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Governor Square shopping center sold for $10.1 million


A California-based investment group has purchased Governor Square shopping center in West Des Moines, paying $10.1 million for the 11-acre property that was developed in 1986.

MDM Equity-2021 LLC, managed by Golden Bear Properties LLC, bought the property in a transaction that was recorded Nov. 1, Polk County real estate records show. Golden Bear Properties is led by California attorney Kaar Field, who has purchased other Des Moines-area properties in recent years.

The shopping center had been owned by Jordon and Elizabeth Elwell and Christian and Amy Murray. Chris Murray is CEO and president of Denny Elwell Co., an Ankeny-based commercial real estate company that specializes in brokerage services, property management, and development and construction.

The neighborhood shopping center at 2600 and 2700 University Ave. in West Des Moines includes 100,056 square feet spread over two strip centers separated by a large parking lot. The Murrays and Elwells purchased the property in 2014 from a Texas entity for $3 million. Among the centers’ tenants are K. Renee Home, K. Renee Clothing and Skeffington’s.

Field has been purchasing properties in the Des Moines area since at least 2010, records show. Field-managed entities own more than 20 properties in the metro area including 505 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines, where Raygun clothing store is located. The majority of the properties Field owns in the Des Moines area are retail strip centers.

“I think [Field] continues to invest in the Des Moines area  and specifically, in the state of Iowa – because of our consistency,” Chris Murray said. “We’re stable.”

Murray said Denny Elwell Co. will continue to manage the property.

“The property is basically full,” Murray said. “There are two vacant suites in the entire property.”

Governor Square is located in an area in which the cities of West Des Moines and Clive are working jointly on a redevelopment plan. The redevelopment area includes about 650 acres located between University Avenue and Interstate Highway 235 and 22nd Street/Northwest 86th Street and Interstate 35/80. The plan is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

“We know the area is going through some redevelopment phases right now, but overall we think the traffic and the neighborhood are both very good,” Murray said.

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