Denver’s historic Larimer Square could be sold to North Carolina real estate firm

Less than two weeks after longtime owner Jeff Hermanson informed tenants in Denver’s historic Larimer Square he intended to sell the block, a potential buyer has the property under contract.

Retail real estate investment firm Asana Partners, out of Charlotte, N.C., is in talks to buy the buildings lining Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets, Hermanson confirmed Tuesday.

The company specializes in buying and running high-end retail in trendy and popular neighborhoods across the country, including in Deep Ellum in Dallas and Atlanta’s Inman Park.

“As I stated in my letter to tenants, it was important to me to find a new owner for Larimer Square who would respect the legacy of this historic block and bring the resources to ensure its continued vitality,” Hermanson said in an emailed statement. “Given the status of the transaction, we cannot provide any additional information right now, but will make an official statement once a transaction has closed.”

Asana Partners did not immediately return a voicemail or email seeking comment for this story.

The news was first reported by BusinessDen, which obtained a document identifying Asana as the would-be new owner of Denver’s most storied block.

A sale could take months to process.

Established as Denver’s first historic district in 1971, Larimer Square is lined with 22 historic buildings, many dating back to the 1880s. Hermanson has owned it for 27 years, buying it from the Hahn Co., a shopping mall manager that purchased the block from Dana Crawford, the celebrated preservationist who saved it in 1986.

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Hermanson and his partners with local real estate firm Urban Villages set off a wave of criticism and controversy in early 2018 when they proposed building two tall buildings in the alleys behind the block, bringing in condos, apartments and hotel rooms. They eventually backed off those plans and vowed not to demolish any of the block’s historic buildings but they never stopped emphasizing that new life and revenue needs to be infused into the square at a time when it has an estimated $130 million worth of restoration needs.

How those needs and costs will factor into a sale has yet to be determined.

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On Monday, Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver, said she hoped a local buyer would emerge to take over the square, noting a group of Colorado estate professionals, including Crawford, headed up the restoration of Union Station. Regardless of whether they are based in Colorado, Levinsky said she hopes whoever buys the block knows their way around historic preservation tax credits.

“We hope it’s someone that has experience in historic properties,” she …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business


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