Kroenke group buy Tucson’s oldest mall for $81.7 million

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Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Tucson’s oldest mall has been sold for $81.7 million to a group fronted by the owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

Stanley Kroenke plans on continuing to operate the nearly 93-acre property as a shopping destination.

The Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1kmrI4V) says the deal marks an end to a 54-year run of the Kivel and Papanikolas families operating the El Con Mall.

The two families opened El Con in 1960 next to Tucson’s first resort, the El Conquistador, which opened in 1928.

With original anchor tenants such as Montgomery Ward and Woolworth’s, the mall prospered for decades.

Its fortunes plummeted in the late 1980s as once-prominent retail stores began to fold nationwide.

Beginning in the early 2000s, national retailers returned to El Con including Home Depot, Target and Walmart.

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