Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer for the St. Louis Rams, confirmed early on January 31 the purchase of the former Wal-Mart site in Inglewood. “As real estate developers, the Kroenke Organizations are involved in numerous real estate deals across the country and North America,” he wrote in an email to the Business Journal. “While we can confirm media reports that we recently purchased land in Inglewood, as a private company we don’t typically discuss our plans for commercial or residential investments. We have yet to decide what we are going to do with the property but we will look at all options, as we do with all of our properties.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this month sold a vacant 60-acre parcel in Inglewood, renewing speculation that the site could become a National Football League stadium. One team official last week said there is suddenly a lot of “chatter” in the NFL that a team owner may have made the purchase.
The Inglewood mayor said he did not know who bought the land, but it had been of interest to professional football in recent months.
“My office has been contacted by no less five separate sets of parties” with regard to the property, said Mayor James Butts. “At least three of them were football team owners.”
Butts would not identify those who had been in contact with the city of 111,000 located just east of Los Angeles International Airport.
The site sits between the Forum, which reopened a couple of weeks ago, and Hollywood Park race track, which closed in December. Hollywood Park is slated to be redeveloped into a 238-acre mixed-use community.
The Wal-Mart property was the subject of a contentious battle a decade ago when the retailer wanted to build stores there but the public voted it down. Wal-Mart held on to the property until selling it Jan. 15.
According to property records at the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office, the buyer was Pincay RE, apparently named for the street next to the property. The principals could not be determined, but the agent for Pincay is an associate in the New York office of law firm Clifford Chance. That law firm represented St. Louis Rams owner E. Stanley Kroenke in his 2011 purchase of British soccer club Arsenal.
Kroenke, whose sports business is based in Denver, is married to the daughter of late Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton. He has developed sites for Wal-Mart and sat on its board until his term ended in 2001. Kroenke also reportedly owns a seven-bedroom villa on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. His net worth was estimated by Forbes to be $5.3 billion.