Author Archives: Peter Madrid

Peter Madrid

About Peter Madrid

Peter Madrid has more than 30 years of experience in the newspaper industry as an editor and reporter at USA Today, Kansas City Star, Tucson Citizen and Arizona Republic. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

The interior of the "Net Zero" DPR Construction office in Phoenix

Out of the Gate FAST

With the Valley’s housing market healthy again, developers and builders of industrial and office properties are hoping to ride the wave.
With the recession (hopefully) a distant memory, the industrial sector has sprinted out to the lead.
“Industrial projects have significantly outpaced office projects in our pipeline,” says Andrew Geier, executive vice president at Layton Construction. “Since finishing the Cigna Phoenix Central Multi-Specialty Center in late 2012 with Clarius Partners, most of our office portfolio has been comprised of tenant improvement projects.
In regard to industrial construction, Layton is 70% complete with its 1.5 MSF Marshalls Distribution Center. The Marshalls project has several unique features, Geier says. Other than its sheer size, it also boasts 52-foot clear heights and 6,500 kilowatt of generator back up power.
“We are also currently building out 80,000 SF of space for Maxwell Technologies,” Geier says. “The facility will produce carbon film used in capacitor production.”
In addition, Layton was recently awarded a 400,000 SF expansion to Macy’s Fulfillment Center in Goodyear. Also in Goodyear, Layton has been awarded the new 160,000 SF foot facility for The Cookson Company, Inc., an industrial door manufacturer.
“Our outlook for industrial projects remains very positive,” Geier says. “Obviously a strong backlog of projects helps shape that opinion, but we also think that the Valley offers several advantages for companies searching for a new location. Our positive outlook includes new speculative buildings, but we think the majority of the spec buildings will be industrial — with spec office lagging well behind.”
The West Valley appears the hot spot for industrial projects, says Tammy Carr, vice president business development for Howard S. Wright Construction, a Balfour Beatty company.
“Clearly it (the West Valley) has seen significant planning efforts in the speculative industrial sector and all of our industrial developer clients are seeking the appropriate timing to bring more product online,” Carr says. “Most seem to be continuing forward with design of facilities around the 400,000 SF range, but with a very watchful eye on the leasing results of those currently under construction.”
Balfour Beatty Construction just delivered to market a 185,834 SF refurbished cross dock distribution facility for Liberty Property Trust. The facility, Liberty Sky Harbor Center, is at 2626 S. 7th St. in Phoenix. This same client, Carr adds, is also partnered with the City of Tempe on a 100-acre, 10-year development plan for the construction of office, industrial and commercial flex space named Liberty Center at Rio Salado which will kick off later this year with a possible speculative office building.
“Additional new to market industrial projects for Balfour Beatty includes a process facility in the East Valley,” she says. “Whereas the West Valley seems to be the speculative king, the East Valley seems to have captured the hearts and commitments of the end users.”
From Sundt Construction’s perspective, speculative development is still not something it is seeing a lot of in the office sector.
“We have, however, seen good activity in the private office market, including projects related to tenant improvements, renovations, and build-to-suits,” says Ian McDowell, pre-construction manager Southwest District.
“We recently completed tenant improvements for Allstate Insurance and in the Fountainhead Corporate Park as well as a renovation at the Arizona Public Service Deer Valley campus,” McDowell says.
Sundt also has secured three additional office projects in the past three months: a renovation for a public utility company, a tenant improvement for a private company, and a new build on an existing campus for a private client. Total value of these projects approaches $90M, McDowell says. Jobs for Sundt’s office clients comprise nearly 40% of its new work this year and McDowell says the company expects that trend continuing into 2014.
“We have also seen a big uptick in developer activity in the office market,” McDowell says. “Many of the developers we are working with are seeking key anchor tenants which will be the catalyst to kick off some very attractive office projects in the next year. We believe private developers are among our best business prospects and plan to closely monitor that market for opportunities.”
When it comes to office projects in the Valley, DPR Construction is keeping busy. Tenant improvement clients include Willis North America, Digital Realty Trust, eBay, Morgan Stanley & Co., and Alliance Project Advisors.
“I feel we (the Valley) are returning from the recession a little better than other areas,” says Michael Rauschenberger, commercial office leader for DPR. “What’s happening now is office space is getting gobbled up by larger tenants. There are more and larger users coming to town. They are looking for 100,000 SF to 150,000 SF in a building, or in a couple of buildings.
“It may be 6 to 8 months before settling on a building and then it’s not what they want. Then it’s a TI, and they end up on two floors. Trying to find Class A office space on contiguous floors is getting harder and harder.”
What’s fueling the office trend? Phoenix is the third fastest growing city in the U.S. coming out of the recession. California is facing tax issues. Lease and rental rates are low. Deals are getting made. And has a pretty stable economy.
Rauschenberger predicts there will be more product on the market in the next year to year and a half. He also says there is an increased demand for renovated and repurposed buildings in Metro Phoenix. And DPR has perhaps the best example of this: its award-winning headquarters at 222 N. 44th St. in Phoenix.
According to industry experts, sustainable features are consistently and steadily being requested by businesses seeking space in existing renovated, repurposed and updated buildings. Tenants, apparently, are willing to pay for sustainable features. As a key player in corporate office renovations and repurposing, DPR is leading the charge with its LEED Platinum office which was recently certified as the world’s largest Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB) by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) through its Living Building Challenge (SM) program.
“Our office is a living, breathing lab, and a showcase for sustainability,” says Rauschenberger, who adds DPR conducts four to five HQ tours a week. “Whether it’s a TI or ground up, users are incorporating more and more sustainable features. Some of these companies have a sense of pride and care about the people that work there.
“People should like to come to work,” he says, “and we’re seeing that more and more. It’s amazing to see how these new projects are starting to embrace a change in office design.”

Tucson street car construction

Tucson Market Update: Building for the Future

Just as Arizona State University construction projects are springing up around the Valley, the same can be said for the University of Arizona down the interstate in Tucson.
And just as ASU’s building bonanza is touching all parts of the Valley, UA’s growth is being felt all over Tucson.
• Old Main on the UA campus is undergoing a $13.5M facelift by Sundt Construction.
• The North End Zone at Arizona Stadium is getting a $72M renovation; Mortenson Construction is the GC.
• The Junction at Iron Horse will be a $10M, 232-bed off-campus student housing complex near the UA campus. Adolfson & Peterson Construction is the GC.
• A $196M, 4-mile modern streetcar line connecting the UA campus to the 4th Avenue commercial district, downtown and the redevelopment area west of downtown is under construction.
“The strengths of being a university town is the integration with the University of Arizona,” says Pam Sutherland, economic development director with the Downtown Tucson Partnership. “A modern street car line will link UA to downtown and change the entire dynamic. UA has classes downtown. And UA has student housing downtown. This really is the right relationship we need to have with the people from UA. Developers know that, and they know what future development looks like.”
Because of UA, Tucson also is becoming a hotbed for bioscience and biotech. Speaking before the Arizona Association for Economic Development, UA President Ann Weaver Hart touched on the disciplines that she says will ensure a successful partnership between higher education and the economic development community in Arizona.
“Knowledge-based graduates are poised to make an incredible impact on the well being of our state,” she says. “At UA, we’re rethinking our role in higher education and integrating with what you (economic developers) do.”
She stressed the importance of engaging knowledge throughout the curriculum, including such UA colleges as architecture and planning, arid land studies and the school of mining.
UA’s crown jewel is the 65-acre Bioscience Park in central Tucson. Its eastern boundary sits along Kino Parkway, one of the major north/south transportation corridors in Tucson. The Bio Park is 2 1/2 miles from the main campus, 4 miles from Tucson International Airport and 3 miles from Downtown Tucson. It’s within a 5-mile radius of 40 biotech companies, including three major research hospitals.
Designed as an urban park, it eventually will accommodate more than 3 MSF of development, from single-story to six-story buildings.
“I am a committed believer in the economy,” Hart says. “Of the higher education institutions in the state, and we have three great universities, we are just cracking the surface of the relationship of the (higher education) system and economic development. We can be great partners with you to create that wonderful future.”
Higher education, she says, is adding $8.3B to the economy of this state — just in direct economic impact.


