Author Archives: AZRE


About AZRE

Pulling together the multiple facets of the commercial real estate industry in Arizona, AZRE: Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine reaches out to the largest local and national commercial real estate audience within the Grand Canyon State and beyond. AZRE covers up-to-date happenings within commercial development, brokerage, construction, investment, finance, architecture, property management, real estate law and more as it relates to Arizona. Additionally, AZRE is an active voice within the commercial industry, partnering with such organizations as NAIOP, ABA, ICSC AZ, AIA AZ and Valley Partnership.

Cassidy Turley’s Ellis promoted to associate vice president

Phil EllisCassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., today announced that Phil Ellis has been promoted to Associate Vice President with the firm’s Property Management division in the Phoenix office.

Mr. Ellis will be responsible for the oversight and supervision of the Phoenix engineering staff. He will also focus on increasing the operating efficiency of all management assignments, including the integration and implementation of emerging technologies. His responsibilities include assisting with Capital Improvements and the construction management of Tenant Improvements.

“Phil’s a proven leader,” said Sue Cannon, Vice President with Cassidy Turley’s Property Management group in Phoenix. “Having someone with his knowledge and experience is a tremendous asset to our clients and to the staff that he oversees.”

Mr. Ellis joined Cassidy Turley’s Property Management group in 2013. He has over 26 years of experience in commercial real estate and engineering services, including capital improvement and construction management projects.


CBRE Office Brokerage Team Wins NAIOP Award

A team of brokerage professionals in CBRE’s Phoenix office, Tom Adelson, Jim Fijan, Jerry Roberts and Corey Hawley, were awarded as the Office Broker Team of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). For Adelson and Fijan, who have worked together since 1983, this marks the 19th time in 24 years they have won this award. Roberts joined the company, and team, in 1988 and Hawley in 2004.

Executive Vice Presidents Adelson, Fijan, Roberts and Senior Associate Hawley are consistently among the top producing teams in CBRE’s Phoenix office. Since the beginning of their careers and partnership at CBRE, the team has been the most productive sales professionals with the greatest number of transactions in the Phoenix office. In 2013, the team completed 140 sale and lease transactions representing more than 3.55 MSF of office product and 2.7 acres of land.

“What’s most unique about this team is our ability to keep evolving over the years,” says Roberts. “Early on we realized that if we all focused on the parts of the business that came most naturally to us and enjoyed we’d be able to cover a lot more ground and touch a lot more clients.”

“Over the past 22 years that formula has worked well, but what is most important is that everyone on the team has our clients’ best interests in mind,” said Fijan. “Although we try not to overlap pursuits, we all know what the other team members are working on and we are constantly exchanging ideas and strategies to ensure our clients get the benefit of our team’s market knowledge and experience as a whole, as well as ensure all of our clients’ expectations are fulfilled. We’re all extremely knowledgeable about the office real estate market, but when you combine our individual skill sets the capabilities we have as a whole are quite impressive.”

Fijan, along with his associate Will Mast, focuses on office investment and land sales and consistently leads the market in transaction volume. Fijan has, thus far in his career, closed 90 million square feet in transactions for a total consideration of $9 billion. Adelson represents occupiers and corporate tenants looking for space in the market or around the world and maintains the status as the preeminent corporate services broker in Arizona and the country. Roberts, along with Hawley, provides landlord leasing services to owners and developers of commercial real estate throughout the greater Phoenix area. In 2013 alone, they leased over 1.6 million square feet and represented 18 different landlords in 48 lease transactions.

“Winning NAIOP’s ‘Best’ award is as much a testament to the high-level performance of the brokerage team as it is their ability to leverage CBRE’s extensive market reach and comprehensive platform of services,” said Craig Henig, senior managing director and Arizona market leader.  “But the big winners are our clients, who benefit from the local market knowledge and industry-specific expertise these individuals, and our company, provide.”

Talavi Corporate Center, WEB

California Casualty renews 6-year, 27,750 SF office lease at Talavi

California Casualty Insurance Co. has renewed its 27,750 SF offi ce lease for a 6-year term at Talavi Corporate Center, 5651 W. Talavi Blvd. in Glendale, Ariz.

Craig Coppola and Andrew Cheney, principals with Lee & Associates Arizona negotiated on behalf of California Casualty. Ashley Brooks, Jr. of CBRE represented the landlord, Regent Properties, Inc. of Los Angeles. Coppola originally brought California Casualty to the building in 2004.

