DENVER-Gart Properties, headed by the well-known Gart family, has paid $8.7 million for the former Founders family of mutual funds headquarters in Cherry Creek. “It truly is a great win-win situation,” Doug Jones, of Jones Realty Group, tells

“I know you hear that all of the time and it’s something of a cliché, but in this case it is absolutely true,” he adds. That’s because the Garts already own two other buildings adjacent to this one at 2930 E. Third Ave., says Jones, who handled the transaction with Kevin McKinnon, Jonathan Jones and Mike Carter of Transwestern Commercial Services.

Jones and the Transwestern team represented the seller of the 41,880-sf building, the Borgen Investment Group. Erik Borgen sold Founders Asset Management to Mellon Financial in 1998 for $270 million.

Founders’ lease on the building concluded at the end of March, Jones says. “Everybody wanted to buy it, but no one was (except the Garts) willing to pay a price that the seller was willing to consider,” Jones tells

But because of their adjacent buildings, where the Gart Cos. is headquartered, it made a lot of sense for them, Jones says. The Gart families will be true long-term owners, he says.

“They look at this and they say Cherry Creek is the best piece of real estate in Denver,” Jones says. “The Cherry Creek mall is the No. 1 tourist attraction. This area is not going anywhere but up.”

Mark Sidell, president of Gart Properties, says the company probably will move its headquarters into the new building, after spending a substantial amount of money to fix it up. That will free up about 13,000-sf in its other buildings to lease.

In addition to their headquarters, Sidell envisions a bank or some other financial institution on the first and second floors. “It would be somebody who would want its name on the building,” Sidell tells “We’ve already taken down the Founders sign.”

He could also see high-end executive suites on a couple of the floors.Amenities in the building include a racquetball court, a large gym and a 40-person meeting room, Sidell says. All of those features would be made available to tenants in all three buildings.

The building was originally built in 1980 by the late cable pioneer Bill Daniels. For many years, it was by far the nicest office building in the tony Cherry Creek neighborhood, Sidell says.

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