Aurora is taking a big step forward in redeveloping a property that had languished for about a decade. Up to 15 new buildings will rise from the decaying Regatta Plaza on South Parker Road.

When it's complete, there will be triple the square footage for retail, office space and apartments. A pedestrian bridge will also connect to the light rail station across the street.

The mostly shuttered shopping center fell into shambles more than 10 years ago. The city couldn't get one of the four property owners to agree to either redevlop or sell the land.

"This land owner refused every attempt on the city’s part and our part to negotiate and sell the site," said George Thorn with Mile High Development. "So the city exercised its eminent domain rights.”

"It was kind of depressing to walk through and see all the abandoned buildings and trash everywhere," resident Joy O'Shell said.

The development will also change the name to The Point at Nine Mile Station. A King Soopers on site will double in size when it opens in October 2017.

The entire project should be completed in about five years.

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