Tag Archives: 25th anniversary


Vestar celebrates 25th anniversary

Vestar, the largest privately held retail developer in the western US, is celebrating 25 years of creating and managing shopping and entertainment destinations. Today, Vestar owns and operates more than 23MSF of retail property located across several western states.

The company’s most noteworthy projects include Desert Ridge Marketplace, the award winning 1.2 million square foot entertainment and lifestyle center; Tempe Marketplace, the 1.2 million square foot power center; and the District at Tustin Legacy, a 1 million square foot regional center.

Vestar was founded in 1989 by the executive team of Richard J. Kuhle, Chairman and CEO, David J. Larcher, President, J. Paul Rhodes, Executive Vice President and the late Lee T. Hanley, past chairman. The company first established itself through successful development and management of large open-air retail destinations in Arizona and California.

Building on its philosophy of developing environmentally sensitive and culturally significant properties, Vestar has worked closely with neighborhood groups, communities and municipalities to ensure their projects integrate with and enrich their communities. This holistic approach led to expanded opportunity throughout the western United States.

In 2008, Vestar expanded its focus to include the increased acquisition and redevelopment of existing retail centers in order enhance their value and relevance to shoppers and their communities. In recent years, acquisitions have exceeded $1.5 billion, ushering in a new era of growth for the company.

“We’re proud of where we’ve been,” says David Larcher, President of Vestar. “But we’re just as excited about where we’re going. As a financially sound and well-capitalized company with a reputation for quality, the future is bright for Vestar, which makes our 25th anniversary a true celebration.”

Today the company remains based in Phoenix, and now has eleven regional offices including Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Dallas. Vestar’s portfolio includes properties in Texas, Colorado and Nevada, along with Arizona and California. The company’s valued partners and clients include UBS, La Salle, Heitman, AEW, Rockwood Capital, KIMCO, and the Carlyle Group among others.

In addition to its focus on community connection and involvement, Vestar has expanded its commitment to sustainability. The company’s proprietary GreenSTAR initiative aligns Vestar building techniques to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification for the company’s new development projects. As a result, Vestar has received Silver LEED certification, and been recognized with the Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Award.


Coreslab Structures celebrates 25 years

As part of the company’s 25th Anniversary celebration, Coreslab Structures of Arizona will be hosting an open house Friday, April 25 at its facility, located at 5026 S. 43rd Ave. in Phoenix, including such local dignitaries as City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Expecting more than 200 clients and industry supporters, Coreslab’s open house will include tours of the facility and production facility, double-tee load test, self-consolidating concrete demo, door prizes, and food and drinks.

Arizona general manager and vice president Ron Harman stated, “This open house is an opportunity to connect with our loyal customers, architects and general contractors in the Valley, while demonstrating new innovations possible with precast concrete. As the needs of our clients have changed over the years, we have developed new products and improved our production processes to ensure that they are receiving a quality product at a competitive price.”

Stanton’s confirmation of attendance reflects his commitment to Phoenix businesses. Since taking office just two years ago, Mayor Greg Stanton has worked tirelessly to build a modern economy that works for every Phoenix family. By lifting up local business such as Coreslab Structures, Stanton is leading the way to create an economy built to last. Before he was elected mayor in 2011, Stanton served nine years on the City Council and as Arizona’s Deputy Attorney General.


Valley Youth Theatre Presents Peter Pan at Herberger

The long awaited announcement from Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) about its 25th Anniversary Season closer is finally over now that negotiations have been finalized for the musical Peter Pan.

“With input from season members, we chose a classic fairy tale that has only been mounted twice before in our 25 year history,” said Producing Artistic Director Bobb Cooper.

VYT first produced Peter Pan at the Herberger Theater Center in 2000 and again in 2009. This June will be the third time that Cooper has directed the classic and his 75th show as director since joining the theatre company in March 1996.