During lease negotiations, the owner, CW Capital Asset Management sold the property to Regent Properties who was successful in retaining the strong anchor tenant.

“We were able to help California Casualty to capitalize on the competitive market in the West Valley. All parties were pleased with the win-win transaction,” said Cheney.


Nexius Solutions Relocates to Gilbert

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc. helped negotiate the relocation of Nexius Solutions to a 20,982-square-foot facility at 377 S. Hamilton Court.


Nexius Solutions, which provides end-to-end wireless services to prominent carriers and data-driven industries, will relocate from 2601 S. 37th St. in Phoenix. Nexius takes occupancy this month.


“The new site for Nexius provided them better access to their customers,” said John Grady. “Also, occupying the entire freestanding building was appealing to the company.”


Grady and Jackie Orcutt of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant. Eric Jones of Commercial Properties represented the landlord.

Liberty Center at Rio Salado, a Class A LEED Silver office development in Tempe.

Liberty Property Trust Closes Seven Deals in Arizona in the First Quarter 2014

Liberty Property Trust today announced it has closed seven lease agreements totaling approximately 425,000 square feet during a very strong first quarter of 2014.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this record level of lease transactions in Arizona,” said John DiVall, senior vice president at Liberty. “Our high volume of activity includes new leases and tenant renewals, both of which speak to the quality of our customer service as well as to the product we have available in the market.  We sense both office and industrial markets continuing to recover and we are very optimistic about moving forward in the Phoenix market as we continue to expand.”

The quarter was marked by three new leases and four renewals. New leases in the region include:

•    Power-One Renewable Energy Solutions, which signed a new lease for 105,542 square feet at Liberty Sky Harbor Center, located at 2626 S. 7th Street. The agreement brings the complex, which reopened last May after a complete renovation and rebranding, to 100% occupancy.

•   WageWorks Inc., which signed a new lease for 76,162 square feet at 1850 W. Rio Salado Parkway, which marked the first tenant agreement to be signed at the Liberty Center at Rio Salado, the company’s new Class A LEED® Silver office development.

•   The company also reports that it has signed a new lease for 42,639 square feet at 9801 S. 51st Street in Phoenix.

Notable lease renewals in the region include:

•   Veracity Logistics, which has signed a lease renewal for 74,124 square feet at 8313 W. Pierce Street in Tolleson. The company has been a Liberty tenant since 2011.

The Source Bakery, which has signed a lease renewal for 62,194 square feet at Liberty Tolleson Center. Located at 8601 W. Washington Street, the company has been a tenant at the building since 2003.

•   American Beverage Corporation, which has signed a lease renewal for 40,684 square feet at Liberty Sky Harbor, located at 2626 S. 7th Street. The company has been a tenant at the building since 2009.

•   Blood Systems Inc., which has signed a lease renewal for 23,455 square feet at 4405 E. Cotton Center Boulevard in Phoenix.  The company has been a tenant at the building since 2003.

In other news, earlier this quarter Liberty received LEED Silver certification for its newly opened building at 4500 E. Cotton Center Blvd. in Phoenix. The 139,403 square foot Class A two-story office building was built in 2013 and is fully leased to Aetna.

Liberty Sky Harbor Center, which is now at 100% occupancy.

Liberty Sky Harbor Center, which is now at 100% occupancy.

819-835 W. 22nd St.

Commercial Properties Releases Transaction List

Commercial Properties, Inc. reported its top five recent transactions.

In total the firm completed 128 transactions in March for a total of 888,662 SF.

Leading in sales transactions was Leroy Breinholt and Darin Edwards, who handled both sides of the deal for a 42,886 SF Industrial space sold to WNG Industrial, LP, at 819 – 835 West 22nd Street in Tempe for $2,250,000.

In land sales, Eric Butler and David Verwer sold approximately 4 acres for the owner at 6424 E Cave Creek Road, in Cave Creek, Arizona to Schuey, LLC, for  $973,420.

Ken Elmer leased a ±4,600 SF retail space at 10330 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale to Arizona Urgent Care,LLC in the Total Wine Center.  “This pad building is just south of Shea Blvd on the Scottsdale road frontage, and was formerly occupied by Alphagraphics,” said Elmer.

Jeff Hays, Chad Neppl and Ryan Steele sold approximately 2 acres of industrial land at 4010 E. Raymond Street in Phoenix to McGilicuddy Industrial Partners, LLC, for $670,000. “The buyer is planning to construct a  ±30,000 SF Office/Warehouse freestanding building,” said Hays.

