Tag Archives: CityScape

W.J. Maloney - Hotel Palomar

W.J. Maloney Concludes Work On Hotel Palomar At CityScape

W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling completed its work on the third phase of Kimpton’s new Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape.

W.J. Maloney was responsible for the design and installation of the plumbing systems of the 242-room, 10-story hotel. Hotel Palomar Phoenix is part of the CityScape office and retail project. Hunt Construction Group was the general contractor.

Work on the plumbing systems included the design and installation of the sanitary waste and vent, natural gas, grease waste, fuel oil and domestic water systems. The waste system was prefabricated off-site and delivered to the downtown location.

Previously W.J. Maloney had completed the plumbing for Phases I and II of the downtown development.

“Projects like this demonstrate our versatility,” said Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade, president of W.J. Maloney. “We are able to move seamlessly from private-sector projects like CityScape to hospitals and public-sector projects ranging from airports to border ports of entry.”

Founded in 1964, W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has worked with many of the largest general contractors in Arizona. The company has provided design-build plumbing, from tenant improvement to complex multi-story projects that include many of the most prominent buildings in the Valley.

Recent projects for W.J. Maloney include the Orthopedic and Spine Inpatient Surgical (OASIS) Hospital in Phoenix, the solar thermal project at the University of Arizona, the Sky Train Project at Sky Harbor International Airport and the Mariposa Land Port of Entry expansion near Nogales.

For more information on W.J. Maloney, call (602) 944-5516 or visit wjmaloney.com.

July/August 2012 - AZRE Magazine

AZRE Magazine July/August 2012

AZRE Magazine July/August 2012

Looking down on an industry that is finally starting to look up

Peter MadridI flew out of Sky Harbor International Airport recently and my bird’s eye view of construction cranes reaching to the sky around the Valley offered further proof that the industry is making a comeback.

Work is moving along on a new student housing project for ASU students attending school in Downtown Phoenix. Although the Kimpton Palomar Hotel opened in June at CityScape, a remaining crane stands guard, ready to spring back into action. (My guess is that upscale residences could be next).

And as the airplane made a turn to head south, workmen on the ground in Chandler resembled industrious ants at the new Phoenix Premium Outlets next to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino.

These projects are not only crucial to the major general contractors in the state. They are also the lifeblood of the many Arizona subcontractors, some of which are featured in our annual Arizona Builders’ Alliance supplement.

The July/August issue of AZRE also profiles Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women, better known as AZCREW. Formed in 1985, AZCREW “promotes the advancement of professionals in commercial real estate by providing high-level networking opportunities, connections and access to decision-makers within the Phoenix market.” The local chapter also does a wonderful job giving back to the community.

Finally, our annual statewide real estate update focuses on Tucson.

As my return flight began its descent, I challenged the passenger sitting in the window seat across the aisle to a spirited game of “Name That Property Type.” Four points for medical office; 3 for multi-family, 2 for a retail center and 1 for industrial.

I skunked him, 21-0. After all, if the editor of a commercial real estate magazine can’t identify a medical office building or industrial warehouse from the air, who can?

Editors Letter Signature

Peter Madrid, Editor

Take it with you! On your mobile, go to m.issuu.com to get started.

CityScape Plaza - Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

CityScape At The Center Of It All

CityScape revitalizing downtown Phoenix with its myriad dining, shopping and entertainment choices.

The arrival of CityScape has done more than change the business and entertainment landscape of Downtown Phoenix.

“CityScape has been a boon for booking meetings and conventions because of the dining, shopping and entertainment options it provides right at the doorstep of the convention center and downtown hotels,” says Scott Dunn, associate director of communications for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s not like downtown has a dearth of restaurants or nightlife; but what it largely lacked before CityScape was a sort of concentrated, recognizable ‘bug light’ zone that attracts pedestrian visitors. With CityScape and the nearby Legends Entertainment District, downtown now has that, and meeting planners the CVB brings to town take notice.”

