Tag Archives: Ahwatukee

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Ace Hardware to open new Ahwatukee location

Cassidy Turley announced it has completed a 15,000 square foot lease for Ace Hardware, at Desert Foothills Plaza located at 1323 East Chandler Boulevard in Phoenix.

Vice President Brent Mallonee of Cassidy Turley’s retail group represented Ace Hardware in the lease transaction. The landlord, Phoenix-based Foothills Plaza LLC was self-represented. Mallonee has been appointed to handle leasing on the remainder of the available space.

“This was a great transaction to be a part of, and it became a full circle deal. I met the tenant through a separate landlord represented deal we completed a few years back and was engaged to work with Ace Hardware on the Ahwatukee Foothills location. The transactions lead to a new listing with Desert Foothills Plaza. When we deliver service on a transaction that generates business for the future, we’re doing something right.” said Mr. Mallonee.

Desert Foothills Plaza is retail neighborhood center in the heart of the Ahwatukee Foothills, a young family, high income submarket of the southeast valley. The project currently includes a Bank of America, Big O Tires, Chase Bank, Grease Monkey and Walgreens. The area is surrounded by residential, golf courses, recreation parks and has easy access to Pecos Road a frontage road to the South Loop 202. The South Loop 202 extension is planned to run along Pecos Road.

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Connextions adding about 500 Jobs in Phoenix

Connextions, part of the Optum™ health services business of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), announced it will fill approximately 500 new jobs in Phoenix in the next 60 days.

Connextions, which helps carriers enroll, retain and provide service to their members, has already begun hiring people to work in its new solution center in Phoenix. These Engagement Specialists will help seniors and other beneficiaries understand their Medicare and prescription drug benefits options so they can evaluate, enroll in and effectively use the plans that best meet their needs. Connextions will also hire management and staff-level positions.

On Aug. 27, Connextions and the City of Phoenix will hold a job fair at Connextions’ new facility, where people can learn more about the available positions. The job fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4809 E. Thistle Landing, Suite 110, in Ahwatukee.

“Health care decisions can be very complex and personal, and we are committed to helping consumers understand their health plan options and how best to use their benefits,” said Steve Auerbach, Connextions president. “We are very excited about providing these services from Phoenix, where we know we will be able to find the compassionate and skilled individuals needed to help consumers manage their health and wellness.”

“I’m pleased that Connextions recognizes the high-quality workforce and business-friendly climate we have created here in Arizona over the past five years,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “Health care is an important and growing part of our economy, and we are well-positioned to bring good jobs like this to our state. I am thrilled to welcome them to Phoenix.”

Connextions, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., has more than 8,000 employees at sites in North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, Rhode Island and Texas. The new Phoenix facility is the company’s first in Arizona. Connextions anticipates additional employment opportunities in Phoenix before the end of 2013.

“The Seventh Congressional District is the economic heart of Arizona,” said Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. “I’m pleased to welcome Connextions to Phoenix, and I know that they will find a workforce well-suited to helping guide consumers through their health benefits choices.”

“Connextions’ decision to invest in Phoenix is a testament to our talented workforce and our competitiveness in attracting new businesses to our region,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “We welcome the jobs Connextions will bring and its support in making Phoenix a destination for innovative and sustainable health care solutions.”

People interested in working in the fast-growing health care industry are encouraged to apply at www.jobs.Connextions.com.

The new jobs will bring UnitedHealth Group’s total number of employees in Arizona to approximately 4,600. UnitedHealth Group serves the health care needs of nearly 1.6 million Arizonans.

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BASIS Selects Eastmark for Its Next East Valley School

The nationally renowned charter school BASIS has selected Eastmark for its next East Valley campus. Construction on BASIS Mesa at Eastmark commences in March 2013.  The new school is set to open fall 2013.

“BASIS is our first 5-12 educational partner and a perfect fit for this community.  Eastmark’s central location in the East Valley will give hundreds of children more opportunities to earn a world-class education, which is a tremendous value for kids, their families and our region’s future workforce,” said Dea McDonald, Senior Vice President of DMB Associates and General Manager of Eastmark.

“Every DMB community features education and lifelong learning among its Community Life pillars, which are empowered by partnerships that extend far beyond the classroom.  We’re delighted to bring to future residents and neighbors this charter school option in the early phase of Eastmark,” added McDonald.

