A Littleton community institution has given its workers and patrons five months’ notice before closing down for the foreseeable future.
O’Toole’s Garden Centers’ owner Adele O’Toole announced late last month that she’ll close her family’s 31-year-old store on South Federal Boulevard on Aug. 31. The company’s locations in Westminster and Lakewood, however, will remain open.
“We’ve loved being a steward of the land and a part of the Littleton community,” O’Toole said in a release. “We’re looking for the right opportunity to rebuild in the area and hope to have another store in the next couple of years.”
The new location could be in Littleton, Englewood or “anywhere down south,” O’Toole told The Denver Post. “And it doesn’t have to be as big as Littleton store was, but it still has to have more than 23 parking spots.”
She sold O’Toole’s 5-acre property for an undisclosed amount to developer Lennar Multifamily Communities, which plans to build mixed-use residential and commercial structures next door to the garden center at the corner of West Belleview Avenue.
That proposed development includes some of O’Toole’s existing parking area and would leave the garden center with just 23 parking spots, which is not “adequate parking and space for the spring and summer crowds,” according to O’Toole.
The garden store typically sees some 1,600 customers a day starting in May, she said.
Adele O’Toole’s late husband, Jim O’Toole, started the family business in Lakewood in 1979. He purchased the land in Littleton in 1990.
“Jim was proud of buying the property on South Federal so we could open the Littleton store,” O’Toole said. “It’s been a wonderful store and I want to acknowledge Chris Ibsen, store manager since the beginning, who has helped the store become a staple in the community.”
Adele took over the businesses following Jim’s death in 2006. Now two of their grown children, Kerry O’Toole Young and Patrick O’Toole, are also active in the business. Pickles the cat has become the center’s unofficial mascot.
Leading up to the end-of-summer closing, O’Toole’s Littleton will see business as usual, including donating a portion of sales to the Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS) food bank in Littleton and to The Action Center in Lakewood.
“We’re going to have business as usual down at the Littleton store,” O’Toole said. “And we’re looking forward to the future, because we are looking for that third store. We just ask that our customers be patient, because we don’t know what’s out there yet.”
If you go: O’Toole’s Garden Center Littleton is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. Sundays) through Aug. 31, at 5201 S. Federal Blvd. All three locations of the business will hold an “extravanganza” May 21-22 with sales, food trucks and entertainment. otoolesgardencenters.com
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