Since CityScape opened in 2010, the $500 million, mixed-use urban development has become Downtown Phoenix’s destination for business, nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and special events. CityScape has capitalized on being bordered on three sides by the city’s new light rail transit system, and the fact that its neighbors include US Airways Center, Chase Field, the Phoenix Convention Center, Arizona State University’s 8,000-student downtown Phoenix campus, City Hall and the Maricopa County administrative and court complex.

“CityScape has become an authentic urban space for residents and tourists to organically gather and interact in a way that has never existed in Downtown Phoenix,” says Jeff Moloznik, general manager of CityScape.

Because of that, CityScape has come to define the resurgence of Downtown Phoenix.

“Probably the biggest indication that the perception of Downtown Phoenix has changed is the NFL’s decision to bring the Super Bowl back to Arizona in 2015,” Dunn says. “The transformation of downtown was a major part of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee’s pitch to the NFL, and the NFL obviously liked what it saw. Remember: The last time the Super Bowl was here, there was no CityScape, there was no light rail, there was no new Sheraton or Westin. Downtown was pretty much a construction zone. CityScape embodies the renaissance of the city’s urban core — and in 2015, when the world is watching, it will be even better.”

CityScape, like downtown, continues to evolve. It added three new restaurants in late 2011 — The Breakfast Club, The Strand and Chipotle — and will continue add to its dynamic roster in 2012.

“Starbucks and Chloe’s Corner opened earlier this year and Palomar Phoenix at CityScape, a 242-room luxury boutique hotel operated by Kimpton Hotels, will open later this spring,” Moloznik says. “Silk Sushi is also a new local spot that will join our diverse restaurant offering this summer.”

CityScape has started to drive more traffic downtown through special events and activities, including an ice skating rink over the winter and a well-received Saint Patrick’s Day party.

“No matter the time or day, something is always happening at CityScape,” Moloznik says. “We’ve introduced a community-focused lineup of unique, interactive outdoor events at Patriots Square, which is located in the heart of CityScape. Just one example is our weekday ‘Pop Up Park,’ where lunch-goers can soak up the sunshine and socialize with fun, free activities from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. At no cost, you can play Scrabble, Jenga, corn hole, get books and magazines from a free loaner library, use lawn chairs and blankets, Frisbees and a basketball hoop. A DJ spins live music and you can have a picnic in the park by grabbing a quick lunch at Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Five Guys, Vitamin T or Chloe’s Corner.”

Beyond the delicious food from The Arrogant Butcher and the fun of Stand Up Live, Copper Blues, and Lucky Strike, CityScape has become an epicenter for the Phoenix business community. The office tower at CityScape is at nearly full with major employers, including UnitedHealthcare, Alliance Bank and several of the Valley’s most powerful law firms.

“CityScape is a collection of the best of businesses and individuals in the Valley,” Moloznik says. “From (restaurateur) Sam Fox’s Arrogant Butcher to (Phoenix Suns owner) Robert Sarver’s Western Alliance Bank, the most progressive and entrepreneurial talent in the Valley have convened at CityScape. The impact our tenants’ businesses have brought to Downtown Phoenix is noticeable and significant. In an area that once lacked a central core, there is now energy, creativity, enterprise and excitement all day, every day in once central location.”

Calling CityScape Home

Alliance Bank  *  Alvarez and Marsal  *  Ballard Spahrz  *  Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck  *  Buzz Mouth  *  Cantor Law Group  *  Charming Charlie  *  Chipotle  *  Chloe’s Corner  *  Copper Blues Rock Pub and Kitchen  *  Corporate Office Centers  *  CVS Pharmacy  *  Fidelity Title  *  Five Guys Burgers and Fries  *  Gold’s Gym  *  Gordon Silver  *  Gust Rosenfeld  *  Jennings, Strouss and Salmon, PLC  *  Jimmy John’s  *  Kimpton Palomar (opens in June)  *  Lucky Strike  *  Mybullfrog.com Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer  *  Par Exsalonce  *  Polsinelli Shughart  *  Raza Development Fund  *  RED CityScape Management Office  *  RED Development  *  Republic of Couture  *  Silk Sushi  *  Squire Sanders (US) LLP  *  Stand Up Live  *  Starbucks  *  The Arrogant Butcher  *  The Breakfast Club  *  The Strand  *  Tilted Kilt  *  UnitedHealthcare  *  Urban Outfitters  *  Vitamin T  *  West of SoHo  *  Yogurtini

