Tag Archives: CityNorth

Photo by Mike Mertes, Az Big Media

Karen Halpert – Most Influential Women In Commercial Real Estate

The 12 women who made AZRE’s Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate list are an extraordinary bunch. While that seems implied in the recognition, it’s something that goes beyond their professional achievements. Many of these women have held minimum wage jobs, slowly working through the ranks to a C-suite. A few have known the struggles of being a single parent and what it’s like to be the only female voice in a boardroom. All of these women are active in their communities and industry organizations. And, all of them are changing the Arizona landscape one deal, drawing and deadline at a time.

Karen Halpert
Senior vice president
American Realty Capital Properties
Years in the industry: 20+

Karen Halpert is a natural-born leader, though that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had a lot to learn along the way to heading up a property management group at one of the largest REITs in the country. She manages a team of 59 professionals responsible for the financial performance and operations of approximately 5,700 office, industrial and retail properties throughout the United States.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced?
It took me several years to really understand and define success for myself … I found that “having it all” and “doing it all” are not the same thing.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Balancing work and a home life while being a solid team player at both is always a challenge.  Wanting to be home for my family forced me to become efficient in ways I didn’t think were possible. Improved organizational skills, in turn, allowed me to take on new professional challenges and opportunities as they were presented.

What is your most memorable deal or project?
The first and only time I ventured away from property/asset management and into development was just prior to the great recession, overseeing office development and leasing at CityNorth.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy interacting with my team, peers and other professionals inside and outside of my organization. I feel fortunate to be a part of the commercial real estate industry and surrounded by so many smart, hard-working and ethical individuals.

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 always planned to become a doctor but changed majors when I learned I would be footing the bill for my education. I switched to business, which led me to real estate, and I’ve never looked back.

What is one little-known fact about you?
While in high school, I edited a couple of astronomy books written by my father.

High Street

CityCenter of CityNorth Announces 40KSF Signed, 200 New Jobs

CityCenter of CityNorth will welcome Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar to High Street in 2014. The recently signed contract represents more than 14,500 SF on the ground level of the property. An additional 25,000+ SF of space has also been signed with the expansion of existing tenants and three other new contracts. CityCenter of CityNorth is building on the recent lease activity with targeted property renovations – including a new parking garage – to help accommodate the more than 200 anticipated new hires.
“We are delighted to welcome Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar as well as office tenants that complement our existing mix and provide even more reasons to enjoy High Street,” said Leslie Himley, vice president of marketing for CityCenter of CityNorth. “These additions coupled with our planned property enhancements will be warmly welcomed by existing tenants, our residents, North Valley tourists and the surrounding community.”


Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill
As the third location in Arizona, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill at CityNorth will be a full-service bar with a seating capacity for more than 300 guests. The 14,500 SF venue will feature live country music, country dancing and dancing whiskey girls.

The venue will feature local, regional and national up-and-coming artists. Its corporate team anticipates a late spring to early summer 2014 opening creating between 125 to 175 full and part-time jobs.

“We’re ecstatic to bring the next Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill to CityNorth,” said Frank Capri President and CEO for Boomtown Entertainment / Owner-Operators of TK ILTB&G. “The CityNorth concept and vision has always been in our sights and we are excited to partner with the CityNorth management team as their vision and ours are in step to help grow North Phoenix. Arizona is where our company started, it’s full of Country music fans and the CityNorth location is the perfect next piece of the puzzle for our strategic roll-out in Arizona.”
Murphy Orthodontics
Orthodontist Dr. C. Chris Murphy is relocating his Scottsdale practice to an approximately 3,600 SF space on High Street. It will be his third location in the Valley.

On September 3, Desert Ridge Pediatric Dentistry and Desert Ridge Prosthodontics opened offices on High Street. Combined the practices represent 10,000 SF. Earlier this month Mojo Yogurt reopened in an 850 SF space.

A large technology company has also just signed a 7,500 SF lease for its first location in the state. More information to come on this tenant November 5.


CityCenter of CityNorth will undergo a series of targeted renovations and enhancements to support the growth of the development. A second parking garage containing 224 spaces will be built to better serve tenants and guests on the east side of the property. The garage will be adjacent to, and south of building eight. Additional planned improvements include new building and monument signage, improved lighting and landscaping.

Stealth Software
Stealth Software’s new global headquarters is a nearly 4,000 SF space on the second floor of the 5450 East High Street Building. The software development company recently announced it will create 200 new tech jobs in Arizona.

Kennedy Partners
Kennedy Partners moved into a 3,800 SF office space on High Street in 2012 and is undergoing a 2,700 SF expansion to give them a total of 6,500 SF.