The multi-family market that’s blazing in the Valley also is quite active in Tucson. Leading the charge is HSL Properties with its luxury Encantada developments. HSL just completed the 272-unit Encantada Dove Mountain. HSL’s 288-unit luxury complex Encantada at Steam Pump, recently broke ground.
“We are continuing to look for opportunities both here and in Phoenix,” says Omer Mireles, executive vice president at HSL. “This is a select submarket we’re in, and there’s quite a bit of supply coming on line — this also includes student housing.”
Mireles attributes Tucson’s multi-family spike to what occurred during the recession. Or actually, what didn’t occur during the recession, and that was the construction of new units.
“During the recession there was pent up demand in Phoenix,” Mireles says. “Here in Tucson, even before the downturn, there was very little new construction. There is an opportunity to build now to serve a demand that will be there for some time. “
As is the case in the Valley, Tucson is delivering high-end apartments to a highly mobile, younger demographic. However, Mireles cautions that the notion of the “birth of the renter nation” may be just that — a notion.
“Consumers are still deeply engrained in buying their own home,” he says.
As far as the housing market in Tucson, Mireles says the Old Pueblo didn’t see the amount of problems that affected the Valley during the housing crisis.
“Demand has been incredible out here in certain submarkets, but pretty soft in others,” Mireles says. “The northwest market (where most of HSL developments reside) is very strong.”

Brokerage report

• Office
“In the past we reported signs of life in the Tucson office market. Now, with some certainty, we can say that we have a pretty strong pulse and other vital signs are improving. Based on the current level of market activity, this has been verified by all of the PICOR office agents and we’re hearing the same from the other active Tucson brokers. By no means does this indicate a complete recovery, but it does indicate that we’re on the right path.
“After hovering around 12% vacancy for that last several quarters, we expect that we’ll start to see a slow reduction in available space.  In order for this to happen, Tucson will need to see more job creation, and we seem to be poised for that.  Based on some of the new office space requirements from existing businesses, as well as inquiries from businesses looking to locate in the Tucson market, we are optimistic that we’ll start to see some of these needed jobs.
“In addition to more jobs, we’ll also need to see the national, state and local economies continue their path to health, along with some more certainty and better understanding of what to expect from the implementation of the new health care regulations.  The far reaching effect of these two areas will absolutely determine how much and how quickly our local office market continues to improve.” — Thomas J. Nieman, SIOR, Principal, PICOR

• Multi-family
“The multi-family market fundamentals continue to slowly improve in Tucson with absorption and rental rates slowly increasing and vacancy declining. According to Apartment Insights / REAL DATA, citywide vacancy stood at 9.44% and average rent at $631 per unit for the first quarter 2013. Both are improvements from Q4 2012. The Class A sector of the market is much stronger than class C properties with citywide vacancy for A properties averaging 7.7% while C property vacancy remains at approximately 13.3%.  Downtown and University area submarkets remain the strongest markets and are benefiting from the Tucson Modern Streetcar and the revitalization of the downtown area.
“New apartment construction, both student housing and standard market rate, has returned after a few very soft years. Deliveries for 2012 totaled 1,062 units, of which 206 units were student housing. Currently there are 1,648 units either under construction or recently completed. Expected unit completions in 2013 total approximately 1,180 with 555 being student housing.  The student housing market at the University of Arizona is going through big changes with over 1,000 units and over 3,000 beds being delivered between 2012 and 2014. The new student properties offer a level of quality, access and amenities not seen previously at the University of Arizona.” — Bob Kaplan, Principal, PICOR

• Industrial
“The trajectory of the Tucson industrial market is clearly an improving one. After two quarters of strong absorption (Q4 2012 and Q1 2013), 150,000 and 166,000 square feet (sf) respectively occupancy of industrial space as improved from 88% to 89%. Q2 2013 should be very strong with absorption in the range of 400,000 sf. The consolidation trend Tucson saw for the past several years is clearly over, and positive absorption has taken hold.
“A balanced market between what is available and occupancy demand will occur at an occupancy level of 92%. Although a vacancy rate of 8% seems relatively high, the Tucson market contains many older less functional spaces that do not compete well for tenants. At this point in the market, we expect to see rents increase. At the current pace, we expect this to happen in the next 12 to 18 months.
“Once rents increase, tenants often become interested in buying, and in time, building and land values should improve as well. We may even see developers, who have been dormant in the market for several years, contemplating new projects.”
— Rob Glaser, SIOR CCIM, Principal, PICOR.

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After Hours: Stephen Kovach

Vice President
Kovach Building Enclosures, Chandler

With Kovach for 15 years

Born and raised in Tempe

Graduated from ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction

Wife Drew; 2 children ages 2 and 4

Strategic direction of the company, preconstruction and product development


Music — Anything that’s clean with a good beat. Big music fan!
Destinations — My family is full of travelers. I like to see a new place each year, off the beaten path and away from the tourist traps
Activities — Snowmobiling, exploring new terrain, scuba diving and playing with my kids

What did you think you’d be when you were growing up?

I have been all about our family’s business since I was a kid. I grew up around construction and always wanted to be a part of new construction projects.

What accomplishment are you especially proud of?

If being a dad is considered an accomplishment, I would say that’s No. 1. On a professional level, problem solving construction methods is a lot of fun

What would people be surprised to know about you?:

I can walk on my hands.

Giving back:

The company is involved in various Arizona-based charities such as ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods), which included donating the metal roof, metal walls, canopies and all associated labor for the project, while also volunteering personal time from the leadership team.


Given — Listen before you speak.
To share — Plan for the long term and enjoy the people you work with.

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Office/Industrial: Money in the Market