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Menswear Retailer

CityScape Adds Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Menswear Retailer

CityScape Phoenix will introduce yet another first for Arizona with the opening of Potbelly Sandwich Shop, the popular Chicago-based chain, along with the addition of the men’s apparel store, JoS. A. Bank, both coming to downtown this fall.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop will occupy a 3,000 square-foot space beside Fuego CityScape along First Street. The restaurant company has built a passionate, loyal following of fans who spread the word about the fun, energetic atmosphere and great food. The unique Potbelly Sandwich Shop experience is defined by its combination of toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped shakes and friendly, lively people.

“When you think of famous sandwich shops with cult followings, Potbelly is definitely on the list. We’re thrilled to be able to bring this East Coast favorite to Arizona,” said Jeff Moloznik, general manager of CityScape. “Potbelly Sandwich Shop is the perfect addition to the variety of restaurants we have at CityScape Phoenix.”

Additionally, JoS. A. Bank will open a 3,600 square-foot store that offers a full selection of men’s tailored and casual clothing, footwear and accessories. With 550 stores nationwide, what makes the retailer unique is also what has attracted customers to the stores for 107 years; a heritage of quality and workmanship, an extensive selection of beautifully made, classically styled tailored and casual clothing, and prices typically 20 to 30 percent below competitor prices. The store will open in August and occupy the former Republic of Couture space.

“We’re excited to reinforce the value of dining and shopping destinations in downtown,” added Moloznik. “With Hotel Palomar Phoenix opening this week and these two major tenants preparing to open this fall, we’re playing off of a really positive momentum.”

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is opening June 5 at CityScape. The boutique hotel offers 242 spacious guest rooms and suites, all with modern interior touches and views of the surrounding city and mountains. In step with the signature style of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, the Phoenix destination combines contemporary design with an “Art in Motion” theme embracing the undercurrent of artistic energy throughout. Amenities include approximately 10,000 square feet of multi-use space across 10 meeting rooms, which can be customized for social and business events. The adjacent Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails showcases a menu of new American cuisine for lunch, dinner, late-night and weekend brunch and a blazing cocktail program that raises the bar for drink culture in the city’s urban core, while the hotel’s third-floor outdoor pool terrace and adjacent Lustre bar provide a scenic venue for gathering.

For more information on CityScape and shops like the Potbelly Sandwich Shop, visit CityScape’s website at cityscapephoenix.com.

Hotel Palomar

Hotel Palomar Phoenix Opens Its Doors At CityScape

The Valley’s hospitality industry gained a fresh new face today as the Kimpton Hotel Palomar officially opened its doors at CityScape in Downtown Phoenix with a ceremony that included local dignitaries and officials from the boutique hotel.

The Hotel Palomar Phoenix is poised to become an urban retreat that strikes the balance between the energy of its city setting and Arizona’s laid-back lifestyle. The boutique hotel offers 242 guest rooms and suites, all with modern interior touches and views of the surrounding city and mountains.

IHotel Palomar - Diningn step with the signature style of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, this Phoenix destination combines contemporary design with an “Art in Motion” theme embracing the undercurrent of artistic energy throughout. Amenities include approximately 10,000 SF of multi-use space across 10 meeting rooms, which can be customized for social and business events.

The adjacent Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails will feature a menu of new American cuisine for lunch, dinner, late-night and weekend brunch and a cocktail program that raises the bar for drink culture in the city’s urban core, while the hotel’s third-floor outdoor pool terrace and adjacentLustre bar provide a scenic venue for gathering.