Peter Pan is the familiar story about a mischievous boy who flies with a fairy named Tinkerbell and leads a gang of Lost Boys on Neverland. His arch nemesis is Captain Hook, pirate who lost his hand in a sword duel with Peter.

This musical adaptation of the play by Sir James M. Barrie features music by Moose Charlap and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh with additional music by Jule Styne and additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Special flying effects will again be provided by ZFX – the same company that created amazing flying effects for the Broadway and national touring productions that featured Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan.

Auditions for nearly four dozen characters, including a few high-flying roles, will take place at VYT on April 7 and 8 at 4 p.m. Additional information is available at www.vyt.com/on-stage/auditions.

Peter Pan runs June 13 through 29 at the Herberger Theater Center. Tickets start at $20.00 and will be available online at HerbergerTheater.org or by calling the box office at 602.252.8497 starting March 31.


Wright earns new title from Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix

The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix has announced the promotion of Carla-Risha Wright to senior sales manager, group at the luxury hotel in time for its upcoming 25th anniversary. In her new position, Wright will be responsible for managing large group business for the property in the Western and Southern regions of the United States.

Joseph Wronski, Director of Sales and Marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, praises Wright on her promotion. “Carla-Risha has been an outstanding member of the sales team here at The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, and it is with great pleasure that we congratulate her on her much deserved promotion. We have the utmost confidence that she will continue to excel in her new role.”

Wright began her career with The Ritz-Carlton in April 2007 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica where she led the wedding sales team to record results. She joined The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix team in January 2010 as a catering sales manager and was promoted to Senior Sales Manager, Catering in July 2012. Wright has been recognized within the sales and marketing department of The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix for her outstanding work ethic and dedication to growing the hotel’s social catering revenue.

“I’m delighted to accept this promotion and take on the new challenges that will face me in group sales,” said Wright. “My purpose is to make the impossible possible.”

Born in Jamaica, Carla-Risha Wright is a 2004 graduate of the University of the West Indies with a degree in tourism management. She is deeply involved within the community, as she sits on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Foundation for Women and the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. She is also a member of the Black Board of Directors Project and volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wright currently resides in Scottsdale with her husband Andre and their two daughters. She is an avid reader and loves to travel in her spare time.

25 years of exemplary leadership, AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Valley Partnership: 25 Years of Exemplary Leadership

Behind every great organization are great leaders. And Valley Partnership is no exception. With the Valley-based development group celebrating its 25th anniversary, AZRE magazine posed the following question to its past chairmen:

What was Valley Partnership’s most significant or greatest accomplishment while you were chairman?

Ron Haarer, Sr. - Westwind Aviation
Ron Haarer, Sr., Westwind Aviation
“Valley Partnership’s first Board of Directors was comprised of members of the development community, city officials and community activists. Watching these diverse groups working together was the ultimate reward for months of soul-searching and persistence and 25 years of continual existence.”

John Graham - Sunbelt Holdings
John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings
“I’m proud that a new organization was able to survive a difficult real estate downturn and was a positive participant in working through the RTC era. A large number of people have contributed to (V.P.’s 25-year) success.”

David Scholl - Westcor/Vintage Partners
David Scholl, Westcor/Vintage Partners
“Valley Partnership’s participation in a yearlong discussion with the Regional Transportation Commission, and making efforts in communication and partnership was a success.”

Charlie Byxbee - Byxbee Development Partners
Charlie Byxbee, Byxbee Development Partners
“Sustaining the organization through such a harsh real estate environment. In addition, we were actively involved with the policies of the Resolution Trust Corporation, and Valley Partnership was able to provide input to the RTC, including offering testimony during oversight hearings that were held in Phoenix.”

John Ogden - Suncor Development
John Ogden, Suncor Development
“Staying alive — I served for two years and it was clearly, ‘staying alive.’ We were just coming out of the RTC era and everybody was broke or being sued.”

Meyer Turken - Turken Industrial Properties
Meyer Turken, Turken Industrial Properties
“We hired qualified executive directors and became more politically and legislatively active. Our industry can be proud of the way we led the charge and have made Phoenix and Maricopa County the great metropolis it is today.”

