DENVER-Gart Properties LLC, the real estate development, acquisition and management arm of the Gart Cos., has shelled out more than $12 million for two local retail centers. Gart’s partner in the two deals is Denver-based Elkco Properties.

Aurora’s City Center Marketplace has fetched $6.2 million. Trammell Crow had built the 233,847-sf project in 1985. In the second deal, Gart has paid slightly more than $6 million for the 77,304-sf Twin Peaks Square retail center in Longmont.

Mark Sidell, president of Gart Properties, formerly was a broker with Trammell Crow and he tells he is extremely familiar with the property. He says Gart has paid less than half the replacement cost of the project, which is only 50% leased. Gart will be able to add value by investing about $3 million into the project.

For the past 15 years, the center has suffered because it doesn’t have direct access from Interstate 225, but that will change when a new intersection opens before the end of the year. The first half of the intersection is already open.

Twin Peaks is 90% leased. It is more of a typical market deal, says Sidell. Gart typically looks for deals where it can add value, but Twin Peaks is particularly attractive because it has a steady cash flow, he says.

Gart Properties’ current portfolio consists of 1.5 million sf in Colorado. Sidell says it plans to push it to four million sf to make it one of the largest privately owned portfolios in the metro area. Gart Cos. also owns one of the largest sports retailing empires in Colorado.

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