The Hotel Palomar, 2 E. Jefferson St., is footsteps from Chase Field, US Airways Center, the Phoenix Convention Center and a host of theaters, music venues, museums and cultural attractions, shopping, bars and restaurants. It is just one block from Phoenix’s Metro Light Rail System.

The contemporary look and feel exhibits the signature style and hospitality of Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, with soothing neutral interior schemes and a sense of place. The interior design, as created by KNA Design, embodies a relaxed sophistication that is modern, meanwhile aligning with Arizona’s casual lifestyle approach. While the overall style is luxurious and laid-back, the hotel’s desert-infused color palette also features a pop of orange to communicate the energetic undercurrent of its CityScape and downtown Phoenix surroundings.

A third-floor pool terrace, one of the many stunning structural features created by Callison Architecture, boats the alfresco Lustre bar which doubles as a retreat from the city and a vibrant venue where guests can relax and mingle while admiring the surrounding skyline and mountains. Hunt Construction Company was general contractor.

Specialty guest rooms and suites include: 12 Spa Suites, which offer 520 SF, king-size beds and luxurious Fuji soaking tubs; 710 SF One-Bedroom Suites with separate living and bed rooms, large soaking tubs with walk-in showers; 800 SF, one-bedroom Junior Presidential Suite with spacious separate living room featuring sweeping views of downtown Phoenix, US Airways Center and Chase Field; 1,350 SF Premium Presidential Suite with private dining room for 10 people and private butler’s pantry.

Chef Stephen Jones serves up new American cuisine for lunch, dinner, late-night and weekend brunch at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Cocktail or beer-friendly appetizers, seafood, garden goodies, meats and game are crafted and sized for sharing.

The Hotel Palomar likely is not the final piece of the CityScape development. Plans have been discussed to add upscale condos or apartments.

For more information on Hotel Palomar, visit their website at www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com

Kimpton's Hotel Palomar

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix At CityScape Opens This Summer

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape will open its doors on June 5 in the heart of downtown Phoenix, marking the completion of the highly-anticipated development project, CityScape Phoenix. The hotel, just steps from major sports arenas, entertainment venues and cultural attractions, will add 242 spacious and contemporary guest rooms and suites and more than 10,000 square feet of stylish, flexible meeting space to the city’s lineup and will bring even more energy to the downtown Phoenix area.

Situated at the heart of CityScape, a $500 million mixed-used development of shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and offices, the completion of Hotel Palomar Phoenix will be the final step in the six-year process undertaken by Phoenix-based RED Development in partnership with the City of Phoenix.

“We’re excited to introduce Kimpton’s signature hospitality to this new and vibrant downtown Phoenix,” said Jim Hollister, general manager of Hotel Palomar Phoenix. “We think it’s a perfect complement to the energy of the area and we know our guests will enjoy the warm welcome, modern amenities, and a sleek and artful aesthetic of the hotel, not to mention the easy access to incredible entertainment venues, restaurants and bars and shops.”

Inspired by the contemporary vibe of the surrounding urban landscape, Hotel Palomar Phoenix is the second hotel in the Greater Phoenix area for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which entered the market in 2005 with the FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Located in the mixed-use development of CityScape, the newly built Hotel Palomar Phoenix enjoys a prime location across from Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) and US Airways Center (event hub and home of the Phoenix Suns), proximity to the light rail and much more.

Entering from the ground-floor entrance, Hotel Palomar Phoenix guests will leave the world behind as they ascend to the second-floor living room lobby. There, they can relax in the casual, conversational seating beside the fireplace — an ideal atmosphere for working, lounging and enjoying Kimpton’s signature daily hosted wine hour.

The destination’s interior design scheme — from the public and event spaces to the guest rooms and suites — embodies a relaxed sophistication that is modern while reflecting Arizona’s casual approach. Design and décor elements that use bright spots of color, lines that create a sense of movement and light-hearted artistic touches also help to bring the hotel’s ‘Art in Motion’ theme to life.

