Tag Archives: Carlyle Development Group

Photo by Mike Mertes, Az Big Media

Vicki Williams – Most Influential Women In Commercial Real Estate

Vicki Williams
Senior vice president, commercial real estate, Alliance Bank of Arizona
Years in the industry: 25+ 

Since 2004, Vicki Williams has been her company’s go-to person for commercial real estate at the largest bank headquartered in Arizona. Williams’ banking career began in New York for the Chase Manhattan Bank. She then joined a community bank in Phoenix, which ultimately, through mergers and acquisitions, became Wells Fargo. For the last two decades, she has specialized in commercial lending. Alliance Bank of Arizona has financed Building 3 at SkySong and the acquisition of MetroCenter by the Carlyle Development Group. Past president, Williams sits on the board of AZCREW, is a member of ULI and the Arizona Commercial Mortgage Bankers Association.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
Being a manager and a single mother. I overcame it with the support of my team and my employer at the time, Norwest Bank.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
Helping to build and grow Alliance Bank’s Phoenix commercial real estate lending team to become a dominant lender in the market and an important part of the bank’s success.

What is your most memorable deal or project?
Doing work on a portfolio of loans to companies in Mexico after the less-developed-country (LDC) debt crisis and peso devaluation in the 1980s.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Working for a bank whose management understands real estate and is growth oriented and values my input.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
I had no idea what I wanted to be – or maybe I have just forgotten.

What is one little-known fact about you?
I enjoy trout fishing in the White Mountains, specifically stream fishing.

Deb Jacupke

Metrocenter Mall Continues Repositioning With Addition Of New Marketing Director

Metrocenter Mall has increased its on-the-ground repositioning power with the addition of industry veteran Deb Jacupke as director of marketing.

With more than three decades of experience in marketing, redevelopment, leasing and property management, Jacupke will apply her multi-market expertise to advance the revival of the mall — a Phoenix retail landmark on I-17 between Peoria and Dunlap roads.

Jacupke previously served in roles including director of marketing, CEO, general manager and VP of property management and marketing for retail properties across the West and Midwest.

She has directed lease-up programs, mall re-development plans and strategic marketing efforts for assets ranging from neighborhood retail centers and urban shopping centers to regional and super-regional malls. In the process, she has achieved a track record of success in strategic community partnerships, events planning, re-branding and advertising. Additional areas of expertise include budget management, operations and staff development.

Jacupke joins the mall’s team of on-site experts, including General Manager Brent Meszaros, Senior Vice President of Leasing Anita Blackford and the experience and resources of new mall owner Carlyle Development Group (CDG), which purchased Metrocenter out of three years of foreclosure and receivership, and is actively marketing the property to new vendors and uses.

“At 1.3 MSF, Metrocenter Mall is a sizeable property with sizeable opportunity,” said Carlyle Development Group COO Warren Fink. “Deb has the creativity and the industry acumen to identify the best of these opportunities, and move them forward for the benefit of our tenants and community. We are very pleased to have her on board.”

Jacupke is a past faculty member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and a graduate of ICSC’s Marketing Institute, Leasing Institute and Management Institute. She holds a Certified Marketing Director Designation and is a former New Mexico real estate broker.



Metrocenter Looks Local, Partners With Kimber Lanning

A new partnership between Metrocenter and local business advocate Kimber Lanning marks the latest step by mall owner Carlyle Development Group to strengthen the connection between the retail landmark and its Phoenix community.

“We’ve spent more than a year listening, building relationships and creating a plan to meet the needs of our almost half-a-million nearby residents,” said CDG’s COO Warren Fink. “Kimber is part of our next great phase, which is to turn that plan into results.”

Lanning is an Arizona native and the founder of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit coalition of more than 2,100 Arizona-based companies working together to strengthen the local economy through the support of local businesses.

“I was raised in Glendale so I have a soft spot for this mall,” Lanning said of the 1.3 MSF property at Interstate 17, between Peoria and Dunlap roads in Phoenix.

“Thanks to Carlyle, Metrocenter looks great and is ripe to leap back into the spotlight with the right blend of national and local businesses.”

According to Lanning, local businesses provide unique experiences and one-of-a-kind products that set a mall apart from the status quo. They also keep three times more money in the local economy over national chains. This is because local business owners tend to hire other local service providers, such as accountants, graphic designers and web developers, which creates jobs and keeps more money re-circulating in Phoenix.

“Metrocenter has many locally owned, one-of-a-kind stores that respond to the needs of this area’s shopper and are thriving because of it,” said mall General Manager Brent Meszaros. “Kimber will help to increase that percentage of local representation.”

Lanning suggests options such as a furniture store, men’s clothier and hand-crafted gifts, and additional services near the mall entrances such as a musical instrument retail and repair shop.

