Colorado Real Estate Journal- by Jill Jamieson-Nichols
September 23, 2014
It’s been a busy four months for Matrix Group Inc., which just acquired a Fort Collins shopping center for $11.73 million.
Midtown Commons, a 98,764-square-foot center on South College Avenue, is the latest of three 1031 exchange acquisitions the company has made since selling Midtown Industrial Center in Denver for $20.25 million in June. It also sold a retail center and medical office building during that time frame.
“We like the Front Range,” said company President, John Webb, who has about 800,000 sf of retail, industrial and office properties from Northern Colorado to Highlands Ranch.
Webb said Midtown Commons, located at 2701 and 2721 S. College Ave., was appealing because of its tenancy and location near the Foothills Mall redevelopment, and a new Trader Joe’s and Sierra Trading Post.
Joann Fabric, Dollar Tree, ARC Thrift Store, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Urban Mattress occupy 70 percent of the space on long-term leases. “It is 96 percent leased with very little rollover.” he said.
Longtime Northern Colorado developer Everitt Cos. developed Midtown Commons in 1965 and added a second building in 1979. It spent around $5 million renovating the retail property over the last couple of years, a project Matrix Group will continue by completing stucco finish and signage improvements.
Matrix wasn’t the only party interested in the asset.
“We had phenomenal interest it it as soon as we took it out,” said Cassidy Turley broker R.C. Myles, who handled the sale with Cassidy Turley brokers James Brady and Aki Palmer. “We had numerous offers that came in, many of which were at or above our asking price.”
“It’s a testament to investor interest in college towns,” said Myles, explaining investors like the stability of retail in cities with universities. Interest came from private real estate investment trusts, high-net-worth individuals, 1031 exchange buyers and others – locally within Colorado and out of state, he said.
Cassidy Turley’s Northern Colorado office will continue to market and lease the shopping center.
Over the last four months, Aurora-based Matrix Group also acquired MetroTech Centre, a six-building flex park in Westminster for $7.3 million, and Evergreen Marketplace, a 29,724-sf retail center, for $2 million.
“We had tax-exchange money out of one of the properties, so we needed to replace them, and we like the cash flow of these properties,” said Webb.
Matrix Group’s recent dispositions included the $3.15 million sale of Colfax & Kipling Center in Lakewood and Foxridge Medical Building in Centennial, which traded for $2.75 million.