Adjacent to the hotel lobby, The Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails features contemporary American gastro lounge cuisine for lunch, dinner and late-night bites, and a blazing cocktail program that raises the bar for drink culture in the city’s urban core. Additionally, guests will be drawn to the hotel’s third-floor terrace with its open-air swimming pool and al fresco Lustre Bar, which provides a spectacular perch above the bustle of the city, perfect for admiring views of the downtown.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix’s third floor also includes a stretch of more than 10,000 square feet of art-infused meeting space across 10 event rooms, each offering picture windows that usher light in and capture city and mountain views. Event rooms range from the 3,100-square-foot Dreamcatcher Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 250 guests, to the 600-square-foot Rangoli Board Room, designed for up to 10 guests. State-of-the-art connectivity provided through wireless Internet access and comprehensive multi-media and audio-visual support make meetings and events hassle-free.

On the higher floors, 242 well-appointed guest rooms, including 16 suites, are washed in warm, earthy shades of Arizona and accented by small, thoughtful bursts of color. Whimsy finds its place with signature artwork such as Phoenix artist John Randall Nelson’s acrylic on canvas featuring a vibrant blue face of a long-horned steer or the green felt bird sculpture perched on the bedroom wall. All rooms offer a wide range of modern amenities including 37-inch flat-screen TVs, complimentary wireless Internet access, an honor bar with locally inspired and organic items, custom Etro designer bath products, in-room yoga and On Demand fitness classes, and Kimpton’s signature animal print robes.

Jeff Moloznik, general manager of CityScape, has seen the city’s excitement grow as Hotel Palomar Phoenix nears completion.

“I can’t overemphasize the profound impact this hotel will have on CityScape, our retailers and the downtown traffic generators like US Airways, Chase Field and the Convention Center,” Moloznik said. “Palomar will ignite a 24-hour energy into CityScape and offer hotel guests a never-before-experienced proximity to the area’s sporting, cultural and music venues along with dining, nightlife, shopping and entertainment — all within steps of their hotel room door.”

Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape was designed by global architecture and design firm Callison. Interiors have been created by Los Angeles-based KNA Design and the project is being built by Hunt Construction Group. Hotel Palomar Phoenix is located at 2 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, Ariz. 85004. To learn more, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com.

Celebrating Arizona Centennial Through Photographic Exhibit

Celebrating Arizona Centennial Through Photographic Exhibit

In celebration of the Arizona Centennial, a 50-photo exhibit will be on display presented by Alliance Bank in downtown Phoenix at CityScape.


Running from now through the end of March 2012, the exhibit entitled “At Work in Arizona” will mark the 100th year since admitted to the Union when it achieved its statehood as the “Grand Canyon State” on February 14, 1912. The photographic exhibit will display the growth in technology through the years as Arizona become one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.

From the rugged mining days of the young state, to the modern urban city spaces we now know and love, the two-level lobby exhibit will, through the eyes of the camera lens, depict the people, landscapes and spirit of America’s 48th state and its past 100 years with photographs and descriptions.

The pictures within the gallery are part of Alliance Bank’s permanent collection, created by Arizona based photographer and historian Marilyn Szabo.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Arizona Centennial with the presentation of our historic photographic exhibit celebrating the first 100 years of Arizona’s economic achievements,” stated Jim Lundy, chief executive officer on Alliance Bank.

“As Arizona’s largest locally-owned bank, we are especially pleased to be able to provide an opportunity for the public to see the diversity of Arizona’s commerce and the entrepreneurial spirit of those who work today to promote Arizona’s growth and quality of life for generations to come,” he added.

The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Friday through March 31st, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Alliance Bank’s headquarters at CitsyScape in downtown Phoenix.

For more information on the Alliance Bank and the Arizona Centennial exhibit, visit alliancebankofarizona.com.

