Kroenke expands holdings

Avs' owner, partner buy commercial property in Steamboat

— The owner of the Colorado Avalanche and his real estate partner recently increased their holdings in Steamboat Springs with purchases of $6.4 million in commercial land and buildings.

They intend to push ahead with construction of 100,000 additional square feet of new commercial buildings next spring.

Stan Kroenke and Michael Staenberg recently purchased the remaining 7.2 acres of undeveloped land in Steamboat Crossings (Mid Valley Business Center) for $4.4 million. The purchase involves two non-adjoining parcels.

In a separate transaction, they acquired the building occupied by City Market in Central Park Plaza for $2 million. They already owned retail buildings on either side of the supermarket.

"We own all of it now," Staenberg said Thursday, referring to the north end of the shopping center. Wal-Mart owns its approximately 40,000-square-foot building nearby. THF has a development relationship with Wal-Mart.

Staenberg said his expectation is that City Market will remain as his company's tenant.

Staenberg and Kroenke are principals in THF Real Estate in St. Louis, Mo. Kroenke is the owner of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Pepsi Center in Denver, where the teams play their home games. He's also a co-owner with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Broncos quarterback John Elway of the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League. Kroenke owns a home in Steamboat Springs.

THF has already announced its intent to build a 29,000-square-foot building, Central Park South, next spring. The new building will be south of the Wal-Mart parking lot. Staenberg confirmed this week that he and

Kroenke intend to proceed simultaneously with another 100,000 square feet in multiple buildings on two parcels at Steamboat Crossings. Staenberg said the two projects are designed for two different types of tenants. Of the likely tenants for the new spaces in Steamboat Crossing he said: "It will be just different small local businesses."

Realtor Jim C. Hansen, who represents THF at Central Park Plaza, said in May that he's had interest from existing tenants who would like to move into larger spaces at Central Park Plaza.

The two projects are roughly a quarter mile from one another, but on opposite sides of U.S. Highway 40. Steamboat Crossings, a partially completed commercial center, fronts the highway at the intersection with Pine Grove Road. Central Park Plaza is set back from the highway and is bounded by Mount Werner Road and Pine Grove Road.

The projects in Steamboat are small potatoes compared to other THF projects.

THF was incorporated in 1991 and reports owning and managing 70 properties totaling more than 15 million square feet of lease space in 20 states. THF says it currently has $400 million under construction and reported completing $200 million in new projects in 2000. The St. Louis Business Journal reported in June 2001 that THF Realty had $1.4 billion in assets.

Margaret Jackson of the St. Louis Business Journal reported July 28 that THF is in the fourth year of developing a massive shopping center in Chesterfield, Mo., outside St. Louis. Chesterfield Commons was begun in 1999 with a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club. Staenberg told the reporter that his shopping center is now two miles long and by the end of 2003 will house 25 restaurants in its 2 million square feet of retail space.

Staenberg predicted that when completed in 12 to 18 months, Chesterfield Commons would generate $400 million in annual sales. At that time, the center is expected to include 2.8 million square feet and 36 restaurants.

Kroenke paid Liberty Media Corp. $450 million in July 2000 for a 94 percent interest in the Avalanche and Nuggets. He is married to Ann Walton, niece of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.


-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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