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WESTMINSTER, CO-Kansas City-based Entertainment Properties Trust purchased the remaining 50% interest from its joint venture partner in the Westminster Promenade, an entertainment-themed retail center in this suburb northwest of Denver. The seller was Price Legacy Corp. of San Diego.

The sales price was not released.

The 228,776-sf center is anchored by a 24-screen AMCE theater. The theater this year will draw about 2.1 million visitors, ranking it No. 1 in Colorado and No. 11 in the US, says Jon Weis, spokesman for EPR, the nation’s only real estate investment trust that focuses only on owning entertainment properties.

Other restaurants and stores in the center, which is 95% leased and occupied, include Dave & Buster’s, Rock Bottom Brewery, Johnny Carino’s, Hibachi Japanese Steak House and Rubio’s Grill. The center also includes a 45,000-sf Van’s Skate Park, which opened in June of this year.

“We had been an owner in part, and now we’re an owner in full,” David M. Brain, president and chief executive officer of EPR tells GlobeSt.com. “We are really pleased.”

He says Westminster Promenade, which began to open in 1998, marks the first major development by EPR, although it had developed some restaurant pads at other developments prior to the Promenade.

“I can’t say it was always our plan to own all of it, but it seems to make sense for them and for us,” Brain tells GlobeSt.com. “This is exactly the kind of project our company focuses on. I would describe it as a true entertainment retail center.”

While the recession worries him, especially as far as it impacts restaurants and retail, he says large movie theaters such as the 24-screen AMC theater continue to do well during hard economic times.

“They move full steam ahead, if not up a bit,” Brain tells GlobeSt.com. “They tend to be a bit counter-cyclical. No offense against the Denver Broncos, or the Nuggets, or the Avalanche or the Rockies, but going to the movies is a far less cheaper for of entertainment than attending sporting events.”

In addition to the existing shops, EPR has enough land to develop about another 65,000 sf of retail space on the site.

“There will probably be one large tenant in the mix, and then a number of smaller tenants,” Brain adds.

He says the anchor tenant for the next phase could be new to the area, or simply new to the northwest corridor.

Mary Beth Jenkins, of the Denver-based Laramie Co., is a consultant for EPR.

“They’ll do a wonderful job,” Jenkins tells GlobeSt.com. “They run a very tight, lean operation. They’ve carved out a very good niche for themselves. They really know what they’re doing.

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