National League of Cities Gathering

Phoenix Hosts National League Of Cities Gathering

Phoenix impresses peers as host of National League of Cities Gathering

Inviting municipal leaders from across the nation to spend nearly a week in your city requires great measures of confidence and hospitality. It is bold exercise in peer review, not unlike inviting Martha Stewart and Miss Manners to attend a dinner party you’re hosting, or inviting renowned golf architects Pete Dye and Tom Fazio to play a round on links you’ve built.

So last month, when the City of Phoenix welcomed more than 3,500 mayors, city councilpersons and municipal planners to town for the National League of Cities’ 2011 Congress of Cities and Exposition, it was no small undertaking.

The event, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, featured four concurrent conferences―Green Cities, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Your City’s Families. Civic-minded attendees heard from prominent speakers and issue experts, participated in leadership training sessions, attended leadership training sessions and visited mobile workshops across metropolitan Phoenix.

“Mobile workshops highlighted everything happening in Arizona cities, from sports to sustainability,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said.

When all the educational sessions and site tours and were over, Phoenix’s peers left impressed.

“We had a great time in Phoenix,” said Bluffton (Ind.) Mayor Ted Ellis, who was elected as the new president of the National League of Cities during the congress. “Coming to Phoenix allowed our members a number of opportunities to explore innovative ideas and programs in the city and the surrounding area. Between various workshop sessions and mobile tours, the city and the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau provided an in-depth exploration of the most pressing challenges cities are facing today.”

The mobile workshops took participants to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Civic Space Park and Downtown Public Market, and several City of Phoenix leaders leant their voices and expertise to the cause. Mayor Gordon and Councilman Michael Johnson spoke at the opening general session, Councilman Bill Gates spoke at Green Cities Conference opening session, and Deputy City Manager Rick Naimark spoke at the biomedical campus mobile workshop.

Phoenix Art Museum hosted 300 attendees at the Board of Director’s Dinner, and the Arizona Science Center was the site of the congress’ closing event on Nov. 12. Spouses of attendees were treated to tours of Desert Botanical Garden and downtown, and youth delegates experienced “Zoo Lights” at the Phoenix Zoo.

Attendees also got an up-close look at some of downtown’s newest developments, including the expanded Phoenix Convention Center, METRO light rail, Arizona State University’s Downtown Campus, CityScape, and the Sheraton and Westin hotels.
“This event was almost a decade in the making, and what better time to showcase downtown Phoenix than right now?” said Councilman Johnson, who, as the President of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, led tours and spoke at a number of events. “The feedback I received from conference attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. National League of Cities attendees were impressed with the quality of conference workshops, tours and other amenities Phoenix offers our visitors.”

The 2011 Congress of Cities generated an estimated $8.7 million dollars in direct spending for the city. It also gave city leaders the opportunity to demonstrate to their peers that Phoenix is a diverse and welcoming destination for meetings and conventions―a fact that has been clouded by the national debate over Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law.

The National League of Cities expressed opposition to Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law last year, and the group had felt pressure from some corners to pull the 2011 Congress of Cities out of the state. Instead, it chose to conduct the event in Phoenix as planned, and took the opportunity to add Immigrant Integration training seminars to the agenda. These seminars allowed attendees to learn about different programs and policies to integrate immigrants into the community―economically, socially and culturally.

Rebuffing critics who called for a boycott, the National League of Cities reaffirmed its decision to host the Congress of Cities in Phoenix, citing the following reasons:

To support Phoenix and Arizona cities and towns. The City of Phoenix and Arizona cities and towns have actively opposed to the state’s actions. As the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing cities nationally, we are going to Phoenix to support the efforts of the City and other Arizona cities and towns.

To promote and encourage constructive local action to integrate immigrants into the economic, social, and cultural fabric of cities through conference programming, training, and education.

As a continued call for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

For more information about the National League of Cities, nlc.org.