As recent as two years ago, commercial foreclosures were affecting the markets and underlying property values. Then talk surfaced that the “blue blood” money was back and looking to make deals.
Fast forward to 2013: Is this still the case?
“In regards to office and industrial, the ‘blue blood’ is very active in the marketplace,” says Todd Jarman, senior vice president Commercial Real Estate for BBVA Compass. “The recent announcement of joint ventures with Clarion Partners (and Wentworth Property) and Walton Street Capital (and Everest Holdings) continue a string of similar headlines we have seen more for many months now.
Values are holding very well, Jarman says, and in many cases appreciating nicely. He adds the market has not seen the wave of commercial foreclosures that were expected a number of years ago. Given the strong demand for good product, he adds, lenders holding distressed properties have instead opted to either entertain short-sales, note sales or direct borrower negotiations.
“In regards to the current lending environment, our local banks are very hungry for stabilized product (both office and industrial), and we are beginning to see lenders take market/leasing risk on industrial buildings (big box /West side) — as several speculative developments are underway,” Jarman says. “Lenders continue to be hesitant on market/leasing risk on office, unless a very ‘special story’ exists. I would suspect that any new office development would require substantial pre-leasing — at least 50% or a number that could provide break even DSCR.”
According to Scott Holland, managing partner, Keystone Commercial Capital, foreclosures have tailed off to a point that they are not having the downward pressure on values that they did over the past few years.
“I believe the market has found a floor and while there are still good values to be found in the market, the increasing transaction activity is bringing buyers back into the market as they can begin to feel comfortable with where the floor is and can focus on creating value as the market begin to resurge.
“As for money, I believe there is a significant amount of various equity capital (institutional, wealthy private and true entrepreneurial investors) in the market looking for value creation opportunities,” he says, “These markets appear to be in the early stages of recovery and everyone is trying to get an investment stake in the ground in order to enjoy the market lift that traditionally follows a significant down market — and what a down market it was.
But just as with the abundance of equity capital, there is an abundance of debt capital.  While the sheer volume of both equity and debt capital can’t be disputed, their adherence to fundamentals at this stage of the recovery is also clear.
“The not-so-distant memory of bad buys and bad loans will continue to keep both of these capital sources disciplined in their approach to the business for the reasonable foreseeable future, Holland says.
Commercial foreclosures are waning and CMBS special servicers have the bulk of what is available, says Jaclyn Noel, senior VP and private banker at Wells Fargo.
“The process with these groups takes longer because of the layers of legality,” she says. “Bank inventories are down and the economy is improving. Capitalization rates for these property types are normalizing.
Capital is flowing from different sources both locally and internationally, especially from Canadian investors.
“All the usual suspects are active again: banks, CMBS, life companies, pension funds, finance companies, private placements. Our Private Bank is actively providing commercial real estate investor financing.”
The Metro Phoenix office market remains very soft due to over-supply and weak absorption, says Vicki Williams, senior VP Commercial Real Estate at Alliance Bank of Arizona. Leasing activity, she says, consists primarily of tenants moving from one submarket to another and/or moving up from Class B properties to Class A properties.
“Institutional capital is available to acquire trophy, stabilized Class A properties only, which trade at low cap rates,” Williams says.
The market for Class B properties is the most active, according to Williams. Buyers for stabilized — or relatively stabilized —  Class B properties include investment funds and private REITs who partner with pension funds. These assets are selling at higher cap rates, which is reflective of those investors looking for risk adjusted returns.
“They do not anticipate rents to trend upwards in the short term and therefore plan on a longer hold strategy of 7 years or more,” she says. “Truly value-ad, distressed, multi-tenant office properties are being acquired by buyers willing to take more risk for a higher potential return. These investors are Canadian investors, individual investors and opportunity funds.
“Financing for these properties continues to be difficult to find due to the higher risk and lack of cash flow, as these value-ad properties have significant vacancy and may also need some rehab work. They are being acquired at very favorable prices, often from a lender.”
These investors’ strategy, Williams adds, is to lease up the properties at the current, low rental rates and then sell them at lower cap rate within a 3-year time frame. Multi-tenant medical office is the favored property type, though well located multi-tenant office properties in the Southeast Valley, the Camelback corridor and North Scottsdale are also trading.
“While the office market is expected to remain soft for the next several years, the industrial market has been strengthening,” Williams says. “Institutional investors continue to prefer big box, single-tenant properties.  Life insurance companies are starting to invest in new, speculative construction of big box space based on the strong absorption in this segment seen in the past couple of years.
“Multi-tenant, small bay industrial properties are being acquired by private investment companies consisting of ‘friends and family investors.’ This Class B market is the most active.”

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After Hours: Kari McCormick of Kitchell

Director of Client Services — Native American Division
Kitchell, Phoenix
With Kitchell for 2 1/2 years
Born in Scottsdale
Received bachelors in Business Administration from ASU; attended Fuller Theological Seminary
Husband Terry Fong;  son, AJ (26), daughters, Kassi (21), Hunter (12), newly adopted foster child; stepdaughter, Nici (31); 2 grand daughters; Great grandfather (maternal), Joseph P. Allyn served as one of the original Associated Justices on the Supreme Court of the Arizona Territory appointed by Abraham Lincoln; (paternal), Territorial Secretary Richard C. McCormick served at the same time in 1800s


Sports/Teams — College, ASU 1st and UA 2nd (my dad played football there so I have to support them as well). I root for our local teams: Diamondbacks, Suns and Cardinals, but I love watching a great soccer or tennis match.
Music — Eclectic from alternative, hard rock, jazz and blues. Saw Carlos Santana and got to meet the band; it was incredible!
Destinations — Loved traveling to Australia seeing the Great Barrier Reef, an ancient rainforest and spending time at Ayers Rock. My husband is from the Fiji Islands so we will be traveling there this summer to attend a wedding. A European trip is on our near to-do list, but I would love to visit Viet Nam, Galapagos Islands, and Africa.
Activities — Golf, tennis, reading, and traveling with family

What did you think you’d be when you were growing up?

Veterinarian or marine biologist.

What accomplishment you are especially proud of?

Having kids that have grown into kind, independent and balanced human beings making their own mark in the world. Parenting is the toughest job and you never know if you’re doing it right, you just hope and pray you don’t mess it up too bad. Professionally a highlight would be serving my second term on the National Indian Gaming Association Executive Board. You are nominated and elected by your peers, which makes this so special. I was awarded the 2012 Great Women of Gaming Rising Star Award which again was from a nomination of peers, so I feel really blessed to have so many wonderful colleagues who I admire and respect.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I used to do competitive kick boxing, I was an early elementary school teacher and I attended seminary with intentions of becoming an ordained Presbyterian minister.


Received — It all comes out in the wash. When you can’t control the behaviors and actions of others, you can spend your time fighting the chaos or you use your energy to create justice through your own actions.   At the end of the day, people will judge you not on the words of others, but on your actions and integrity by which you live.
To Share — Because 90% of my work is with tribes and tribal development, the question I get asked the most is why is working with tribes so different? I always advise anyone interested in working with tribes to first and foremost understand, tribes are sovereign nations. Just as any foreign government they are fully empowered to form their own governments, create laws and are charged to create an environment of well-being in education, health, economic development for their members to thrive. Because of this, tribal development can be (ital) very challenging because it’s not all about profit and bottom-line cost. There is a much deeper sense of responsibility toward future generations and well-being of whole communities with any development. Once you understand and respect the sovereignty, and that each tribe is very different in their structure and way of doing business, it can be one of the most gratifying markets with immeasurable intrinsic rewards knowing that what you do can change communities.

Rendering of the 45,000 SF Pascua Yaqui Tribal Services Center being built by Concord General Contracting.

Project News

Adaptive re-use project coming together at 7th and Osborn

Work is progressing by the team for Old School O7 consisting of Wetta Ventures as developer, RSP as architect and designer and Chasse Building Team as general contractor for a July turnover of a new ground-up mid-century inspired building and a reimagined church and school building in Central Phoenix. The adaptive re-use project at 7th St. and Osborn has secured Starbucks as tenant for the new building, and Taco Guild restaurant for the church building. On-site, the team has been reacting to the unforeseen conditions that arise on re-use projects. The team discovered three large windows that had been blocked in. By restoring these, the space now has increased light and dimension. The team also decided to rebuild vs. remove a wall which will now serve as a History Mural to celebrate the 128-year “local” history of the property.  Beautiful wood ceilings which were hidden by acoustic tiles were uncovered and stained glass windows are being left or repurposed throughout the project. Subcontractors include Sterling Sandblasting, Creative Masonry and W&W Structural Steel. After the shell building’s turnover, tenant improvements will quickly commence for a scheduled project in the fall.