Guttilla Murphy Anderson, P.C
Guttilla Murphy Anderson, P.C. an AV rated law firm based in Phoenix recently signed a lease renewal on its 6,000 SF office.

TK's Urban Tavern

TK's Urban Tavern: Fantastic Food In A Trendy, Sophisticated Atmosphere

I have to admit that when it comes to Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter and CityNorth, I have a hard time keeping up with what is new and where it is located within the three similar destinations. A friend of mine recommended TK’s Urban Tavern located in Scottsdale Quarter, and I was looking forward to checking out the new hot spot.

Named after the founding owner, Tom Kelly, TK’s offers a comfortable atmosphere and an expertly placed patio, perfect for taking in the Quarter and enjoying cocktails.

Joining a friend for an impromptu Saturday evening dinner, we headed to TK’s to sample what they have to offer. The restaurant has a trendy, sophisticated feel with an open dining room. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, willing to confidently recommend their favorite dishes.

Initial observation of the appetizer and drink options revealed a nice balance of pricing and options without being overwhelmed by a 10-page menu. Warning: The description of the “You Call It” Smirnoff Vodka accompanied with your favorite mixer for $6.95 was not as it seemed. After commenting to the server that it was a great deal, my friend ordered a Raspberry Smirnoff and soda. It wasn’t until the bill arrived that we were made aware that we were charged much more for flavored vodka. Of course, it could be argued that we should have known. However, I feel it is the responsibility of the server to pay attention to what the guest is commenting on to ensure that they understand the menu appropriately. Aside from the vodka miscommunication, the drink prices were reasonable, and the options were plentiful and provided something for everyone.

A summary of what we experienced at TK’s Urban Tavern:

Appetizer: Housemade Mac & Cheese

With a good choice of unique appetizers, we chose to start with the Housemade Mac & Cheese ($7.95). Made with local white cheddar, elbow pasta and topped with panko bread crumbs, I found the dish to be a bit bland in flavor. Once we added some much-needed salt and pepper, the taste was actually very good.

Entrées: Shrimp Linguini and Rock Shrimp Corn Chowder

Although on the pricier side, there were great options available for our main dish. I chose the Shrimp Linguini served with tomatoes, garlic white wine sauce and lemon parsley ($17.95). I was blown away by this dish! The lemon and garlic complimented the shrimp beautifully. The portion was appropriate and overall fantastic.

We also ordered the Rock Shrimp Corn Chowder ($8.95). Unlike many types of chowder, the TK’s version wasn’t super thick and heavy. The chowder was light and full of flavor. We were also impressed by the amount of shrimp included in the chowder, making it an overall great choice when you visit.

Dessert: Root Beer Float

It brought a smile to my face to see a root beer float option for dessert — I couldn’t resist! Simply served with vanilla bean ice cream in a large chilled mug, it was a great way to end our meal ($4.00).

Overall, the visit was enjoyable. The look and feel of TK’s makes it a good choice for an evening out in Scottsdale if you are willing to spend a little more than normal for a relaxed meal. I was happy with the quality of the food for the price I paid, but would not recommend it as a regular stop for anyone on a budget.

TK’s Urban Tavern Rating:

Food: 4 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5

TK’s Urban Tavern
15037 N. Scottsdale Rd., #J-195
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 664-0873
Phoenix Mayoral Debate, Real Estate

Phoenix Mayoral Candidates Debate Commercial Real Estate Issues

Filling existing vacant commercial buildings, impact fees and economic development incentives were some of the issues discussed by the six City of Phoenix mayoral candidates Friday at Valley Partnership’s monthly breakfast meeting.

Anna Brennan, Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely, Greg Stanton and Jennifer Wright answered questions and made their pitch why they should be Phoenix’s next mayor before a packed audience at the Phoenix Country Club.

The first question: Arizona’s economy has taken its toll on commercial real estate is our state. What is your plan for attracting users to existing vacant commercial buildings and jumpstarting new commercial development in Phoenix?

Gullett said his focus was on helping small businesses, attracting new jobs, and making sure there is also job growth. He also said the challenge he sees is a lack of investment capital. His vision is for a partnership with banks to create an investment pool.

Neely stressed the importance of job creation, and the fact that the Valley needs to become more competitive as a region. Wright pointed out the 30 percent vacancy rate among commercial buildings in Phoenix. She added the city’s development department must be more business friendly.

The second question: Most cities in the Valley assess development impact fees on commercial development. Some subsidize certain categories of impact fees to attract certain kinds of development. Others have very limited categories of fees. What do you think the City of Phoenix’s approach should be to assessing impact fees for commercial development?