Longtime Local First Arizona member, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, recently relocated to the mall.

“This is one of the best schools in the country for learning about music — how to play it, how to write it and how to perform it,” Lanning says. “The school and its client list are stellar. They continually bring people through the doors.”

For Metrocenter, Lanning will actively seek out other local businesses to blend into the already diverse mall mix.

Built in 1973, Metrocenter is home to more than 125 retailers and department stores, including Dillard’s, Macy’s, Sears and a 12-screen Harkins Theatres. Other popular tenants include the Phoenix Conservatory of Music and in-line retailers such as Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, The Children’s Place, Victoria’s Secret, Journey’s, Charlotte Ruse, Sports Chalet and Finish Line.


Metro Center Entry

Metrocenter Unveils New Mall Entrance Design

Phoenix Metrocenter mall owner Carlyle Development Group unveiled new mall entrance designs and an innovative leasing and redevelopment plan that will transform the 1.3 MSF retail landmark into a multi-faceted, mixed-use environment for shopping, dining and entertainment.

CDG presented its plans last week at an on-site industry event — the first of its kind since CDG purchased the mall, which is located on Interstate 17 between Peoria and Dunlap roads.

Event attendees included top Phoenix commercial real estate brokers, Phoenix Police Commander Benny Piña and Phoenix Councilwoman Thelda Williams. It also included Phoenix-based Butler Design Group, the architect of the new mall entrances.

“This was an opportunity to share our vision and strengthen the industry connections that will revitalize Metrocenter,” said Carlyle Development’s COO Warren Fink. “It is a turning point — the next step in our promise to make Metrocenter a fun, safe atmosphere where customers and tenants will thrive. Having the support of the Phoenix brokerage community, Phoenix Police and City Council is a welcome part of that process.”

Piña and Williams participated as event speakers, providing updates on the submarket and safety, and underscoring their support for the mall revitalization efforts.

“I am very excited to see the enthusiasm and determination of Metrocenter’s new ownership team to turn Phoenix’s original mall into a destination once again,” said Williams. “It is about time somebody realized the potential of the mall and the surrounding area.”

“This was a wonderful way for the new ownership group to reach out to the local brokerage community. The mall looks sharp and the data provided by Commander Piña was enlightening,” said Colliers Vice President for Retail Properties Brian Woods. At the event, Piña provided statistics that debunk the safety perception of Metrocenter and instead point to a safe environment similar to other well-known Phoenix area malls.

“Metrocenter has great freeway exposure and tremendous daytime population and traffic counts. It epitomizes the type of infill property that is ‘hot’ in our market right now,” said Woods.

As presented at the event, CDG’s repositioning plan for Metrocenter focuses on:

  • Creating a mixed-use environment, including office and apartment uses that meet the needs of local shoppers and the community — a trade area of more than 156,000 daytime employees and more than 455,000 residents.
  • Signing a new retailer for the vacant Broadway location and consolidating in-line shop space to add new “mini-major” mall tenants; potentially attracting new retailers to the Arizona market.
  • Incorporating family friendly, cultural and entertainment-oriented tenants that reenergize the mall, help change the incorrect perception of the project and establish Metrocenter’s position as a positive force for the community’s 173,000+ households.
  • Completing facility upgrades, the first of which are contemporary new mall/tenant entries and outdoor patios designed by BDG.

“I remember coming to Metrocenter as a child. It was an event,” said BDG Principal Rick Butler. “The mall has been in transition for the past several years, but it’s actually in great condition—inside and out. We are very pleased to be on a team that wants to bring Metrocenter back as a true destination point.”

In the renovation process, CDG will call on its more than 30 years of value-add real estate experience and an in-house development group that offers tenant improvement, ground-up construction and overall project management services.

New York-based CDG purchased the regional mall in January 2012, after the property spent three years in various stages of foreclosure and receivership. In March of the same year, CDG announced a new Metrocenter leasing and management team that includes on-site General Manager Brent Meszaros and Senior Vice President of Leasing Anita Blackford, and a partnership with locally based Phoenix Commercial Advisors as the mall’s exclusive retail broker representative.

The 1973-built Metrocenter is currently home to more than 125 retailers and department stores including Dillard’s, Macy’s, Sears and a 12-screen Harkins Theatres. Other popular tenants include the Phoenix Conservatory of Music and in-line retailers such as Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, The Children’s Place, Victoria’s Secret, Journey’s, Charlotte Ruse, Sports Chalet and Finish Line.

The project totals approximately 525,000 SF of shop space and 840,000 SF of anchor space. That space was enhanced in 2007 via a $32M renovation that revitalized common spaces, upgraded the food court, enhanced security systems and added a new children’s area and a new community room.