 DPR projects Include ASU, Osborn Medical Center, Banner

TI at the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation 2 and refurbishment work at Osborn Medical Center are two of several projects in the works by DPR Construction.
• SmithGroupJJR is architect for the 16,000 SF NHI2 Fifth Floor TI project, approximate value at $540,000. Work includes TI of existing shell space consisting of 23 offices and two dean offices.
• The Osborn Medical Center public restroom refurbishment include work on 21 public restrooms within the hospital. This includes new ceramic tile, plumbing upgrades and miscellaneous accessories.
• Phoenix Design One is architect and Alliance Project Advisors is construction manager of the 13,000 SF TI at the Avalon School of Cosmetology. Subcontractors include Brown and Son’s Electrical Contracting, Alpine Mechanical and Service, Arnett Plumbing, Fortress General Contracting, Ganado Painting and Wallcoverings, Wholesale Flooring, Styles Brothers Custom Millwork, D.H. Pace, Mountain State Drapery, TP Acoustics, RCI Systems, Dickens Quality Demolition and KDM Contracting. The TI includes salon, pedicure, treatment area, reception, classrooms, break room, offices, restrooms and laundry.
• HKS is architect for the $1.5M Banner Gateway Kitchen and OR renovation. Work includes expansion and renovation of the kitchen and physicians’ lounge and renovation of OR No. 8.

DL Withers finishes sports venue

DL Withers Construction recently completed the Southern Arizona Community Sports @ Curtis Park project in Tucson. The architect is Swaim Associates Architects. This state-of-the-art facility will include nearly 40,000 SF of versatile space, accommodating up to five basketball courts, eight volleyball courts and other activity space for sports and other programs that promote health and wellness for Tucson and the surrounding community’s youth.

Concord eyes 4Q finish for 2 projects

A tribal services center in Guadalupe and a multi-family project in Phoenix are scheduled for 4Q 2013 completion by Concord General Contracting. At the $2.8M, 23,000 SF Verde Villa multi-housing project, Concord is converting 66 one-bedroom and studio units to a combination of 36 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Architectural Resource Team is the architect. Subcontractors include Shadetree Mechnical, Rowley Plumbing, Parker Design and Construction, Gazda Electrical and Bold Framing. At the $5.5M, 40,500 SF Pascua Yaqui Tribal Services Center (architect Merry Carnell Schlecht), Concord is building a new, 2-story administration building. Subs: Commercial Air, Noble Steel, Grace Electric, CJS Enterprises and Irontree Construction.

JE Dunn, DLR Group to team on ADOC Buckeye prison expansion

JE Dunn Construction was selected as construction manager on the new Arizona Department of Corrections 500-bed Maximum Custody Prison Expansion in Buckeye. The $50M, 110,000 SF prison will be designed by DLR Group, adding to JE Dunn’s extensive correctional experience with the design firm. The expansion will include three new housing units within the existing Arizona State Prison Complex Lewis and will utilize existing water, waste water, electrical, natural gas, communication and secure perimeter infrastructure. Preconstruction began in April with 4Q 2014 completion date.

Nick Miner

Arizona Investment Broker Nominated To Be Next CCIM President


The CCIM Institute has announced the candidacy of ORION Investment Real Estate Vice President, Nick Miner, CCIM, for the position of 2014 First Vice President, a 3-year term that culminates in the 2016 Institute Presidency.

The election will take place at the CCIM Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 24 in Denver. Only the Board of Directors is eligible to vote. The President shall serve as an ex–officio member of all committees, standing or otherwise, and will represent the best interests of the Institute. The President acts as chief spokesperson and inspirational leader and shall work in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer.

Miner has spent his 15-year commercial real estate career helping his clients with a diverse background in sales, leasing and management. In the past several years, he has transitioned into a top investment sales broker with a heavy focus on multi-tenant retail properties.

Miner’s involvement with CCIM has spanned the past 14 years, having served as President of the Central Arizona CCIM Chapter in 2005 and elected to the CCIM Institute Board of Directors and CCIM Tech Board of Directors.

“Nick is a well-respected commercial real estate veteran and I’ve always admired his industry knowledge and dedication to the CCIM program.” says ORION President, Ari Spiro.

Since 1969, the Chicago-based CCIM Institute has conferred the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate and allied professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours and professional experiential requirements.

The core curriculum addresses financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and negotiation — the cornerstones of commercial investment real estate. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, the CCIM Institute also offers powerful technology tools such as the Site To Do Business, an online demographics and site analysis resource.

Currently, there are nearly 10,000 CCIMs in 1,000 U.S. metros and 30 global markets, with another 3,000 practitioners pursuing the designation, making the Institute one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world.



Rivulon Ramping Up: With Construction Set For Fall, Gilbert Project Poised To Move Forward


Gilbert is one of the fastest-growing residential communities in the nation. It is only fitting that a scene of such dynamic growth is the home of what is poised to emerge as one of the region’s most promising new commercial developments: Rivulon.

Developed by Nationwide Realty Investors (NRI), the real estate development affiliate of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Rivulon’s first phase represents the beginning of what will one day become a 250-acre, mixed-use destination, offering premier office space, a wide selection of dining options, a strong retail element, a hotel and upscale multifamily residential.

The finished project will include more than 3 MSF of Class A office and 500,000 SF of integrated restaurant and retail uses. Located near the intersection of Gilbert Road and the Loop 202, Rivulon fronts the adjacent highway and counts impressive visibility and accessibility among its many assets.

With site work underway and construction set to begin this fall on phase one — which includes a 4-story 120,000 SF office building and a 45,000 SF L.A. Fitness — NRI will soon give greater Phoenix its first glimpse of this new mixed-use destination.

>> Site selection

Rivulon’s greatest asset might be Gilbert itself. The town boasts a population of more than 171,000 residents and is currently adding around 1,000 new residents each month. Just 12 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Gilbert is a community that has worked hard to preserve its small-town character while simultaneously investing in the high-tech industry and progressive planning that has both shaped and driven its rapid growth.

As NRI President Brian J. Ellis explains, that combination of emerging market potential and major metropolitan access was an attractive proposition.

“We recognized an opportunity in Gilbert. It’s not only a strong market with great demographics, it’s a community poised for continued growth,” Ellis said.

NRI’s ability to identify opportunities in expanding markets is nothing new: the developer’s successful projects in Columbus, Ohio — the Arena District and Grandview Yard — have helped make the Ohio capital one of the nation’s most vibrant social and economic urban success stories.

NRI sees a fast-growing market seeking quality office space in Gilbert, and, with impressive growth also happening in adjacent communities, the regional demographic pump is already primed.

“The Phoenix market is rebounding and we expect the Southeast Valley to continue playing a role in driving that momentum,” Ellis said. “We are confident that the demand will continue to grow for the type of high-quality space we are developing at Rivulon.”

With Rivulon’s first office building scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, Ellis added he belives the timing of the project could not be better.

“The opportunity for us to introduce a significant amount of office space at a time when there is little-to-no new product in the market will be a strategic advantage for us.”

>> All the pieces

The Rivulon master plan reflects a true mixed-use project — an environment that will be more than just another collection of specialty retail and restaurants under office space. As for the live in the live-work-play equation, Ellis notes that once a critical mass of office, restaurants and retail is in place that a “market-driven” residential component will be considered.

Future plans for Rivulon also include a hotel, a use Ellis describes as “a property in alignment with the character and quality of the project,” and a grocery component.

Rivulon’s site plan and design articulate cohesiveness and connectivity. The project’s entryway off of Gilbert Road will set the tone for the project. Extensive landscaping throughout the site reflects Rivulon’s southwestern regional context, while several water features add interest and flair.

Along those same lines, pedestrian movement and flow are also important, and NRI has designed a number of winding walking trails, retail avenues and natural gathering spaces that connect office, restaurant and retail features and encourage employees and visitors to explore and engage with the site.

>> The bigger picture

While the long-term vision for Rivulon is ambitious, taking the long view is nothing new for NRI: this opportunistic, market-driven approach is a development strategy that has worked well for the company. NRI has developed well over a billion dollars in commercial and residential real estate, largely by specializing in the kind of large, complex mixed-use projects that require time, patience, and a keen strategic vision to execute successfully.

