Carbondale's community connector

Price tag for shopping center: $9.7 million

Locations: News Published

John Colson

Sopris Sun correspondent

The new owners of the Crystal Village Plaza shopping center in Carbondale paid approximately $9.7 million for the property, which covers a little under five acres of land at the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street.

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The plaza, which is called the TKG St. Peters Shopping Center in documents on file at the Garfield County Courthouse in Glenwood Springs, was purchased on Sept. 13 from the Carbondale Square LLC partnership, according to the county assessor’s office.

And at least for now, the new owners, The Kroenke Group out of Missouri, have no immediate plans for development on the site, according to a spokesman, Mike Tamblyn of Denver.

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“At the moment, it’s business as usual,” Tamblyn told The Sopris Sun on Tuesday.

Tamblyn said he could say no more about the purchase or the future of the site, but would forward a reporter’s contact information to the corporate offices in Columbia, Mo.

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The ownership group is named for its founder, billionaire Stan Kroenke, who is married to Ann Walton, daughter of the late co-founder of the Wal-Mart chain of stores, Bud Walton.

According to online sources, Kroenke is a developer of shopping centers around the U.S., many of which have a Wal-Mart as the main anchor tenant. Kroenke Sports Enterprises owns the Pepsi Center (home of the Denver Nuggets professional basketball team and Colorado Avalanche professional hockey team) in Denver, according to websites. His holdings also include the Denver Nuggets and St. Louis Rams professional football team.

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Although news of the purchase was first made public in the Nov. 27 Sopris Sun, there has been little public reaction to the deal.

Long time local real estate broker Lynn Kirchner, when informed of the purchase, replied in an e-mail, “After all the BS about big boxes and Crystal River Market Place – how ironic would it be for Wal-Mart – a SUPER Wal-Mart to come into town!!!”

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Kirchner referred to a controversial series of development proposals over the course of more than a decade ending in 2012, concerning a 24-acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of Highway 133 and Main Street, behind the 7-Eleven store.

One of the proposals, called the Crystal River Market Place, called for bringing a “big-box” store to Carbondale, although no specific store was ever publicly identified as a prospective tenant.

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Carbondale voters twice shot down the development plans, first in 2003 over the Crystal River Market Place and the second, in 2012, over a proposal known as the Village at Crystal River.