Stanton alluded to the ill-fated CityNorth project because it was a public-private partnership in which part of the impact fees helped build the development’s parking garage. He added that impact fees should generate “growth that pays for itself.”

The third question: Are you in favor of providing economic development incentives like infrastructure reimbursements to commercial projects?

Stanton, Brennan, Gullett and Maddox said yes. Gullet said it’s a “good gamble as jobs are created.. It has to be applied across the board.”

The fourth question involved a zoning case. A Fortune 500 company wants to relocate its corporate headquarters on Camelback Road and has a site tied up. They want 10 stories. If they can’t get 10 stories, the building goes to a Tempe Town Lake site. The General Plan dictates the Phoenix site can have a maximum of four stories. A highly organized neighborhood group says it was promised that high rises wouldn’t go this far east and that the city shouldn’t break that promise. How do you vote?

Wright, Brennan, Maddox and Neely voted in favor of rezoning the property. Gullett and Staton voted against.

And finally, when asked to describe their leadership style in one word, their responses:

Gullett – patience; Maddox – committed; Neely – decisive; Stanton – smart; Wright – determined; and Brennan – a facilitator.

The City of Phoenix mayoral election is Aug. 30.





Seven Top Summer Events in Phoenix

Summertime is officially upon us, which means it’s time to relax and enjoy all that Phoenix has to offer. Phoenix has fun and exciting ways to celebrate the weekends during those hot summer months, whether it’s for a holiday or for no reason at all. These seven events are sure to get your mind off the scorching sun and the triple digits, and each are (thankfully) timed just right, when the sun is just beginning to set.

1. Music in the Garden

From 7:30-9:30 p.m. on June 10, 17 and 24, head over to the Desert Botanical Garden, where live bands play and guests the chance to dance under the moonlight as well as indulge in the beautiful night weather on the professional ballroom dance floor.

Admission: $21 General, $15 for DBG members

[stextbox id=”grey”]Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008
www.dbg.org [/stextbox]

2. Hot Summer Nights Concert Series

Come hear live bands for free on High Street at CityCenter of CityNorth. A Kids Club Zone is also available with face painting and balloon artists, while adults can take advantage of exclusive restaurant and shopping deals. Open to the public from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on June 11 and 25 and July 9 and 23.

Admission: Free

[stextbox id=”grey”]CityCenter of CityNorth
5455 E. High St., Suite 115
Phoenix, AZ, 85054

3. Prowl and Play at the Phoenix Zoo

Kids and adults have the chance to experience the zoo like never before! Guests can enjoy animal meet and greets, take part in Squirt Gun Water Wars, and even visit the sting ray exhibit. When the sun begins to set, you can sign up for a guided night hike where you can visit some of your favorite animals and see what they do during the night. Prowl and Play is available from 6-9:30 p.m. on June 11, July 9 and August 13.

Admission: $6

[stextbox id=”grey”]Phoenix Zoo
455 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008
www.phoenixzoo.org [/stextbox]

4. 5th Annual Bloomin’ Beerfest

This festival celebrates Irish author James Joyce and his novel, Ulysses, with Irish food and music, readings from the novel, and of course, beer tasting. The event runs from 7-10 p.m. at the Irish Cultural Center in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, June 11.

Admission: $25 presale, $35 at the gate
Price includes all activities plus 16 token tickets which can be used towards food and beer.

[stextbox id=”grey”]Irish Cultural Center
1106 North Central Avenue
Phoenix Arizona 85004

5. After Dark in the Park

From 7-9 p.m. on June 25, community members and families are invited to celebrate an evening full of live music, enjoy cuisine from local food vendors, and watch fireworks.

Admission: Free

[stextbox id=”grey”]Maryvale Baseball Park
4420 N. 51st Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85031

6. Light Up the Sky

At the Maryvale Sports Complex, guests are able to enjoy a night full of different activities, food, entertainment and an outstanding fireworks display to end the night. This is a family oriented and non-alcoholic event and is free to the public. Light Up the Sky takes place on Friday, July 1 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Admission: Free

[stextbox id=”grey”]Deer Valley Park
19602 N 19th Ave
Phoenix, AZ, 85027

7. Fourth of July Fireworks in Tempe

The Tempe Town Lake offers a patriotic and fun-filled Fourth of July. The event promises local live entertainment, face painters and the Splash Playground for children, as well as a rock climbing wall and rides. The Budweiser Beer Garden will also be open to adults. A spectacular 40-minute firework show will take place from the Mill Avenue Bridge and will be choreographed to patriotic music. The event starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.

Admission: $6 at all Fry’s Food Stores, $8 at the gate

[stextbox id=”grey”]Tempe Town Lake
S Rural Rd & E Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe, Arizona 85281