Andy Jaffe, SIOR handled both sides of the deal and sold a 5,500 SF office property at 5020 N. 8th Place in Phoenix for $550,000 to 777 Properties, LLC.  “This was an essential piece of a larger deal which Earnhardt’s has planned for a Lexus Dealership at Camelback Road and 8th Place,” said Jaffe.

807WGeneva, WEB

Cassidy Turley completes $800K sale at Broadway Industrial Park

Cassidy Turley announced the sale of a 13,082 square foot freestanding industrial building at the Broadway Industrial Park, 807 West Geneva Drive in Tempe, Ariz. Tempe-based Vick Holdings, LLC purchased the property for $800,000 ($61.15 PSF) from Tempe-based Christofolo Enterprises, Inc.

Paul Sweetland, SIOR, Vice President of Cassidy Turley’s Industrial Group represented the buyer, while Scott Backes of Menlo Group represented the seller in the transaction.

Built in 1979, 807 West Geneva Drive is a ±13,082 square-foot, industrial building on .80 acres. The property is centrally located in the Tempe/Sky Harbor Industrial Corridor with easy access to Sky Harbor International Airport, Interstate 10 and the U.S. Route 60. The building was vacant at the time of sale. Vick Holdings, LLC, specializing in the sale, service, and repair of landscaping equipment, plans to occupy the entire property.

SVN Headshots, WEB

Sperry Van Ness wins several awards at national conference

Each year, hundreds of advisors from Sperry Van Ness offices around the country meet to discuss company goals, share best practices and honor the offices and individuals excelling in their business at the SVN National Conference. The Phoenix Sperry Van Ness office collected several awards for outstanding achievements in 2013, including once again being named a Top 10 Sperry Van Ness franchisee.


The Phoenix Sperry Van Ness office, led by Neil Sherman, Shari A. Tucker-Gasser, Perry Laufenberg and Danny Lee, ranked No. 7 nationally in 2013. The ranking is based on deals closed and transaction volume from all 21 advisors specializing in the sale and leasing of retail, office, multifamily, industrial and investment sales.


Earning the prestigious Partners Circle Award were multifamily specialists Sherman and Lee. Sherman ended the year at No. 9 nationally, while Lee finished at No. 12.


Overall, our entire office had a very impressive year in 2013, while making the necessary adjustment to their business plans to account for the obvious shift from distressed deals to more market-rate transactions”, said Sherman. “Additionally, Danny and I, along with the rest of our multifamily team, continue to work with investors day in and day out to maximize the return on their apartment holdings”.


Specialty awards gave both advisors and support staff recognition for their business practices that led them to be successful. Justin Horwitz, office leasing and sales advisor, received the Innovator of the Year Award for his outstanding efforts embracing CRE Technology to further his business. According to Laufenberg, “Justin really embraces the countless tools offered by Sperry Van Ness, and puts them to work every single day to benefit his clients”, adding “Kassandra Bruhn, our marketing communications specialist, was awarded the Collaborator of the Year Award for her dedication and leadership employing a combination of sharing knowledge, interfacing with local and national media, and building consensus within the organization”.


Finally, those advisors who close a certain level of transaction volume each year are honored with the Achievers Award. For 2013, this award was presented to Rommie Mojahed, Mary Ridberg and Horwitz in the Southwest Achievers division.

Courtesy of Deco Communities

Deco Communities announces Edison Midtown in Phoenix’s Central Corridor

Midtown Phoenix is getting a hip new neighbor. Scottsdale-based Deco Communities has closed on a key parcel of land that will be transformed into Edison Midtown, a new urban contemporary condominium in the heart of Phoenix’s urban core. Located at 2346 N. Central Ave. the address says it all, Edison is central to Midtown’s buzzing scene filled with food, arts, culture and history Demolition of the vacant office building on the site will occur in the summer 2014 and the $22M redevelopment is slated for a 2016 completion date. Developed exclusively by Deco Communities, Edison Midtown will be the first major residential development announced for the Central Corridor since 2008.

“The Edison Midtown project taps into the soul of the city, utilizing the unique identity of the neighborhood to create an authentically local living space that caters to the tech-savvy, community-oriented Gen Y consumer that lives and breathes the urban lifestyle,” said Rob Lyles, partner for Deco Communities. “Our outstanding team of architects and designers has worked diligently to curate a thoughtful living experience that is true to the virtues of Phoenix’s downtown dwellers,” he said. “ Downtown Phoenix is experiencing a surge in housing demand spurred by the recent $4.5 billion investment by the public and private structure in infrastructure, transportation, education and tourism.  Deco is excited to have the chance to provide housing that both starts to address this demand and does so with a design that is true to the modern Phoenix aesthetic.”

