UNITED STATES - ING Clarion Partners continues with its value-added strategy for some of its capital sources with the closing of $166m (€105.4m) worth of transactions.

The largest of these purchases was the $94m acquisition of a retail property in Denver called Denver Pavilions which, according to Steve Latimer, managing director in acquisitions for ING Clarion, has strong business potential despite widespread concerns about the US retail property market.

"We are aware of how retail properties can be affected by the poor performance of the economy in the United States. It's our thinking that some long-term value can still be created with this asset," said Latimer.

ING Clarion has ideas on how to improve the economic performance of the asset which include bringing in another entertainment-oriented retailer and changing the layout of the food court operation.

The property is now 86% leased to some national known retailers in the property, and houses a UA Theatre, a Barnes & Noble Bookstore and Nike Town.

ING believes Denver Pavilions is located in a growth area of downtown Denver as new residential buildings being added, and there is expected to be a growth of office workers and additional visitors associated with the Convention Centre so this should attract more retailers to the area.

ING Clarion made the acquisition for one of its commingled funds and carried up to 60% debt via a new loan while the remainder of the balance was financed in cash.

The other value-added purchases were office buildings, one of which was a $52m deal for two 25 year-old office buildings in the Cherry Creek submarket of Denver. The properties need to be upgraded with new building systems to make them more state-of-the-art assets.

The remaining deal was the $20m acquisition of an office building in Santa Clara, California which is currently an empty building but which ING Clarion intends to lease to a single-tenant user.