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PHOENIX-Ellman Cos., the new majority owner of the National Hockey League Phoenix Coyotes, has sold two retail centers in the Valley to a San Diego-based real estate investment company for $55.3 million.

The 706,000-sf Mesa Pavilions in Mesa has brought about $31.4 million and the 465,000-sf The Groves in Tempe has gone for $23.9 million. San Diego-based Price Enterprises Inc. is the buyer.

Mesa Pavilions is located at the northeast corner of Power Road and Superstition Freeway. It is anchored by a Kmart, Target, Costco, Michael’s, Circuit City and Staples, and had been fully leased at sale time.

The Groves is located at the northeast corner of Priest Drive and Elliot Road. It’s anchors are Wal-Mart, JCPenney and Circuit City. Price Enterprises, which is the process of merging with San Diego-based Excel Legacy Corp., will kick in another $3 million when an extra 16,000 sf of retail space delivers and is fully leased.

“We had owned those for quite some time,” Tim Wright, Ellman’s senior vice president, tells GlobeSt.com. “It was a good time to sell. We got a very good price for both centers. We’ve got plenty to do with the stuff we need to do in Glendale.”

Ellman plans to build a $500-million, mixed-use entertainment center in Glendale that will be anchored by a 17,500-seat ice hockey arena for the team. The project, which is at the southeast corner of Glendale Avenue and Loop 101 on a 225-acre parcel, will be “well north” of 1.5 million sf in retail space, along with office space, hotel and some residential space, Wright says.

Ellman also is developing a retail project at the southeast corner of 59th and Northern avenues, formerly the site of a defunct mall called Manistee Town Center in Glendale. The 55-acre site will have mostly retail space. Ellman had been given the Manistee site along with more than $200 million in incentives from the city of Glendale to spurn Scottsdale and bring the team and the development 20 miles to the west. The Manistee site was to include a practice ice skating rink for the team, but Wright says that it may or may not have that component. He says the projects are in preliminary stages.

The Glendale projects will be developed concurrently, Wright says, and should start sometime in the fourth quarter. The hockey team is expected to be skating on new ice by October 2003.

“We’re working with the city of Glendale on finalizing the development agreement on both properties,” Wright tells GlobeSt.com. “Things are going on along very well. We hope in the next several weeks to have both of those completed.”

The 42-acre Scottsdale site–Ellman’s original arena tract–remains vacant, only occupied by the rubble of the former Los Arcos Mall. The company has received offers on the parcel, but is not actively seeking to sell it, Wright says. The parcel is at the southeast corner of McDowell and Scottsdale roads in the city’s southern submarket.

“We are trying to refigure a use for the property that will be good for the city of Scottsdale and us,” Wright says. “It’s a good corner and hopefully we will be able to come up with a plan. It’s a good size investment for us. We are certainly spending time on it.” He says he hopes the city won’t harbor any ill will toward Ellman for moving his project to Glendale and that they will be open to any development plans the company presents for the site.

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