Fueled by imagination and innovation, the Edison Midtown will include 80 unique residential units , many with stunning Instagram-ready views of the horizon and city lights. The city’s best indie coffee shops, bars, live music venues, funky boutiques and museums are all just steps away.  The units will range from approximately 800 to 1,350- square feet. Each residence will enjoy contemporary kitchens with opening shelving and repurposed countertops, gas appliances, 10 foot ceilings, steam showers, spacious walk-in closets, wood flooring and large balconies perfect for entertaining and soaking in the extraordinary city views. Pricing will start in the high $200’s.

With a mix of modern amenities and charmingly retro design inspirations, Edison Midtown speaks to the heart of the Gen Y urbanite.  Brought to life by the award-winning Los Angeles architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, lead architect Daniel Gehman drew inspiration from the past and present of the iconic Midtown neighborhood, its Willo district roots, and its urban dwellers. As a result, the building is designed to be a confluence of community, the kind of place that fosters socializing and sharing and integrates seamlessly with the vibrant community around it. With a pulse exactly where trendy meets classic meets cool, Phoenix-based interior design firm Private Label will style the interiors.

Drawing from inspiration from illustrious hangouts such as the Ace Hotel brand found Palm Springs, Portland, London and LA, the contemporary building is styled with a hat tip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s early designs and rises 5 stories above a two-level underground parking structure offering 145 private parking spaces.  With the project’s close proximity to the Light Rail and just steps from the Central/Encanto Light Rail station, Edison Midtown residents can take advantage of Phoenix’s best urban transportation system or bike the city with ease.

Designed to foster a sense communal living, Edison Midtown will be a hub of activity with an array of social amenities including a garden-inspired courtyard pool and spa, a “cross-fit” style fitness center with yoga, secure bike storage, Wi-Fi common areas, electric car charging stations and more. The ultimate urban sanctuary, the Edison Midtown will afford residents a superior work, live, play lifestyle at the center of the thriving city.

AirportBusinessPark, WEB

California Investor Purchases Airport Business Park

Cassidy Turley announced the sale of Airport Business Park, a ±39,994 SF, multi-tenant industrial building at 2328 E. Van Buren St. A California-based investor, Airport Business Park Phoenix, LLC, purchased the property for $2.05 million ($51.26/psf) from Airport Business LLC (Portland, OR). Cassidy Turley Senior Managing Directors Paul Boyle and Rick Danis negotiated the transaction on behalf of the buyer. Leroy Breinholt with Commercial Properties, Inc. represented the seller.
Built in 1982, Airport Business Park includes five single-story buildings on ±2.39-acres.The property was 95 percent leased to 28 tenants at the time of sale.

Kristine Mower of Orcutt | Winslow accepts the SMPS Arizona 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from Chapter President-Elect Grenee Celuch of Concord General Contracting, Inc.

SMPS Arizona Hosts Inaugural Marketing Awards

The Society for Marketing Professional Services  Arizona handed out awards in 10 categories recently at its inaugural Marketing Awards Gala held at the Phoenix Country Club.
The event honored the most creative and successful marketing individuals and collateral from 2013.
Winners among the 10 categories (and those who accepted the award):
>> Advertising: Pueblo Mechanical & Controls, Inc., Nicole Rodriguez;
>> Brochure: Rosendin Electric, Laura Senff ;
>> Corporate Identity: TankGirl Marketing for its work with Capital Asset Management, Tonia Swanson;
>> Holiday Piece: Orcutt | Winslow, Mike Nandin and Cassaundra Crofoot;
>> Newsletter: SWCA Environmental Consultants, Sara Libby;
>> Digital Media: Logan Simpson Design, Sadie Jo Smokey;
>> Proposal: T.Y. Lin International, Christina Sollie and Brandi Barr;
>> 2013 Technical Professional Marketer of the Year: Clifford Paul, PK Associates Structural Engineers;
>> 2013 Marketer of the Year: Amy Villasana-Moore, Sunrise Engineering;
>> 2013 Lifetime Achievement: Kristine Mower, Orcutt | Winslow.