In contrast to the get-in-and-get-out approach adopted by some developers, NRI’s investments in and commitments to their projects are extensive and sustained.

“Our large mixed-use projects take anywhere from 10 to 20 years to fully mature,” Ellis said. “We expect a similar horizon for Rivulon.”

The key, Ellis elaborates, is to understand that the best way to create a memorable and sustainable mixed-use destination is to apply the structure and vision of a long-term master plan with a market-driven approach to development: building out phases and components at a pace that the market can absorb.

The well-documented success of Nationwide’s $800M Arena District in Downtown Columbus is a testament to how well that strategy can work. A 100-acre mixed-use urban infill project, the complexity of the Arena District demanded equal parts master-planned vision and nimble development flexibility.

Grandview Yard, a $500M mixed-use development built on a reclaimed warehouse site just outside of Columbus is another NRI project on a similar track.

“While the projects are different in many respects, we see echoes of both the Arena district and Grandview Yard in Rivulon,” Ellis adds. “We will be strategic, opportunistic, and uncompromisingly focused on quality — all while keeping our eye on the long-term goal: the delivery of a thriving mixed-use destination.”

>> It takes a village

As with all NRI projects, public-private cooperation and coordination has been essential throughout the Rivulon design and development process. Ellis says that Gilbert’s civic leaders and community members have been integral throughout pre-development, demonstrating both the vision and foresight to grasp the project’s true potential and a great enthusiasm to help make it happen.

“The community of Gilbert has been an active and engaged partner in the process,” Ellis said. “We look forward to their continued participation and support as we work together to deliver an outstanding amenity and a regional mixed-use destination for the City of Gilbert and Greater Phoenix.”

NRI has developed and owns more than $1.4B in real estate investments including Gainey Ranch Corporate Center in Scottsdale.



GCD/RE Leases 47,036 SF Former Safeway Store in Phoenix


GDC/RE leased another “big box” space in its listing portfolio. With the completion of a transaction with Epic Stores, the firm leased the 47,036 SF foot former Safeway grocery store at the NEC of 19th Ave. and Union Hills Dr.

That transaction also marked the 10th lease of more than 10,000 SF completed by the Phoenix based real-estate company in the past 12 months.

“Arizona has been seen as the poster child of big-box vacancy in recent years; however, I’m proud to say that our firm has re-tenanted every anchor and other large-format space in our portfolio. In many cases, we leased box space that had been vacant for years,” said Joe Doucett, co-founder and designated broker of GDC/RE.

One example of this is a former Linens n Things box at Yuma Palms in Yuma. GDC/RE took on the listing of that center in 2012 and within less than a year leased the 24,943 SF space that had been vacant since 2008.

“Our leasing team produced multiple offers from national retailers for the space, thus ensuring our client, Inland Continental, was able to secure the best possible deal for the project,” Doucett said.

Some of GDC/RE’s box-listing clients have included Donahue Schriber, Retail Properties of America, Inc., Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Barclay Group, SyWest, Litwin Management and Pac West Development. Major retail clients of more than 10,000 SF include Blast! Fitness, Beall’s Outlet, Family Thrift Stores and Turn Style Consignment Stores.

Duane Blossom

ASLA Honors Phoenix Landscape Architect H. Duane Blossom With Fellowship


The American Society of Landscape Architects will elevate 33 members to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2013, including Phoenix landscape architect H. Duane Blossom of Todd & Associates.

Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service.

The 2013 class of new fellows will be recognized at the 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo, Nov. 15-18 in Boston.

The designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. Individuals considered for this distinction must be full members of ASLA in good standing for at least 10 years and must be recommended to the Council of Fellows by the Executive Committee of their local chapter, the Executive Committee of ASLA or the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows.

Blossom received his nomination, for Service, from the AzASLA, the Arizona Chapter. As a prominent practitioner and engaging educator, his storyboard workshop design approach uses critical thinking and visual communication to build consensus among all stakeholders.

He uses his analytic approach with great effect also to mentor students and young professionals, sharing his love of drawing, landscape art and the vast potential of nature. A pivotal midpoint in his career was as principal for POD Inc., which became a leader in landscape architecture.

His clear understanding of the programming and concept development, together with his superior graphic abilities, have helped many a client and the general public understand the importance of the design process. His BSLA is from Kansas State and MLA from the Harvard GSD.


Sundt Construction Completes John M. Roll U.S. Courthouse In Yuma


Sundt Construction completed construction of the $25M John M. Roll U.S. Courthouse in downtown Yuma.

The landmark federal courthouse construction project replaces an outdated facility and pays tribute to its namesake, Justice John M. Roll, a federal judge who was killed in the January 2011 attack on former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.

Sundt served as the design-build contractor on the project.

The 2-story, 57,000 SF building includes two courtrooms, judges’ chambers, detention cells and administrative areas for the federal courts and the U.S. Marshals Service.

A clean, modern design emphasizes sustainability and sets the stage for pending LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Locally sourced sandstone and masonry, installed by Sundt’s own crews, cover the building’s exterior, while “living walls” of vines planted on steel trellises shade windows.

In the entry, a 10,000 SF canopy made of photovoltaic panels supplies shade while generating up to one quarter of the building’s electrical needs.


IIDA Southwest Member Profile: Sophie Kwok


Sophie Kwok, President IIDA ASU Chapter

Years in interior design: 3

Years in IIDA: 3

Q: Why did you get involved with IIDA?

A: I joined IIDA as a freshman in college.

Stephanie Kwok

Sophie Kwok

Q: How important to the success of your professional goal is your involvement with IIDA?

A: As a student, IIDA has been a great outlet for networking and meeting professionals in the industry. It has allowed me to get a better understanding of what to expect upon graduation. Like many have told me before, it really isn’t about what you know but who you know in the “real world.” IIDA is a great way to start building that bridge of meeting your future colleagues or boss.

Q: What activities do you enjoy most as an IIDA member?

A: I enjoy events such as Connect 4 and Couture because they are very rewarding events that allow us to give something back to the community.

Q: Was there an “aha moment” when you realized being in IIDA was invaluable?

A: Yes, when I realized how small the community was and that knowing one person really meant you knew 10. I sat at a table during the last PRIDE awards only to realize that the people there used to work with the lady who interviewed me for an internship in L.A.




IIDA Southwest Member Profile: Stephanie Fanger


Stephanie Fanger, Workplace Strategist, Goodmans Interior Structures

President Elect: IIDA Southwest Chapter

Years in interior design: 4

Years in IIDA Southwest: 8 (4 as student; 4 as professional member)

Q: Why did you get involved with IIDA?


Stephanie Fanger

A: I got involved with IIDA during my freshman year of college at Arizona State University because I wanted to understand my major more, and meet interior design students who were upperclassmen. I have stayed an IIDA member because I enjoy the people in the organization.


Q: How important to the success of your business is your involvement with IIDA?

A: My company supports involvement with IIDA, as Goodmans Interior Structures is a very community-focused business. Being an IIDA member allows me to meet other Workplace Strategists in Phoenix, creating opportunities to share lessons learned and real life experiences.


Q: What activities do you enjoy most as an IIDA member?

A: I, like most our membership, thoroughly enjoy Couture. It is fun to see the teams create costumes which get more and more outrageous every year. One of my favorite previous events was Petutopia, which focused on creating animal shelters/ habitats which were auctioned off. The money went to a pet charity and animals were able to be adopted directly from our event.


Q: Was there an “aha moment” when you realized being in IIDA was invaluable?

A: I realized how invaluable being an IIDA member was last summer when I went with Casey (Potash) to our CLC (Chapter Leadership Council) conference in Chicago. At the two-day conference, I learned best practices from chapter representatives from all over the world. This influx of information allowed Casey and I to promote change within our own chapter.