Lee Hanley, Vestar
“Our objectives for 1995 were influencing government positions on real estate, expanding our membership, and providing networking opportunities. V.P. created a new category of membership for government agencies. Perhaps our greatest achievement was to retire a promissory note created in 1987 to finance Valley Partnership operations in the early years. We became self supporting.”

Lee Hanley - Vestar

Tim Terrill, Sella Barr/Walton
“Substantially expanding our public sector membership and broadening out private sector reach. Advocating responsible development and input on real estate and growth policies at the state and local level.”

Tim Terrill - Sella Barr/Walton

Clesson Hill, Grayhawk Development
“Focusing on the growth of the community project and making it into an integral part of Valley Partnership’s membership and the efforts of our active committees.”

Clesson Hill - Grayhawk Development

Jim Pederson, The Pederson Group
“During my tenure, I was most proud of our progress in promoting quality development in Arizona. Such initiatives as ‘Growing Smarter’ provided a set of guiding principles to help Arizona not just grow, but reach for the next level in developing quality growth.”

Jim Pederson - The Pederson Group

Gregg Alpert, Evergreen Development
Valley Partnership and the commercial real estate community lost a leader and a friend on Sept. 25, 2010, when Gregg Alpert unexpectedly passed away. He was 45.

Gregg Alpert - Evergreen Development

Ken Roth, Roth Development
“Valley Partnership’s greatest and most challenging accomplishment was trying to make sense of the events of Sept. 11 and assessing the relationship between the attacks and the real estate business.”

Ken Roth - Roth Development

Heidi Kimball, Sunbelt Holdings
“Valley Partnership assumed a leadership position in formulating the Outreach Task Force that was challenged with creating a coalition to work proactively on issues confronting business and the real estate development industry, thereby leveraging the industry’s influence at the local and state levels.”

Heidi Kimball - Sunbelt Holdings

Pat McGinley, Vestar
“Created the framework for the Annual Sponsorship Program that was instituted for the following calendar year. Also, organized the first Flat Tire Tour and increased financial reserves for Valley Partnership to more than $200,000.”

Pat McGinley - Vestar
Pete Bolton - CBRE/Grubb & Ellis
Pete Bolton, CBRE/Grubb & Ellis
“We needed someone well connected with the Legislature and Governor’s Office and were fortunate to get Maria Baier (as President and CEO). She was considered one of the true experts on the subject (of development). We also put together the Cross Association Collaboration, which included Valley Partnership, NAIOP, ICSC, BOMA and almost every development association.”

Jay Tubbs - Ryan/Monte Vista Counsulting
Jay Tubbs, Ryan/Monte Vista Consulting
“The biggest accomplishments during my tenure were the growth in our membership, Valley Partnership’s leadership role in the effort to achieve reform at the State Land Department and the continued focus and growth of the annual community project, which I consider one of the most important works of Valley Partnership each year.”

Charley Freericks - DMB Associates
Charley Freericks, DMB Associates
“Working closely with State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman to draft Proposition 106 and staff the lobbying effort. V.P. formed task forces under the county committees, providing prompt review of the proposition.”

Keith Ernest - RED Development
Keith Ernest, RED Development
“Collaborating with our membership to assist suburban municipalities in their efforts to streamline the development processes. V.P. preserved the practice of allocating sales tax revenues toward infrastructure reimbursement.”

Steve Betts - Suncor Development
Steve Betts, Suncor Development
“Bringing together a coalition of business groups, cities and legislative leaders to pass innovative authority for local economic incentive development agreements with the appropriate protections of public interests.”

Sean Walters - Sunbelt Holdings
Sean Walters, Sunbelt Holdings
“The board worked quickly and diligently with CEO Richard Hubbard to cut costs and increase benefits to our partners. We increased our focus on networking and helping unemployed members find jobs with new enterprises. Valley Partnership additionally made adjustments to create a balanced budget for 2010.”