Weitz Logo

The Weitz Company announces in-house design services, new office

The Weitz Company announced the expansion of its construction service offerings with in-house design engineering and the opening of a new design-build office in the Minneapolis, Minn., area.
“This is a by-product of our continuing growth,” said Len Martling, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Weitz Company. “Our new in-house design team—led by Minnesota-based engineering and process experts—will better enable us to meet our clients’ needs and respond to increased market demand. We look forward to continuing to grow our presence in the marketplace.”
With its expanded services underway, Weitz will provide mechanical engineering for process
solutions; modular construction integrated with its fabrication capabilities; and will diversify into slipform concrete design and construction. The design expertise aligns with industry markets such as agriculture, food & beverage, manufacturing, and heavy industrial.

Weitz design engineering team will be led by Gerald (Gerry) Leukam, 39-year industry veteran,
serving as Director of Business Development. Gerry will be supported by Kevin Grittner, P.E.,
Engineering Manager with solid experience in structural engineering and project management,
and Alexander (Alex) Westlind, P.E., Mechanical Engineering Manager with process design

“Our Minnesota-based team of industry professionals is excited to bring their expertise and over 60 years of combined experience to enhance the industrial and commercial services of Weitz,” Leukam said.

CityScape Residences model penthouse

CityScape welcomes first residents

CityScape Phoenix marked its final development milestone in February when the first residents moved into the CityScape Residences, a collection of 224 luxury apartments that sit atop Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

The leasing office is now open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. along with a fully furnished, one-bedroom model on the 14th floor.

Expansive views and high-energy surroundings merge with sophisticated home finishes within all 224 residences. Residents have 24-hour access to the four-star hotel services of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, including in-room dining by Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, housekeeping, concierge, valet parking, business center and laundry services. Additionally, residents will enjoy parking with direct access into the residential tower, a private 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, a community area and an exclusive swimming pool 175 feet above Jefferson Street.

“CityScape is known for many things – most notably, work and play, but now it will take on a new component – live,” said Keith Earnest, Executive Vice President of Development at RED. “Our residents will have full access to the 24-hour vibrancy and energy of the neighborhood. What you find in two city blocks at CityScape is typically separated by miles in other cities. We’ve built a strong, tight-knit community and now we look forward to welcoming people who will call CityScape home.”

CityScape Residences offer unique studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows, gourmet kitchens with prep islands and gas ranges, and luxurious bathrooms with sizeable closets. The residences range from 560 to 2,373 square-feet and include 23 two-story one, two- and three-bedroom penthouses on the top floors. All residences offer magnificent views of the city skyline and mountains beyond.

In addition to the hotel and community amenities, residents are automatically enrolled in a residents-only membership program at participating CityScape retailers and restaurants. Living at CityScape Phoenix puts residents just a few steps away from the best concert venues, theatres, professional sports venues and museums in Arizona.

“I have lived in Phoenix nearly my entire life and have never seen Downtown as vibrant as it is now, nor has there ever been a place more exciting to live than CityScape Residences,” said Irene McCready who works three blocks away at a major corporation and is the first resident to move in. “I sold my house last year and watched and waited for the CityScape Residences to become available. It’s like living at a resort with 24-hour room service and security, a resident-only pool and gym and full access to the hotel’s amenities. The spectacular views of South Mountain from my apartment and the never-ending variety of things to do are exactly what I was looking for in a home.”

CityScape Residences will be professionally managed by Alliance Residential Company. With resident move-ins underway, this signifies the completion of construction at the $500 million mixed-use destination.

For more information on CityScape Residences, call 866-628-0589 or visit

For more information about CityScape Phoenix, a retailer directory and to see what’s happening, visit Ample and convenient underground parking is available and validated by many retailers.

Cityscape Unit A1

Cityscape Residences Pool

Cityscape Penthouse 2

Tucson 2014 - Banner

Sundt golf tournament raises $18,000 for MDA

The Sundt Foundation, a charitable organization funded by Sundt Construction, Inc. and its employees, hosted its annual Mike Gaines Charity Golf Tournament last month at La Paloma Country Club in Tucson, Ariz. More than 100 golfers attended the tournament, raising $18,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of long-time Sundt employee Mike Gaines, who passed away in 2002 from Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.

Originally launched in 2001 shortly after Gaines’ diagnosis, the tournament continues to raise money each year benefiting MDA in support of its research to find a cure for ALS. Although Gaines died in 2002, his legacy lives on through the Mike Gaines Charitable Fundraising Events held in Tucson and Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego and San Antonio. Sundt and the Sundt Foundation have hosted nearly 40 events in the past 14 years, raising more than $1 million in donations for ALS research programs.