Retail Centers - AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

Arizona's Retail Centers Are Top Economic Drivers

Arizona’s Retail Industry, Retail Centers Top Economic Driver

The world of retail has come a long way since Arizona’s first shopping center, Park Central Mall, opened in 1957. Back then, the state was known mostly for cowboys, cactus and critters.

How times have changed.

Arizona’s retail industry is now one of the state’s top economic drivers, as spectacular shopping centers have sprung up from the desert floor over the years.

The History of Arizona’s Shopping and Retail Centers

Built in 1961, trendy Scottsdale Fashion Square is Arizona’s largest retail center at 2 MSF. The Westcor-developed mall is home to high-end retailers such as Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Gucci and Neiman Marcus.

To appreciate the history of retail in Arizona, however, one simply needs to return to its roots: Park Central Mall.

Located on Central Avenue in midtown Phoenix, Park Central Mall originally was anchored by Goldwater’s, Diamond’s and a “five-and-dime” store. It was an open-air facility that helped put Arizona on the real restate map. It served as the first stepping stone to Arizona’s long history of retail. The next two major projects — Christown Mall and Metro Center — also are key milestones on that timeline. Rick Hearn, director of leasing at Vestar Development Company, recognizes their historical importance.

“Christown, Metro Center, Park Central — what was happening in Arizona was also happening around the country. We were in step with the rest of the world,” Hearn says.

Christown, now known as Phoenix Spectrum Mall, was Arizona’s third shopping center. As the state’s first closed center, it also was one of the first air-conditioned malls in the Western United States.

According to Stan Sanchez, president and partner of De Rito Partners, much of Christown’s appeal and success were a result of the surrounding mixed-use amenities. There were multiple components including hotels, auto malls and other retail stores. These elements enhanced Christown’s viability in particular, and Arizona retail in general.

Metro Center, at 1.39 MSF, is Arizona’s second largest retail center. When it opened in October 1973, it was considered one of the largest malls in the country. With two levels and a series of popular anchors, Metro Center set a great precedent for later retails projects in Arizona and the U.S.

According to Hearn, Metro Center was a step away from the typical “mom-and-pop centers,” but certainly a step in the right direction. It wasn’t just a retail center; it was a commercial location as well, building on the mixed-use components for which Christown had previously become famous.

Malls such as Metro Center catered to typical shoppers and enabled them to purchase multiple, everyday needs in one easy trip.

“As (retail) developers we really have to cater to the retailers,” says Jim Pederson, chairman of The Pederson Group. Pederson, along with other real estate developers, also made it a point to identify the needs of the consumers.

Metro Center was a stepping stone to the next level for Arizona, De Rito’s Sanchez says. And that next level would be achieved with each additional project after Metro Center. Scottsdale Pavilions, recently renamed The Pavilions at Talking Stick, was built in 1989. It was one of the first retail centers built on Native American land in Arizona.

Today it’s a 1.1 MSF open-air “power center” with retailers such as Sports Authority, Target, Home Depot and Walmart. According to Chuck Carlise, president of De Rito Partners, the strongest anchors for shopping centers are grocery stores. As the “bread and butter” of De Rito and other developers, grocery stores have proven to be a very successful format for retail.

But more goes into building a successful retail center in Arizona than just anchor stores, especially in the unavoidable heat of the desert. In the middle of summer, shoppers need a place to go and a place to eat that will shelter them from the blistering sun. With retail centers such as Mesa Riverview and Tempe Marketplace, there is the option to shop, eat or play inside and out.

“It’s important to withstand the extreme temperatures while still taking care of the people’s needs” Pederson says.

Mesa Riverview, a De Rito development that opened in 2007, targets a broad audience and all aspects of the consumer with office buildings, auto malls, retail stores and other commercial businesses. From a trendsetter’s standpoint, Hearn of Vestar understands the need for people to avoid the heat and the need to design projects that can keep them cool and happy.

Part of what keeps shoppers happy is the lifestyle component of destinations such as Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarters, which include residences, hospitality, entertainment, office and retail.

