The city of Westminster, Colo., and the Westminster Economic Development Authority recently announced its first development partners for the new Downtown Westminster.

Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is moving ahead quickly with plans to open a 40,000-ft cinema featuring its funky blend of movies, beer and food, combined with creative community events for movie lovers.

“We see great opportunity in the Downtown Westminster site, and we’re looking forward to bringing our special brand of entertainment there,” said Dave Kennedy of Alamo.

Alamo will be part of a mixed-use block of development on the western side of the 105-acre site, which is located at U.S. 36 and Sheridan Boulevard.

Sherman Associates, a Minneapolis-based developer with a strong track record of community building, is proposing to bring a mix of residential and retail to three blocks on the site, with one block incorporating an indoor community market. Two blocks are along 88th Avenue and the third is north of the existing JC Penney store.

Workforce housing is a key component to the proposal, which includes multifamily rental units in five-story buildings. The development proposal also includes building to LEED-Silver construction standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.

“We’re all about building communities and enriching neighborhoods, and we see this as a great opportunity for us to bring that ethic to Westminster,” said George Sherman, president of Sherman Associates. “We’re known in the industry for our quality developments, and we’re excited to be partnering with Westminster to achieve this bold vision for a new downtown.”

In another development, the city and WEDA have reached an agreement with JC Penney to clear the way for construction to proceed on the new roadways and utilities near its existing store. This comes as negotiations advance on a new long-term lease agreement that would see the high-performing store become a vibrant and integral part of the Downtown Westminster site.

The timing of the JC Penney agreement coordinates well with the start of construction of the roadways, utilities and public spaces on the site. The first phase of this infrastructure work will be completed by mid-2016, with construction of the first buildings to begin later that year.