“It’s an honor to be a part of these ongoing events benefiting research and other advances toward a cure for ALS. We greatly appreciate the continued support of the construction industry,” said Sundt administrator and tournament organizer Aly Gartin. “This tournament not only offers a means to give back but increases awareness of such a terrible disease.”

The Sundt Foundation has been raising funds for Tucson-based non-profit organizations since 1999. The Foundation is funded primarily by contributions from Sundt employees and company matching. To date, the organization has awarded more than $5 million in donations to organizations throughout Arizona, California, Texas and beyond.

Arena-rendering, web

Tutor Perini renovating GCU arena

Tutor Perini Building Corp. is expanding Grand Canyon University Arena’s seating capacity from approximately 4,300 to 7,000 seats. The expansion takes place just two and a half years after Tutor Perini originally built the arena. The most challenging part of the renovation is the aggressive 190-day deadline put in place to meet previously booked university events.

According to Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon University’s president and CEO, the idea to renovate the arena came about when GCU switched to NCAA Division l athletics and the men’s basketball games routinely sold out in the first year of competition. Expanded seating will attract nationally recognized NCAA Division l teams and accommodate the 10,500 students expected to be enrolled on the ground next fall. More seating also allows greater participation from West Valley residents and Christian communities that regularly attend GCU events.

Cathey Moses, GCU’s vice president of event planning and marketing said the renovation provides GCU an opportunity to attract higher-profile concerts to the arena. Other campus events, such as commencement exercises and Chapel services can also be expanded.

Tutor Perini is adding a new upper deck, a hanging 11,000-square-foot structural steel mezzanine that will go all the way around the arena with an extra deck above it at the south end. The lower deck at the south end will be retractable for events that require a stage, such as Chapel, concerts and commencement. The renovation also includes more restroom facilities and increased life-safety exiting and smoke evacuation systems. As of this date, Tutor Perini has removed all of the seats in the upper half of the arena bowl and the basketball floor. Scoreboards and other electronics have been stored for safekeeping for future arena use.

The 135,000-square foot arena is GCU’s signature building. The arena is built with a deeper seating bowl than typical, providing all spectators with excellent views.

“I can’t imagine a place that has more seats closer,” said Mueller, noting that the first row of the upper deck will actually be nearer to the floor than the back of the lower deck. Mueller added, “When the architect came up with this drawing, that’s when we became convinced this was the right thing to do. The facility, everybody is discovering, is so important to building a brand and building a fan base. As intimate a setting as it was, it’s going to become even more so.”

Brooke_Askew-Rossi, WEB

Askew-Rossi Named GPE’s Chief People Officer

GPE Companies announced Monday the decision to appoint Brooke Askew-Rossi to chief people officer. Askew-Rossi, who joined the firm in 2007, was formerly the director of business development and employee engagement.

In her new role, Askew-Rossi will manage human resources, and oversee talent management and acquisition. She will also continue her previous work maintaining property associations, promoting employee engagement and developing business relationships outside the firm. The company’s growth during the past two years, with its expanding roster of brokers and staff, spurred GPE to designate an official human resources liaison.

The title chief people officer reflects GPE’s core values, including the idea that happy and fulfilled staff members are integral to the company’s success. That philosophy has helped GPE land on the Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list four years running. “That’s a huge accomplishment,” Askew-Rossi said, adding that she looks forward to continuing the momentum.

“I’m excited to promote synergy around the office, making sure everybody has the tools they need to thrive,” Askew-Rossi said. “I love to see other people succeed.”

“Brooke genuinely cares about people,” said President David M. Genovese. “Her terrific people skills and compassion already lead people to seek her out for questions and concerns around the office. The appointment solidifies her as the go-to person for human resource issues.”

During Askew-Rossi’s tenure at GPE Companies, she has also worked as an assistant property manager and association manager. Before joining GPE, she worked for 11 years in property management with an emphasis on associations.

Missouri Breaks

CBRE negotiates sale of Missouri Breaks apartment complex

CBRE has negotiated the following multi-family sales transaction:

• EQ Missouri 51, LLC of Tempe, Ariz. has purchased the Missouri Breaks apartment complex, a 52-unit multi-family property located at 1637 E. Missouri Ave. in Phoenix, from 1637 E. Missouri Avenue, LLC. Brian Smuckler and Jeff Seaman of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented both parties in negotiating the $2.1 million transaction.


CBRE negotiates sale of 143 TECH in Phoenix

CBRE has negotiated the sale of 143 TECH – a 113,827-square-foot, industrial/flex building located at 317 S. 48th St. in Phoenix. The property commanded a sale price of $9.4 million.

