The Woodland Park Plaza has been sold in a short sale to Western Centers, Inc.
The company, doing business as Woodland Park Partners, bought the property for $1.825 million.
The plaza, anchored by Safeway, had been in foreclosure and at the time of the sale had six vacant pad sites. The sale includes 23,892 square feet and does not include Safeway, Burger King, or the adjacent businesses.
Western Centers’ founder, Arnie Meranski, built his business in the late 1980s during the savings-and-loan crisis when the Resolution Trust Corporation auctioned foreclosed properties in Colorado.
Today Meranski owns shopping centers in Denver, Sterling, Fraser and La Junta.
“Arnie’s always excited about getting new deals and making things happen,” said Jennifer Hallinan, the company’s marketing director who was in Woodland Park to announce the sale. “He’s definitely the go-getter kind of guy who will see the diamond in the rough. While this center was in foreclosure and under-performing, he saw a lot of potential.”
In fact, Hallinan expects the company to make another announcement soon.
“We have some pretty big retailers looking at moving into smaller towns with these demographics,” she said. “You’ll know the companies; we’re hoping to sign leases soon.”
With an aggressive marketing campaign, the company has reduced lease rates to attract new tenants.
“Our specialty is retail; we love to turn under-performing retail centers and get them to 100-percent full occupancy,” Hallinan said. “Even right now when the market is not very good and people are struggling, all of our centers are high-performing, which is really remarkable.”
Woodland Park Plaza was built in 1998 and has served a variety of tenants since then. “Arnie is interested in making sure the location fits the tenant and that the business thrives,” Hallinan said. “He’s flexible and willing to work with people to help get their businesses started.”
In partnership with Western Centers, Landmark Real Estate provides brokerage services for Woodland Park Plaza. “We’d like to see more restaurants in here to make it more of a destination,” Hallinan said.