July 3, 2012

Foothills Mall gets new owners

Fort Collins – General Growth Property, owner of the ailing, 753,000-square-foot Foothills Mall, has sold the property to a Denver developer and a real estate investment firm, the city announced Tuesday.
No sales price was released.

Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat called it exciting news. Indeed, the deal may be key to hopes for a revitalization of the South College Avenue area between Prospect Road and Harmony Road.

Located off College Avenue, the mall has been losing tenants for years. It once had a JCPenny but that department store was torn down. It is now anchored by Macy’s and Sears. Other retailers still at the mall include Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor Loft, Express, The Buckle, Gymboree and others.

A 2010 study by the city identified redevelopment of the Foothills Mall as crucial to the Midtown Corridor’s rebirth. The study questioned the mall’s continued viability.

“The mall’s condition is precarious and action is required soon,” the study said. “Modest improvements are unlikely to achieve long-term success. The best approach for long-term viability and improvement is through significant redevelopment.”

A revitalized mall would do more than help the immediate area; it would help beef up city government coffers. In 2003, the mall represented 6.1 percent of the city’s overall $68 million in sales tax collections. In 2010, the mall accounted for just 2.6 percent of the city’s $74 million in sales tax collections.

The mall’s new owners are Affiliates of Walton Street Capital, a Chicago-based private equity real estate investment firm, and Alberta Development Partners, a Denver-based real estate acquisition, development and investment firm.

Though no details were available, the new owners said they are working on “repositioning alternatives” for the project. They released an artist’s rendering of the mall with more foot traffic than is typically seen on the property.

David Joseph, a principal at Walton Street Capital, said the buyers had big plans for the mall.

“The repositioning of Foothills Mall will represent a significant commitment by the
developers to create a major, completely updated retail destination for the City of Fort
Collins and Northern Colorado,” he said in a statement.

Don Provost, founding principal of Alberta Development Partners, said the buyers “look forward to continuing to offer Fort Collins and nearby communities a place where families, residents and visitors can shop, dine, visit and gather.”

Actually, the mall has lost a lot of its popularity over the years, especially as other regional shopping destinations have sprung up.

General Growth, based in Chicago, has owned the Foothills Mall since 2003. The second-largest mall owner in the nation, it filed for bankruptcy protection in the spring of 2009 amid the downturn and was able to emerge from bankruptcy in late 2010.

Walton Street Capital was founded in 1994 and is a private real estate investment firm operating in the U.S. and abroad. Since its inception, affiliates of Walton Street Capital have invested in real estate assets in approximately 175 transactions in the U.S. and abroad.

Alberta Development has been involved in developing or redeveloping 12 million square feet of retail, office and residential space. Its projects in Colorado include The Streets at SouthGlenn in Littleton and Southlands in Aurora.


Fort Collins – General Growth Property, owner of the ailing, 753,000-square-foot Foothills Mall, has sold the property to a Denver developer and a real estate investment firm, the city announced Tuesday.
No sales price was released.

Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat called it exciting news. Indeed, the deal may be key to hopes for a revitalization of the South College Avenue area between Prospect Road and Harmony Road.

Located off College Avenue, the mall has been losing tenants for years. It once had a JCPenny but that department store was torn down. It is now anchored by Macy’s and Sears.…

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