Renovations Underway at Villa South Center

by Jennifer Hayes

Work is underway to bring life into a “neglected” retail center along Wadsworth Boulevard.

CentrePoint Properties and Abington Emerson recently paid $5.5 million, or $84.78 per square foot, for the Villa South Shopping Center at 1000, 1050 1090 S. Wadsworth Blvd., near Belmar, in Lakewood.

Villa South, constructed in 1983, was 30 percent occupied at the time of sale with current in-place rents of $10.50 – well below surrounding market fundamentals that have a 5 percent average vacancy and rents of $16 to 22 per sf triple net.

“We saw an opportunity to improve a neglected center in one of the busiest retail corridors in the Denver metro area,” said Alan Bruno, vice president and managing partner of CentrePoint Properties. “This is one of the few centers in the area that has not been renovated or rebuilt. Neighboring centers have 90 percent-plus occupancy versus our current occupancy of 30 percent.

“With the Green Gables community currently in development just south of the center, retail demand is expected to increase. It was clear to us that there is high demand in the area providing a win-win-win opportunity for investors, tenants and the community,” he added.

The three-building center, comprising 64,872 sf, will undergo an estimated $2.5 million in renovations, including a new facade, roofing, landscaping and parking lot renovations. As part of the renovations, the center also will be re-branded and renamed Cottonwood Plaza.

Work is expected to be complete in six to eight months.

MasterBuild Architects is the architect for the project. The general contractor is WinterRidge Builders.

Tanner Johnson of Axio Commercial represented the buyer. Villa Property LLC was the seller.

The available space in the neighborhood center is geared to primarily service-based business that will help support the community. Lease rates for new space at Cottonwood Plaza will range from $16 to 22 per sf triple net.

“The reception has been very positive,” Bruno said of the plans for Cottonwood Plaza. “The tenants and community both recognize that the location is incredible. Unfortunately, over the past decade or so, very little money has been put into the property and it has fallen into disrepair. The existing tenants have been holding on and waiting for the right owner to come along and invest money into the center and bring it up to par with surrounding centers. Some of the existing tenants have expressed plans to invest and improve their spaces and business. The community is excited to get some life back in this corner of Wadsworth and Mississippi.”