Belmar Mall in Lakewood faces lockdown, city highlights COVID-19 challenges

The Belmar Mall, one of Lakewood’s most prominent commercial developments, is in foreclosure, according to Jefferson County documents.

The failing finances of the center, first reported by 9News on Tuesday, were outlined in a public notice filed by the Jefferson County Public Trustee’s Office in late October. The notice said the registered owner, Belmar Commercial Owner LP, owed $108.8 million on an original loan of $111 million.

The property’s creditors have filed the necessary paperwork to force a sale under the deed, the trustee’s Oct. 26 notice says. A public auction date has been set for February 25, according to the public curator.

Belmar opened in 2004, an open-air shopping district designed to serve as a a de facto town center for Lakewood. It replaced a former mall, the former Villa Italia Mall at the southeast corner of South Wadsworth Boulevard and West Alameda Avenue.

Today, the center’s website says more than 80 local and national businesses lease space on campus, providing shopping, dining and entertainment options in the western part of the metro area. Major tenants include TargetWhole Foods Market and a Century Theaters movie theatre.

In an interview with 9News, attorney Kent Karber, who represents one of Belmar’s lenders, blamed some of the center’s struggles on COVID-19-related business closures.

“Because of the closings, they had an immediate effect on their cash flow, which often put their loans or leases in default,” Karber told the news station.

City officials also pointed to the pandemic contributing to the owner’s financial hole in a statement that expressed optimism for Belmar’s future.

“While the company that currently owns the Belmar shopping district grapples with the challenges of the pandemic, the city remains confident that the popularity of the district and its market components will continue and improve as the post-crisis recovery continues. pandemic will be ongoing,” the statement said.

A voicemail message left at the Belmar center management office was not immediately returned on Wednesday afternoon.

Belmar is owned by Starwood Retail Partners, a division of Starwood Capital Group, an international real estate investment firm. A message left with a company representative at Starwood’s San Francisco office requesting more information about the lockdown was also not returned Wednesday afternoon.

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