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DENVER-Mayor elect John Hickenlooper, who has owned the popular Cherry Cricket restaurant in Cherry Creek North, now owns the building and the land.

The Cherry Cricket, which often has been voted as having the best hamburgers in town, had been owned for decades by the late Frances S. Charsky. When she died in February, she donated 25,000-sf of land at Second Avenue and Clayton Street that housed the Cricket and four other small tenants to the non-profit Denver Foundation. Her wish was that the tenants get an opportunity to buy their own buildings, while still maximizing the value to the community foundation.

Broker Donald M. Oberndorf, of Oberndorf Properties, represented the foundation. He quietly asked three prominent investors in the area if they would be willing to pay $3.75 million for the land. When they all willingly agreed to that price, Oberndorf asked the tenants if they’d be willing to pay $3.95 million. They also agreed.

Lee Driscoll, Hickenlooper’s partner, negotiated the deal while Hickenlooper ran for mayor. Hickenlooper’s Wynkoop Brewing Co. paid 60% of the price, because the Cricket is the largest tenant.

The site includes three retail buildings with a total of 14,030 sf. Other tenants who are now real estate owners, too, include Fast Frame, Cherry Creek Floral, Cherry Creek Tailoring and Alterations and Y and Y Inc. The income from the tenants exceeds $300,000 annually. Real estate taxes came to $33,414, according to Oberndorf.

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