IIDA Southwest Member Profile: Jill Gibney


Jill Gibney, Interior Designer, McCarthy Nordburg

VP of Membership, IIDA SW Chapter

Years in interior design: 14+

Years in IIDA Southwest: 12

Q: Why did you get involved with IIDA?

A: I initially became involved in IIDA because of the events — the annual PRIDE Awards in particular. I am always thrilled to see all of the talented designers in the Southwest come together to celebrate our accomplishments and creative contributions to society. I stay involved in IIDA because of the people. Their dedication to the advancement and

Jill Gibney

Jill Gibney

celebration of the Interior Design profession is rewarding and continually enriches my love of design.


Q: How important to the success of your business is your involvement with IIDA?

A: IIDA stands behind elevating the profession of Interior Design to the level it warrants — as our profession can impact the health, safety and well-being of the public. My commitment to the Interior Design profession, and IIDA, signifies my passion for design and the use of effective business practices — both of which will enhance the development of my career.


Q: What activities do you enjoy most as an IIDA member?

A: I most enjoy our philanthropic-based events which allow us to do what we do best while at the same time giving back to the community. Our newest philanthropic event, Connect4, is a weekend renovation event in all of our major City Centers — Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and Las Vegas. In this event, designers remodel and enhance the interior space of a non-profit organization such as U.S. Vets in Phoenix. Events such as these showcase the dedication and huge hearts of our members — and make me proud to be a part of this organization.


Q: Was there an “aha moment” when you realized being in IIDA was invaluable?

A: By being involved in IIDA in different contexts — first as a student member, then as a professional member and now as a member of the Board of Directors — I’ve had many different “aha moments.”  The one thing that rings true in all contexts of involvement is that the connections you make in IIDA throughout the years will eventually come “full circle.”  You come to realize how small, yet substantial, the design community really is. Whether you need someone’s expert advice or someone who will be your advocate, it is through your involvement in IIDA that you can find “your people.”



IIDA Southwest Member Profile: Gretchen Cherrill


Gretchen Cherrill, President/Owner, Airpark Signs & Graphics

(While not a designer, Cherrill’s architectural signage company caters to the design community).

Years in IIDA Southwest: 15

Q: Why did you get involved with IIDA?

A: I joined after a client invited me to the PRIDE Awards. And I can say no one in attendance could have been more proud than me. Many of the award winners were projects we had worked on.

Q: How important to the success of your business is your involvement with IIDA?

A: I think our success in business is, in large part, due to the make-up of our clients, many of whom are designers. And not to say that designers are demanding necessarily, but the projects that go on to win IIDA awards do demand excellence. This simple fact has made us all better at what we do here.

Q: What activities do you enjoy most as an IIDA member?

A: I enjoy all the activities I engage in mostly because over the years I’ve made dear friends in the organization and anytime we can get together, I consider this a bonus. But I have to say “Couture” is a great event.   Of course I’ve attended as a spectator but we’ve also participated which has given me a true appreciation for what goes into a fashion show. Long, long hours not only designing but constructing a garment for a competition, but just so worth it to see your model on the runway.

Q: Was there an “aha moment” when you realized being in IIDA was invaluable?

A: There have been many “aha moments.” IIDA attracts the best of the best in the design field so to be selected for this section as an IIDA representative is truly an honor.


Aerial view of site of new industrial park.

Getting Arizona Back To Business: Q&A With Rebecca Burnham


Q&A: Rebecca Burnham, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig


Q: More and more, institutional investors are dominating real estate investment in Arizona. What’s driving this trend? It is a good or bad thing?

A: This is a national trend that we are seeing replicated in Arizona. There are two key things driving this: First, the economy is in recovery and there is a renewed faith in real estate as an attractive asset class. Second, and related, is interest rates — they are historically low, which is driving investors to broaden their portfolios to include a wider

Rebecca Burnham

Rebecca Burnham

range of assets offering superior yield potential. Most investors do not have the expertise to make direct investments in real estate and, rather, place cash and reserve monies with major institutional players. These large institutional funds, in turn, have to find opportunities to place the cash and see Arizona as a great investment. This is not a bad thing for Arizona as this activity represents a significant amount of net new investment. It boosts our economy and gives us good exposure. There is some cause for concern, in a global sense, in that the search for yield can lead to pricing that may or may not be based on market fundamentals. Still, we have a ways to go before real estate prices here are in the “red” zone again and, so far, this is mostly real equity coming in, not leveraged dollars.

Q: Do you see state land sales making a comeback this year? Where will be the hot spots?

A: Absolutely, they will make a comeback when the State Land Department is ready and able to sell. The constraint will continue to be the lack of resources at a perennially under-funded government agency. Given that most of the proceeds generated from state land are ear-marked for the public schools, one can hope that our state leaders will realize the revenue potential and make an investment now that will should lead to great returns in the future. I believe the hot spots will continue to be in Desert Ridge, Paradise Valley — the Northeast Valley in general. Other areas that will likely see significant interest include the Black Canyon Corridor, the areas around Peoria and around the greater East Valley region. All of these areas saw significant investment and interest in the past and investors are interested in returning to them for future growth.

Outside the metro areas, signs are that it will be a slower comeback but the state land trust represents an enormous and very valuable asset. In the last up cycle, state land sales became a major factor and, as the market recovers, are likely to be an even bigger factor in our growth over the next decade.

Q: What are your real estate clients telling you — are we in a full market recovery? Which sectors are specifically active?

A: What I am seeing and hearing is cautious optimism. Residential continues to lead the comeback, and to some extent and in certain areas, commercial development. Due to our weather, topography and favorable economic climate, Arizona remains a “hot spot” for growth and we have seen several large corporate re-locations announced recently and there are many smaller deals that have happened or are in the works. It’s nice to see people smile when you say the words “real estate” again.

Q: Should people be concerned about the rapid recovery we are seeing on the residential side? Are we headed for another downfall?

A: The market does not appear to be overheated at the moment. Values are up, but nowhere near where they were a few years ago, and underwriting seems to be more conservative. One unequivocally positive thing I can say is this is — without a doubt — one of the best opportunities in my lifetime to purchase a home and obtain a favorable mortgage. Given that many folks are still recovering from the recession, not everyone will be able to take advantage of this but, for those with jobs and a current income, this may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Q: You have seen many cycles come and go — what insights do you offer your clients?

A: Cycles come and go, but, as I see it, the fundamentals don’t change — be adaptable, work hard, use leverage carefully and sparingly, never lose sight of your core principles — and, of course, a little luck never hurts. Seriously, though, I believe our character and relationships are what sustain us through the tough times and, when things are better, how nice to be able to enjoy that with people you respect and care for.

Q: Immigration reform and a sizzling job market have put a strain on the real estate industry to find qualified workers throughout the state. How is this impacting your clients?

A: A dearth of qualified workers is something we are seeing across all industries around the state but it seems construction is especially affected. There is a “black hole” of sorts as a result of the recession. A lot of people retired and many simply left the state or moved into other endeavors. As a result, the lack of qualified and experienced employees is likely to create a drag on the economy, including the real estate industry, for some time until businesses are able to ramp-up, train people and get them back into jobs. That said, the real estate industry, in my experience, is remarkably resilient and resourceful and will work through this, I am sure. I am just glad to be part of it and, as ever, remain optimistic and see great things ahead.

Rebecca Burnham represents real estate development interests in connection with the acquisition, planning, development, financing, operation and sale of real estate developments, as well as legislative and public policy matters pertaining to economic development and land use.