Tom Adelson with CBRE’s Phoenix office, along with Fred Darche of Lee & Associates, represented the buyer, Phoenix-based Verde Investments, Inc. The seller, Florida-based Second Berkshire Properties, LLC, was represented by Cassidy Turley’s Mike Haenel, Andy Markham, SIOR and Will Strong.

The investment purchase, which includes the existing structure and 12 acres at the southeast corner of 48th and Madison Streets, is located in the Discovery Triangle region of metro-Phoenix. The economic-redevelopment zone is an asset-rich urban region between Phoenix, Tempe and Papago Park and has become one of Phoenix-metro’s most dynamic growth centers. Built in 1990, the property is located within a developing neighborhood comprised of a mix of old and new residential, commercial, industrial and office land uses.

The buyer, Verde Investments, Inc., is owned by Ernie Garcia, owner and chairman of the board of Phoenix-based DriveTime Automotive Group, Inc. Verde is currently reviewing all possible uses for the property, but has yet to disclose any plans for the asset.

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113,880 SF industrial showroom project to break ground in May in Deer Valley

The 17/Union Hills Business Center, a two-building, 113,880 SF industrial and showroom project is expected to break ground May 2014 at 2350-2400 West Union Hills Drive in Phoenix.

The multi-tenant project consisting of 61,320 SF and 52,560 SF buildings will feature 24’ clear height, dock and grade level loading, ESFR fire protection and fenced truck courts. Space availabilities begin at 4,755 SF. Each suite will offer at least one dock door and one grade level door, with many of the suites offering multiple dock doors per bay.

The property is currently owned by Jim Chamberlain whose company Sun State Builders has been constructing and developing industrial and office buildings in the Phoenix area for 40 years. Greenwood & McKenzie, a real estate investment company in Tustin, CA, will be purchasing the project upon its completion in November. Carl Greenwood and his partner Jim McKenzie have been acquiring projects from Jim Chamberlain for almost 35 years. Wes Balmer with Balmer Architectural Group was selected as architect. Lee & Associates Arizona principals Matt Hobaica and Jeff Conrad were chosen to market the property.

“Sunstate, along with Carl and Jim, have been involved with this infill site for some time. After assessing current market conditions, they have determined it is time to put the land into production,” said Conrad.

The Deer Valley submarket has proven itself to be one of the most dynamic industrial submarkets in the Greater Phoenix area. Vacancy for Class A, multi-tenant industrial space is tight for small to mid-bay users looking for frontage opportunities with immediate proximity to Interstate 17 and the Loop 101. “The 17/Union Hills Business Center is well-positioned to capture the pent-up demand for this new product,” said Hobaica.

Robert Cashin joins Caliente Construction

Bob Cashin_calienteRobert Cashin has joined Caliente Construction Inc., Phoenix, as Vice President of Construction Services. As a 36-year veteran in Arizona construction, Cashin will provide overall direction, leadership and guidance to manage the operational activities of the $65 million local company; ensuring growth, profitability, employee development, and the highest client service.

Cashin began his career in the field, moving into project management and most recently into executive management with local, Top 100 ENR firms. He is experienced in in multiple markets sectors for office, retail, hospitality, medical, mission critical, education, power, solar and multi-family market sectors. He also brings a distinct strength in business development and customer relationships.

Caliente Construction president Lorraine Bergman stated, “Caliente is positioning itself for future growth and we are excited to have Bob Cashin on board as an integral part of our team. Bob is talented and well–respected in the community and the construction industry. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to our organization as we look towards the future.”

Camelback at 24th, Hines

EPA Recognizes Hines with 2014 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today that it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the 2014 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award in recognition of continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency.  Hines will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 2014.

This is the tenth time Hines has been recognized by the EPA and the seventh time Hines has received the Sustained Excellence Award.

Hines’ portfolio of ENERGY STAR buildings consists of 185 facilities and more than 60 million square feet. With an average performance rating of 82.4, the portfolio is 39.7 percent more energy efficient than the national average.   This translates into estimated annual greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing more than 45,987 automobiles from the road for one year.

Across the U.S., top companies and organizations are leading the way toward a more energy-efficient future through participation in ENERGY STAR.  Through 2013, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved $297 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Hines is honored to receive this award,” said Hines President and CEO Jeffrey C. Hines.  “We use ENERGY STAR in tandem with Hines’ proprietary building management tools to support our engineering efforts to maximize performance, minimize risk and preserve long-term value.”