The new BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will complement the East Valley BASIS programs.  Because of the strong interest by parents and students, the BASIS Board of Directors agreed there was enough demand to develop another school in the East Valley, explained Craig Barrett, retired Chairman/CEO of Intel Corporation and Chairman of the Board for BASIS Schools Inc.

“Our BASIS Chandler School has had a waiting list since we opened.  DMB brought us the opportunity to develop in their new community, in an early phase of the development, where we could be a true partner.  Its location, easy access to transportation and vision for the future made Eastmark the right choice for us.  We’re eager to grow another top performing school for the region,” Barrett said.

The BASIS Mesa at Eastmark will open with grades 5-10, adding grade 11 by 2014 and grade 12 by 2015. BASIS Mesa may also add K through 4thgrades in ensuing years.  The design and size of the new school will be similar to its Chandler and Phoenix campuses. The campus will be located adjacent to the Eastmark Great Park situated on approximately 4.5 acres. DMB is advancing the development and construction of Eastmark Parkway to meet the timelines of the opening of the charter school.

Families can sign up for the BASIS Mesa at Eastmark interest list at www.basislink.org.

The first phase of Eastmark’s residential development is in the Queen Creek School District.  The district does not have plans to build another campus in Eastmark in the immediate future.

Eastmark will host its grand opening on June 1, 2013 with seven builders offering homes in the first phase of residential development.

BASIS is the top performing school in Arizona with BASIS students ranked highest in Stanford 10 national test scores in both math and reading in 2012.
All BASIS schools are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education (“AZEd”).

Approximately 5,000 students attend BASIS schools with campuses in Tucson, Oro Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, Flagstaff, Peoria and Washington, D.C.  BASIS is also opening new schools in Ahwatukee, San Antonio, and a new K-4 program in Tucson.

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The backstory: RA Sushi

What started as a childhood friendship during grade school at a Scottsdale elementary school grew into an enduring business partnership. At the age of 28, Rich Howland and Scott Kilpatrick, along with two of their college friends, founded the now national sushi restaurant chain, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant.

Fresh out of college from The University of Arizona, Rich and Scott began their professional careers separate from one another, but it wasn’t long until the two concocted an idea to start a business together in their hometown of Scottsdale. Another college friend, Todd Belfer, was brought in as a business partner. It started when they purchased an Old Town Scottsdale restaurant called Trappers. With great enthusiasm, they decided to open an upscale Mediterranean restaurant in its place featuring complex entrees and an upscale design. The restaurant fell flat in less than eight months.

Back to the drawing board, longtime sushi fans, Rich and Scott realized there was something missing in the sushi restaurant scene in the Valley. Many traditional sushi restaurants were drawing crowds, but they didn’t have an alluring ambiance to combine with quality sushi.  The pair realized there was a demand for sushi restaurants, but they thought they could improve the concept by combining quality Japanese fusion cuisine, with a hip, stylish decor that would appeal to a younger crowd.

The concept was born, but the owners knew little about sushi operations. In June of 1997, they sought out a longtime acquaintance from their days in college, Tai Obata – a sushi expert and someone they trusted. Tai accepted a proposal to become a partner. To obtain funds to transform the failed Mediterranean restaurant into a trendy, contemporary sushi bar and restaurant, they brought in a number of colleagues who served as part owners. By adding investors, the original owners were able to greatly expand their circle of friends and customers. They credit much of their start-up success to this business decision.

The original team of owners quickly became the construction crew, interior designers and marketing professionals. Tai drew on his expertise as a native of Japan and longtime sushi chef to design the sushi bar and create the menu. Rich, Scott, Tai and the crew rolled up their sleeves and began building the restaurant’s interior all the while touting the new restaurant concept to locals.

In less than six months, the four business partners and a host of local investors opened the first RA Sushi in Old Town Scottsdale in October 1997. The concept took off and the place soon became the hotspot. By mid-1999, RA Sushi opened its second location in Tempe. The concept thrived and although there were some growing pains along the way, Rich and Scott remained at the helm. With a new bank loan and an extremely tight budget, RA opened two more locations in the Phoenix area in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, they were surprised to learn that Benihana Inc., operator of the nation’s largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, was interested in purchasing the company.

Benihana purchased RA Sushi in late 2002 and immediately began expansion of the concept. What four young friends started has grown into a successful national restaurant concept with 25 locations throughout the United States. Initially, Scott, Rich and Tai stayed on board to oversee the exciting new adventure. To this day, RA’s corporate office remains in Scottsdale, with Scott as the Vice President and Tai as the Executive Chef. Rich has since moved on to other restaurant ventures.