A retail expert is jumping from one side of Cherry Creek to the other as he leaves his role at the shopping center to join the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District.
Nick LeMasters has spent the last 23 years as the general manager of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. He will shift into his new role with the BID as the CEO on Nov. 1.
LeMasters said he was very happy in his role at the mall, and was not looking for a job prior to applying with Cherry Creek North. But after a friend recommended the job to him, he realized it would be the perfect next step in his several-decade career in retail. Instead of working with one corporate owner of the mall, LeMasters said he is excited to be working with all the individual store owners that make up the Cherry Creek North area.
“After 23 years, I think I’ve accomplished a lot here at the shopping center,” he said. “The fact that the shopping center is under the control of one owner, Cherry Creek North is the antithesis of that.”
The Cherry Creek North BID covers from First Avenue to Third Avenue, and from University Boulevard to Steele Street.
Much like his role at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, LeMasters will be working to get more people to Cherry Creek North. But instead of just working with business owners to do so, LeMasters said he is looking forward to creating relationships with the residents that make up the community as well.
Coming together to create a common vision will help make the shopping center a continuing destination, he said.
“We’ve got to find ways to enhance connections to the neighborhood,” LeMasters said. “Our obligation at the BID is to do everything possible to maintain the platform that encourages people to visit.”
One of the first steps, LeMasters said, is to find ways to work with the city to improve public transportation to the area. He called Cherry Creek the “hole in the transportation doughnut.” He added that it’s more than getting people to a shopping area, but also figuring out how they will get there.
Most of his career has been spent in retail, LeMasters said. He started by working in stores and then moved up into management. He spent 15 years in the Mervyn’s department store chain. In 1990, he transitioned into working with the Taubman company in the San Francisco area.
Taubman runs shopping centers around the country. In 1996, LeMasters moved to Colorado with his wife to become the general manager of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center for the company.
Moving from store management to property management in the retail world was a natural progression for LeMasters. “I spoke their language,” he said of working with store owners, adding that his experience in running a store helped with his credibility.
He added that retail has always been a reflection of the community and what its interests may be. Over his career, he has seen a lot of changes to the retail industry — online shopping being just one of them.
LeMasters added that change is one of the things he enjoys most about retail, saying he would not be fulfilled by a job that was the same thing day in and day out.
Although LeMasters spends most of his time in Cherry Creek, he joked that he spends his sleeping hours at his home in Centennial. He and his wife spend their free time road-tripping to different parts of the state. After 23 years, LeMasters said he still hasn’t seen it all, and that he likes to find new favorites.
In addition to fly-fishing and spending time outdoors, LeMasters and his wife enjoy taking trips to see their four grandchildren.
“That’s where my real joy comes from,” he said.
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