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DENVER-The Denver Pavilions shopping mall here has changed hands for $94.5 million. The new owner of the 347,000-sf mall is a JV of locally based Gart Properties LLC and ING Clarion Partners LLC, which came out ahead in a competitive bidding process. The transaction recorded Wednesday.

Pavilion mall covers two city blocks along the 16th Street Mall, the primary retail, business, and transportation corridor running through Downtown Denver. Specialty retail tenants include as Niketown, Barnes & Noble, and Virgin Megastore while the eateries include Maggiano’s and Corner Bakery and entertainment options include Jazz at Jack’s and a movie theater.

The new ownership plans to invest an additional $25 million in the mall to pay for renovations and tenant incentives. Improvements will include the addition of escalators directly off the 16th Street Mall and enhanced elevators serving the three levels of the open-air shopping center. The goal is to attract new “first-to-market” shops and restaurants into the Pavilions to draw additional visitors from the pedestrian traffic along the 16th Street Mall as well as from downtown Denver’s growing residential population.

The Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) was integral to the creation of the Denver Pavilions 10 years ago and served as a key facilitator in for the sale. Mark Sidell, president of Gart Properties, says the company’s charge is to “reinvent the Denver Pavilions in a way that gives visitors a shopping, dining, and entertainment experience that is completely different from the typical, suburban ‘any mall USA’.”

Gart Properties is a Denver-based real estate investment firm specializing in enhancing and repositioning underperforming real estate assets, with particular expertise in retail shopping centers. ING Clarion Partners is a provider of private institutional equity for real estate investment. Denver Pavilions is the second collaboration between Gart and ING. Last year, the duo acquired the Village Shopping Center in Boulder, CO.

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