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Business

  • Mars mission has roots in Jefferson County

    After seven years of planning and testing at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Waterton Canyon, the MAVEN spacecraft is just a short plane ride and 140 million miles away from its final destination: Mars.

    The craft is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Nov. 18. NASA has a 20-day window for the launch; otherwise, the mission will have to be put on hold another two years before Mars and Earth are again in the proper alignment.  

  • Busying idle hands

    Even though Troy Gill started carving wood as a way to occupy his time while recovering from surgery last August, he wouldn’t necessarily call it a form of therapy. 

    “It couldn’t be therapy because I kept slicing my fingers,” Gill said. 

    What started for Gill as a hobby has become Celtic Wood Works, Gill’s custom Irish-themed wood-carving business. This past weekend’s Colorado Irish Festival at Clement Park marked the first time Gill has taken his work from his garage to a festival. 

  • Council approves tax rebate for brewery

    The Littleton City Council has approved up to a $300,000 tax rebate as an incentive for the Breckenridge Brewery to relocate to Littleton.

    The council approved the tax rebate on June 4 when it gave final approval to Breckenridge Brewery’s site development plan. The council passed the measure on a 6-1 vote, with Councilwoman Peggy Cole voting no. 

    Breckenridge will receive a 50 percent rebate on any sales taxes collected after the first $40,000 is collected by Littleton. The brewery is estimated to bring in about $120,000 a year in tax revenue.

  • Two restaurants close doors

    Littleton diners have two fewer choices when it comes to eating out around town. 

    Champps restaurant, in the Aspen Grove Shopping Center, and Hops Grill and Brewery, on West Bowles Avenue near Wadsworth Boulevard, have closed. 

    Champps, a national chain that had been based in Littleton until a few years ago, closed all three of its Colorado locations last month. The Aspen Grove restaurant opened in 2002. 

  • Nonprofit coffee shop lessens the grind of grief in South Jeffco

    It’s not easy for Robin and James Buesching, aunt and nephew, to talk about why they started Heavenly Grounds Coffee House, which opened two months ago just west of Wadsworth at 8966 W. Bowles Ave.  

    “It all started with my father and his sudden death,” James Buesching said. 

    Rod Buesching, James’ father and Robin’s little brother, died on Nov. 13, 2011, at the age of 53. He had suffered from fibrosis of the heart and lungs and severe arthritis before dying of heart failure.

  • Foreclosures continue to decline in Jeffco

    Jeffco’s housing market continues to show signs of improvement, as foreclosures keep declining while demand for properties and property values both have increased. 

    In the first quarter of 2013, Jeffco Public Trustee Margaret Chapman said, the county has seen a 40 percent drop in the number of foreclosures filed, when compared to the same period last year. If the pace continues, Jeffco would see about 1,700 foreclosures this year.

  • Economic-development group seeks more funds from county

     The Jefferson County Economic Development Corp. is about to announce a new initiative designed to bring the county more than 7,500 full-time jobs over a five-year period — but it would cost taxpayers another $100,000 annually on top of the $300,000 the EDC already receives.

  • Council OKs zoning changes for Breckenridge Brewery

    Littleton is officially poised to join the world of craft beer. 

    On March 19, the Littleton City Council unanimously approved a zoning change to allow Breckenridge Brewery to build a 12-acre facility at South Santa Fe Drive and Briarwood Avenue next to the South Platte River. The brewery, which should be completed by the fall of 2014, will include a distribution center along with a restaurant and gift shop.

    Breckenridge has described the project as a destination brewery, one easily accessed by bikers from the nearby Mary Carter Greenway Trail. 

  • Littleton Planning Board approves rezoning for Breckenridge Brewery

    Breckenridge Brewery’s big move to Littleton is one step closer to being a reality. 

    Littleton’s planning board voted 7-0 to approve rezoning of the proposed site of the new brewery, at 6775 and 6855 S. Santa Fe Drive. Currently the 19-acre property is home to two landscaping businesses. 

    One of those businesses, Designs by Sundown, plans to expand on the property as well, adding a new corporate office and more storage. 

  • Foreclosures down in Jeffco for third straight year

    Jeffco once again saw an improvement in its housing market last year as foreclosures decreased for a third year in a row in the county.

    In 2012, Jeffco had 2,650 foreclosure actions initiated, according to a recent report from the county’s public trustee. That number was down 206 from 2011 and 1,377 from 2009, when 4,027 homes saw the foreclosure process start, a record number for Jeffco coming at the height of the foreclosure crisis.