Hines Global Sustainability Officer Gary Holtzer added, “Our participation in the ENERGY STAR program is an important aspect of the firm’s sustainability program.  ENERGY STAR signals lower expenses for our tenants, higher returns for our investors, partners and clients, and a better environment for everyone.”

The 2014 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a variety of organizations to recognize their contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. Award winners are selected from the 16,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

Desert Canyon, Colliers

Office Momentum Carries Over from Late-2013 to First Quarter

Colliers International released its 1Q office market research. Highlights are below. A full report is at the end of the story.

·         Net absorption in the Greater Phoenix institutional office market totaled approximately 697KSF in the first quarter. This marked the third consecutive quarter where net absorption topped 500KSF.

·         Net absorption was strongest in the Class B segment, where tenants moved into a net of more than 400,000 square feet. With the amount of available Class-A space down 30 percent from the peak and development limited, tenants looking for large blocks of space are finding Class B buildings the primary option.

·         Vacancy ended the first quarter at 18.9 percent, down from 19.5 percent at year-end 2013. Vacancy in the Class A segment of the market is 18.4 percent while Class B vacancy is 19.4 percent.  While the Class B vacancy rate is improving, most submarkets still have a Class-B vacancy rate above 15 percent.

·         Asking rents in the institutional-grade office market have increased in each of the past four quarters, rising 5.7 percent to $21.90 per square foot.

·         Investment activity slowed somewhat after a fairly active fourth quarter, but velocity is up considerably compared to one year ago. Tightening vacancy, rising rents and accelerating hiring is fueling investment activity, despite ongoing challenges still present in the market.

Phoenix Institutional Office Report 1Q14

CatalinaTerraces, WEB

The Leona Group leases 15,054 SF at Catalina Terraces in Phoenix

Cassidy Turley announced that it completed a lease of 15,054 square feet for locally based The Leona Group Arizona, LLC at Catalina Terraces, 7878 North 16th Street in Phoenix.

Cassidy Turley Vice President Justin Himelstein represented the tenant, while Phil Breidenback, Keith Lambeth, Lindsey Carlson and Ryan Timpani with Colliers International represented Catalina Terraces Operating Associates, a company formed by Rosemont Realty.

“We scoured the market for potential sites to purchase and lease, but it made the most financial sense for The Leona Group to renew and remain at Catalina Terraces,” Himelstein said. “We were able to reduce overall occupancy costs while negotiating tenant improvements to modernize the space.”

The Leona Group is a national provider of services to charter schools and among the nation’s pioneers of education reform. Leona formed in 1996 to provide quality school choices to families, primarily in urban communities. Each school curriculum is centered on the child, with lessons and standards presented in ways that help students thrive and succeed with comprehensive school management services as well as rewarding careers for world-class educators. The Leona Group currently operates 60 schools in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio with approximately 18,000 students enrolled. Its philosophy is that every child can and will learn, regardless of ethnicity, economic or educational disadvantage.

Built in 1990 and renovated in 2002, Catalina Terraces is a 177,522 SF Class-A office building with a unique Southwestern design adjacent to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and Pointe Hilton Resort. The project has quick access to the State Route 51 and is minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport. The Leona group will use the space for its Corporate Headquarters.

Saguaro Heights, WEB

ORION negotiates sale of 34-unit apartment complex in Surprise

ORION Investment Real Estate is pleased to announce the sale of Saguaro Heights, a 34-unit apartment complex in Surprise, Ariz., for $1.3M.  The property was built in 1987 and was 95% occupied at the time of sale.  It consists of 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome units and is located near the intersection of El Mirage and Greenway Roads.  The Buyer was able to obtain new financing on the property from Bank of the West with 25% down.  Both the Seller, Saguaro Heights LP, and the Buyer, JMY Properties, are based out of Southern California.

This is the Buyers third acquisition in the Phoenix marketplace.  “This was a good addition to their portfolio , noted Jackie Allen, Vice President of Multifamily Investments at ORION.  Allen continues, “We are continuing to experience an influx of California buyers to our market.  These buyers, like many others from California, are attracted by a lower cost per unit in Phoenix.”

The Sellers have owned this property since 1996 and Saguaro Heights was the last apartment building holding they owned in the Phoenix area; having recently closed a 66 unit complex also with ORION last year.  Dan Ray, a principal with Saguaro Heights, LP, concluded, “It was terrific working with ORION once again.  She [Jackie] made the transaction seamless from begin to end.”

Jackie Allen focuses on investment sales of multifamily properties.