Tempe-based Evolution Design Wins National ASID Award For White Tank Branch Library


The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) honored Evolution Design of Tempe with the national Elevate Award for best Institutional Design for the White Tank Branch Library in Waddell.

Surrounded entirely by pristine Sonoran desert, the 29,000 SF library and nature center, winner of the 2011 RED Award for Most Sustainable Project, is designed to serve both library and park visitors.

Beyond efficient functional planning, primary concerns were energy efficiency, water conservation, passive solar design and returning the site to its native appearance – all of which helped it become the fourth public library in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification.

Design services encompassed programming through construction administration, including furniture specification. The library has 12-inch thick tilt walls, integrally colored in shades of green, exposed on the interior expressing interpretations of the petroglyphs that are present on-site at the park.

Accent colors of fuchsia, marigold and fire-brush red contrast the sage green backdrop and reflect the library’s natural setting. River rock stone inlays form a natural entry path to the building. In order to maximize the exterior views, library shelving stacks are kept low, providing visitors with 180-degree vistas to the desert beyond.

The overall layout of the building, completed in November 2010, follows the radial pattern of the exterior fins, again maximizing the views from all vantage points.

A dozen ASID chapters submitted more than 100 award-winning entries from around the U.S. The event was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The black tie event included a silent auction and ASID acknowledgement of the 2013 Class of ASID Fellows which included the contemporary design legend Barbara Barry.

Developer of the project was the Maricopa County Library District; general contractor was Mortenson Construction; and architect was DWL.

Foothills Park Plaza

Velocity Retail Group June Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed nine transactions in June. A summary of each transaction:

>> Velocity Retail’s Larry Miller and Jim Edwards represented the Landlord, Pacific West Land in a 10-year transaction for Urgent Cares of America Holdings, LLC (dba, Fast Med) at Corona del Sol shopping center at the SEC of Ray and Rural roads in Chandler. The tenant will be occupying 5,000 SF of space. Terry Martin-Denning of NAI Horizon and Patrick Wathen, of Equity, Inc. represented the tenant. The store is expected to open in August.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault and Michael Clark represented the Landlord of Bell Tower Plaza, LLC at the NWC of Bell Rd. and 63rd Ave. in Glendale in a, 8,100 SF, 5-year transaction for Pawn 1st. Additionally, Arizona Iron Furniture is expanding their existing store in the same shopping center. This tenant signed a 3-year additional lease term for 3,125 SF. Jackson, Ault, and Clark also represented the tenant in this transaction. Both stores are expected to open in July.

>> Togo’s is opening its second store in Metro Phoenix with a 5-year, 1,190 SF store at Warner Ranch, 9920 S. Rural Rd. Tempe. Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail represented the Tenant. Joe Doucett of GDCRE represented the Landlord, Sy Warner Ranch, LLC. The store is expected to open in 3Q 2013.

>> Michael Clark, John Jackson and Nick Ault of Velocity represented West Valley Properties in negotiating a new 7,476 SF lease for Full Circle Gym at Cobblestone Village at the SWC of Warner Rd. and McClintock Dr. in Tempe. Patricia Wodrich of Preserve Property Management represented the tenant. The new store is expected to open in August.

>> Velocity Retail’s Darren Pitts and Dave Cheatham and Nate Ballard of Wadsworth Development Group represented the seller, Wadsworth Accelerated Ventures – Logan, LLC in an 10,851 SF sale of a 100% leased building at 1145 N. Main St., Logan, Utah. Mattress Firm recently leased the building from the ownership group. Jon White was the Buyer, who paid $2.25M for the asset which closed June 5. The buyer was represented by Ryan Reeves and Trevor Kyle of Newmark Merrell in Utah.

>> Early Learning Language & Arts leased a 5,012 SF space at Foothills Park Plaza shopping center at the SWC of Chandler Blvd. and Desert Foothills Parkway in Phoenix. The landlord, Pacific West Land, was represented by Velocity Retail’s John Jackson, Nick Ault and Michael Clark. This is the first location for E.L.L.A. center in Ahwatukee, the new store is opening this month. In the same shopping center, the listing team also finalized a 5-year 1,800 SF foot transaction for Perfect Pear Nature’s Bistro. The new restaurant will be opening in August.

>> Mattress Firm leased a 3,497 SF building from Madison Development at 6965 N. Glenwood St. in Garden City, Idaho. Both parties were represented by Chad Moore and Jeff Harrison of Mountain West Retail in Utah, and Darren Pitts, Michael Clark, and Nick Ault of Velocity Retail.


Perkins Coie's Phoenix Office Adds Real Estate Attorney Bart Page


Perkins Coie announced that Bart J. Page has joined the firm’s Real Estate & Land Use Practice as a senior counsel in the Phoenix office.

He was most recently Of Counsel at Squire Sanders.

“We’re thrilled that Bart is joining us here in Phoenix,” said Shane Swindle, Office Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Phoenix office.

“Many of us worked with Bart when he was an associate at Brown & Bain, prior to the merger with Perkins Coie. He is an outstanding lawyer and will enhance our local capabilities, while helping diversify our national practice with his significant homebuilding experience.”

Page focuses on real estate development and financing, including purchase and sale transactions, secured financing transactions (including CMBS loans), leasing transactions, private and public development agreements, engineering and construction agreements, CFD/SID bond financing, and formation and operation of homeowners’ associations and condominiums.

He represents homebuilders, commercial developers, real estate investment funds, banks, financial institutions and other real estate developers and lenders in Arizona, Nevada and other jurisdictions.

Page also represents healthcare systems and medical providers in acquiring, developing, leasing and financing medical properties.

Page received his J.D. from University of Utah, Order of the Coif and his B.S. from Weber State University. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2010. He began his legal career as a law clerk for The Honorable Richard C. Howe of the Utah Supreme Court.



Plaza Companies Adds Industry Veteran Sharon Cinadr To Growing Property Management Team


On the heels of impressive growth in Plaza’s Brokerage Services team and the addition of more than 900,000 SF to the company’s leasing portfolio, Plaza Companies is also bolstering its Property Management team as well.

Industry veteran Sharon Cinadr joined Plaza Companies as senior portfolio manager. In this role, Cinadr will initially be managing eight properties consisting of approximately 365,000 SF of medical office and commercial office space.

Cinadr comes to Plaza with more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of commercial real estate. She is an accomplished property management executive with proven experience in commercial real estate asset and property management, development, acquisitions/dispositions, leasing and financing.

Before joining Plaza Companies, Cinadr was with Cassidy Turley Healthcare Practice Group in Phoenix, where she specialized in healthcare real estate leasing and sales. The majority of her career has been spent with Ensemble Real Estate Services, a firm specializing in the medical sector of commercial real estate, where for 20 years she worked in a variety of capacities including serving as associate partner in the company’s property management division.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said that Cinadr’s unique and extensive experience will be a true asset to the company’s Property Management team.

“Sharon is a true real estate professional who has a long track record of success throughout her career in providing exceptional service to property owners and tenants,” Harper said. “We are pleased to have her join our team and believe her contribution will be significant on the properties she serves.”

Cinadr said that Plaza’s presence in the medical office marketplace and the company’s reputation for quality service were major reasons why she accepted the new position.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the Plaza team and work on these exceptional properties,” she said, “and I am looking forward to helping both our owners and tenants achieve great results in their medical and office environments.”



TopGolf At Riverwalk Teeing Off In Scottsdale; Groundbreaking Later This Month


Golf entertainment company TopGolf unveiled its 12th location and first in Arizona and Metro Phoenix, TopGolf at Riverwalk in Scottsdale

The 13-acre property is part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC). TopGolf will officially break ground on the facility, at 9500 E. Indian Bend Rd. across the street from Talking Stick Resort, during a ceremony on July 19.