Mark Winkleman - ML Manager
Mark Winkleman, ML Manager
“Valley Partnership’s greatest accomplishment was holding together the primary voice for the real estate community during the toughest economy any of us have ever endured.”

Mindy Korth - CBRE
Mindy Korth, CBRE
“Valley Partnership members re-energized the commitment and focus of the organization and then getting the word out about our accomplishments through a thoughtful and branded communication plan.”

For more information on Valley Partnership, visit Valley Partnership’s website at valleypartnership.org.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Valley Partnership - Rick Hearn - AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Valley Partnership: Chairman Q & A – Rick Hearn

Rick Hearn joined the Valley Partnership Board of Directors in 2005 and has been an integral part of its leadership team, culminating with the chairmanship in this, the 25th anniversary of the organization. A 25-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, Hearn joined Vestar in 1994 as its director of leasing, overseeing much of the leasing, marketing and broker management of Vestar’s retail portfolio in the Southwest, complementing his duties and capacities as its designated broker. Over the years, Vestar and Valley Partnership have enjoyed a rich heritage. Three of Valley Partnership’s chairmen — Lee Hanley (chairman/CEO), who participated in the original framework and served in 1995; and Pat McGinley (VP of property management), who guided the board in the 2003; and now Rick Hearn — are affiliated with Vestar.


A: One word, “important.” As a Metro Phoenix-based organization advocating for the industry, our focus is precise yet flexible, and extends throughout the entire “Valley of the Sun.” The importance and responsibility of being the only real estate-based organization, not a chapter or division of a regional or national entity, but native to the Valley … “invaluable.” We are sought after and respected for our responsible positions on industry-related issues whether local, regional, statewide or federal.


A: Advocacy is important all of the time. Each economic cycle creates differing challenges for our industry, and, bad policy decisions, regardless of timing, impact subsequent cycles. A balanced advocacy approach minimizes potential negative outcomes, while fostering prosperity for all stakeholders, both public and private.


A: Continued application of our founding principles — advocacy, networking, education and community projects. This past October, bolstered by our board retreat, one facilitated by Todd Hornback, a respected non-profit professional; we developed four centric goals for our 2012 focus — board development and leadership, organizational communication, development and enhancement of strategic alliances and organizational fiscal policies.


A: Each element of the organization has specific objectives or goals developed at the retreat. Measurable action items are continually evaluated, whether at the organizational, board, staff or committee level. The organization’s biggest direction and efforts come from the 10 standing committees, comprised of volunteer executives (partners) that execute on those goals and objectives. Our partners are our biggest assets. For the organization to continually evolve, and pursue its mission objectives, we must develop future leadership from these committees, thus fostering partner involvement.


A: Preparing for the eventual turnaround of our industry and that of the “Valley of the Sun” we all call home, while working with our partners through this still very challenging economic cycle. Valley Partnership’s mission remains constant, continual support for all of our partners and to help their organizations prosper.


A: The road ahead includes a reflection of our past, a continual focus on the present mission, and a strategic look at how our industry will manage the next two decades of Valley growth, which could include more than two million new Phoenicians.

This reflection has allowed us to touch our past 21 chairs so as to re-engage and respect our heritage, including the “founding” chairman, Ron Haarer Sr. (1987). And, we said a final farewell to a trusted leader and past chair in Gregg Alpert. We’ve catalogued our past accomplishments (municipal and legislative successes) or the more than 25 community projects completed, with more than $3.5M in charitable dollars raised and countless man-hours volunteered.

As to our near-term future, continued organizational governance, growth of new partners and/or new partner firms, adding emerging business sectors to our already diverse business base and strengthening our alliances. And, through our actions always declaring “Valley Partnership is the Valley of the Sun’s premier advocacy group for responsible development.”

For more information on Valley Partnership and Rick Hearn, visit Valley Partnership’s website at valleypartnership.org.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012