L.A.'s NFL Hopes Turn To InglewoodThursday, January 30, 2014
In addition to owning Arsenal and the Rams, which left Anaheim for St. Louis in 1995, Kroenke owns the Denver Nuggets basketball franchise and the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. He has vast shopping center and other real estate holdings.
Rick Kinnard, vice president of realty for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Ark., confirmed the sale, but would not say who the principals of Pincay are.
“It’s a viable site for multiple things, including a mixed-use development,” Kinnard said. “Our big concern was finding a person that would close the deal and not hold the property to speculate. We didn’t want a buyer who would then sell it to somebody else.”
Told that it appears Kroenke could have been the buyer, Kinnard would only say, “That’s a bold statement.”
An NFL team executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he did not know who purchased the property but said league officials last week were buzzing that Kroenke may have been the buyer.
“There’s a lot of chatter about that,” he said.
Representatives of Kroenke and Clifford Chance did not return calls seeking comment. Todd Davis, the Rams’ L.A.-based vice president for legal affairs, declined comment.
County records show that in May 2004 three parcels that comprise the 59.8-acre site changed hands for an aggregate of $41.4 million. Wal-Mart purchased the property with plans to develop a Wal-Mart and a Sam’s Club. However, voters in Inglewood rejected the company’s plans in 2004 and the lot has since sat vacant.
It had been marketed with an asking price of $95 million, but the sale price last month was not disclosed.
Both Madison Square Garden Co., owner of the Forum, and Stockbridge Capital Partners, the investment company that owns Hollywood Park, made runs to buy the site.
Wal-Mart and Stockbridge struck a deal for the site in 2008, but the transaction never closed. After purchasing the Forum in 2012, MSG, which leases the former Wal-Mart site for overflow parking during events at the Forum, also tried to buy the parcel. The NFL team source said officials from MSG were scheduled to meet Wal-Mart executives earlier this year to discuss a potential deal but that Wal-Mart canceled the meeting shortly before it was to take place, saying a transaction had been completed.
“I worked with the city of Inglewood, Mayor Butts and the Madison Square Garden group for three to four years,” said Kinnard. “We made it clear that we wanted to sell. We never could agree upon a price with Madison Square Garden.”