General contractor for the project is ARCO/Murray Construction Company of Illinois. The site is expected to in spring 2014.

TopGolf offers competitive golfing games for all ages and skill levels and advanced technology to track every player’s shot. Those who just want to relax can enjoy the upscale, laid-back ambiance that boasts more than 230 high-definition flat-screen TVs and an extensive food and beverage menu crafted by executive chef Mark Boyton.

“TopGolf is honored to partner with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to bring a new kind of entertainment concept to an area that is already renowned as a top cultural tourism destination,” said TopGolf Chief Development Officer Randy Starr.

The July 19 groundbreaking ceremony will feature dancing and singing performances from the SRPMIC and remarks from TopGolf, The Alter Group (TopGolf’s landlord and a major developer in the region), and SRPMIC Council leaders.

“The Alter Group, along with our landowners, are very excited that TopGolf selected our Riverwalk development for its first facility in metropolitan Phoenix,” said Kurt Rosene, senior vice president, national development for The Alter Group.

“TopGolf is unique, bringing golf together with experiential retail to offer something fun for all ages and skill levels, from seasoned golfers to people being introduced to the game for the first time. This first-class operation will provide a wonderful destination and amenity for our Riverwalk tenants and visitors.”

The tri-level facility  will include up to 3,000 SF of private event space and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time. Starr estimates that TopGolf at Riverwalk will serve approximately 400,000 visitors in its first year of operation. Nearly half of all TopGolf guests describe themselves as “non-golfers.”

“We are thrilled that TopGolf has chosen the Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination (TSCED) for its new state-of-the-art facility,” said TSCED Project Manager Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez. “This complex will significantly expand tourism as well as job growth for our residents.”

Founded in 2000, TopGolf attracted 1.5M participants in 2012. Its economic impact in the community is significant, creating hundreds of jobs at each location and serving as an anchor tenant that tends to attract other popular franchises to the area.

Its economic output within the SRPMIC and greater Scottsdale alone is expected to exceed $264.5M over a 10-year period, according to a third-party audit.

Anthem Marketplace in Florence

ZELL Commercial Real Estate Recent Retail Transactions


ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services announces the following retail lease transactions:

>> Gano Excel USA, a wholesale coffee distributor, has signed a lease for 1,432 SF in the Winsor Ranch Shopping Center at the SEC of 35th and Glendale avenues in Phoenix. Donna Reece and Dena Zell of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc., represented the landlord.

>> C-A-L Ranch Stores has purchased a 50,000 SF former Albertson’s Grocery Store building at 1116 E. Florence Blvd. in Casa Grande. C-A-L Ranch Stores will remodel the building to their specifications. C-A-L Ranch Stores currently has 3 Arizona stores, located in Flagstaff, Prescott and Show Low. Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc., and Neil Board of Western Retail Advisors represented the buyer. Zach Pace and Greg Laing of Phoenix Commercial Advisors represented the seller, ABS SW Properties, L.L.C.

>> Party Mart, a discount card and party store, has leased 1,164 SF in the Copper Point Shopping Center at the NWC of McClintock Dr. and Ray Rd. in Chandler. Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. represented the landlord, and COR Realty Services, L.L.C. represented the tenant.

>> Elite Paw Spa, a pet groomer, has signed a lease for 1,260 SF in the Chandler Heights Marketplace Shopping Center at the NEC of Chandler Heights Blvd. and Gilbert Rd. in Chandler. Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM, of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc., represented the landlord.

>> Pizza Hut has leased 1,160 SF in La Mirada Shopping Center at the NEC of Pinnacle Peak and Pima road in Scottsdale. Jennifer Eggert and Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM, of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. represented the landlord, and Morey Fischel of De Rito Partners represented the tenant.

>> Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has signed a lease for a 3,764 SF office for MVD in the Show Low Plaza Shopping Center, located 161 E. Deuce of Clubs in Show Low. Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. represented the landlord, and Chris Corney of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant.

>> Banner Medical Group has signed a lease for 1,915 SF in Anthem Marketplace at Merrill Ranch in Florence. The center is strategically located within one mile of the new Florence Hospital at Anthem, which has more than 300 employees and a medical staff roster of more than 105 physicians representing more than 16 specialties. Bryan Ledbetter, CCIM of ZELL Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. represented the landlord, and Pat Williams of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the tenant.


Estrella Logistics Center

Liberty Property Trust Acquires One Of Valley's Largest Vacant Warehouses, 73 Acres Of Land


Liberty Property Trust finalized two acquisitions in the past few days, purchasing a nearly completed 593,600 SF warehouse — Estrella Logistics Center; and in a separate deal, bought 73 acres of land at Buckeye Logistics Center West.

Both are in the highly desirable Southwest Phoenix Industrial submarket.

“The Southwest Phoenix industrial submarket is poised for explosive growth, and these acquisitions give us two things: the largest contiguous cross-dock industrial space in the market and land on which to develop even more,” said John DiVall, senior vice president & city manager, Liberty Property Trust. “We are very pleased to have two great opportunities by which to expand our presence in this part of the market.”

The industrial building is at 563 S. 63rd Ave. and was purchased from Seefried Properties and USAA. Marc Hertzberg and Anthony Lydon of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller and Bo Mills and Mark Detmer of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Liberty Property Trust.

The building will be rebranded as “Liberty Logistics Center I” and marketed to distribution center users who want to expand in or locate to Phoenix.

“We are currently monitoring more than 10 MSF of industrial users who seek space solutions greater than 100,000 SF,” said Anthony Lydon who, with partner Marc Hertzberg, will retain the leasing assignment on the building.

“Southwest Phoenix provides the perfect supply chain nexus for the near-shoring of Mexico and far-shoring of China/India through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Liberty Logistics Center I will provide the modern amenities that the logistics industry mandates for today’s multi-channel fulfillment needs.”

The sustainable building, designed to meet LEED certification, is a state-of-the-art cross-dock facility that features 32-foot clear heights, a fully gated concrete truck court, 7 points of ingress and egress, R-19 insulation and skylights on 2% of the roof.

“This is a building we would have built ourselves,” DiVall said. “The high quality and sustainable features are very similar to our own products. It is meant for one or two large users. There’s nothing else in the market like it.”

The land purchase is 1.5 miles west of the new building at 71st Ave. and Buckeye Rd. Acquired from The Alter Group, the site is pre-planned to offer more than 1.4 MSF of industrial space across three proposed buildings.

It will also be rebranded, as “Liberty Logistics Center II.” Rob Martensen of Colliers International represented the seller in the transaction.

“Once we reach about 50% occupancy in Liberty Logistics Center I, we plan to begin work on the first building at Liberty Logistics Center II,” DiVall added.

Liberty currently has a presence in the Southwest Phoenix Industrial Submarket, including the 403,321 SF Liberty Tolleson Center at 8591–8601 W. Washington in Tolleson; 227,259 SF at 8313 W. Pierce in Tolleson, and 112 acres of developable land in Goodyear.

In total, the company’s Arizona portfolio now includes 2.658 MSF of industrial and office space and 204 acres of developable land in Phoenix, Southwest Phoenix, Tolleson and Goodyear.



Cassidy Turley Completes Sale Of Former Post Office At 7th St. And Highland


Cassidy completed the sale of the ±10,000 SF former U.S. Post Office at 741 E. Highland Ave., just east of the SEC of 7th St. and Highland Ave.

2701 Camelback Development, Inc. (VanTuyl Group of Phoenix) purchased the property for $1.5M from 07, LLC (Wetta Ventures).

Cassidy Turley Arizona’s Ryan Leavitt and Brad Douglass represented the seller during the transaction.

The building, which sits on +1.523 acres, was vacant at time of sale. The post office closed in April 2012.