Designed in 1997 to be the first urban village to integrate mixed-use with outdoor shopping, Kierland Commons (on the Phoenix-Scottsdale border) opened in 2000 and has served as a benchmark for similar mixed-use projects around the nation.

“If you were able to take a look from a satellite view, it was really the evolution of the communities that led to the method the developers used to custom tailor the development to Arizona’s lifestyle and how they wanted to live” Sanchez explains.

CityScape in Downtown Phoenix is another example of how Arizona retail has evolved. As Phoenix grew, CityScape, a mixed-use skyscraper, became a part of the downtown skyline. Part of the appeal, according to Hearn, is the downtown office, urban feel that CityScape provides. It’s unique to the area, but gives Phoenix a great deal of character. The only aspects missing are quality residential developments.

Despite the recession and record-high vacancy rates in Arizona’s retail sector, there is hope for the future.

“Phoenix has always rebounded,” Hearn says. “We’re in the top 11 states for job growth and for relocation. We have a quality of life that no one else has.”

That quality of life is evident at such retail projects as Scottsdale Fashion Square, Chandler Fashion Square and San Tan Village in Gilbert

From its start in 1957, Arizona retail has grown into a formidable industry across the state. With mixed-use, open air and luxury options, shoppers have every aspect of retail at their fingertips.

“The beauty of how Arizona’s retail has evolved is the fact it created your Saturday mid-day experience,” Sanchez says. “Arizona developers have given the public all they need for every day of the week.”

AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

CityScape, Phoenix, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

New Retail And Restaurants To Attract People To Dowtown Phoenix

With the opening of CityScape at One E. Washington St., Downtown Phoenix now has an urban-style, mixed-use development where people can eat, shop, meet friends after work, relax at a boutique hotel, and even blow off some steam at the gym or roll a few frames at a bowling center.

Developers of CityScape envision retail and restaurants as being key to the project’s success. Some of the new downtown businesses include Gold’s Gym, CVS pharmacy, Charming Charlie, Urban Outfitters, Stand Up Live, Five Guys Burger and Fries, and The Arrogant Butcher. Scheduled to open in March 2012 is the 4-star Kimpton Palomar Hotel.

“If you have a comedy club, a couple of bars, a fine dining place, a yogurt shop, a burger place and a taco shop, it gives people more of an incentive to check (CityScape) out,” says Peder Bondhus, manager of Vitamin T, an already established Aaron May restaurant at CityScape.

Part of what CityScape has accomplished is due to its relationship with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau (GPCVB) and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“The Greater Phoenix CVB has been a relentless touring campaign,” says Jeff Moloznik, RED’s development manager. “We spend a lot of time with them touring prospective delegates to the downtown market and CityScape. They also help us with discussing what amenities are available for those who are considering coming to Phoenix for a convention.”

Moloznik says he believes that the success of downtown as a whole hinges on the collaboration of all of downtown’s stakeholders.

“ASU, the (Phoenix) symphony, Comerica, the sporting arenas, CityScape — we all contribute to what is good about Downtown Phoenix,” he says.

Adding to the mix of retail and restaurants are the Phoenix offices of several major law firms including Polsinelli Shughart, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, and Ballard Spahr. The building also houses Alliance Bank, Fidelity Title and RED Development.

And by the end of the year, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona plans to move 600 of its Valley employees to CityScape.

Restaurants scheduled to open later this year offer diverse meal selections, such as American-style breakfast or lunch at The Breakfast Club, Italian cuisine at The Strand, French favorites at La Crepe Nanou, and Japanese options at Silk Sushi.

“We have the utmost confidence in CityScape and the synergy it’s brought to Downtown Phoenix,” says Kyle Shivers, owner of The Breakfast Club. “We’re a breakfast and lunch venue, and the density and daytime market (in Phoenix) is exactly what we’re looking for.”

The only stumbling block CityScape has experienced so far occurred early this year, when LGO Public House pulled out of the project due to zoning and code restrictions relevant to a wood furnace burner.

 

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Steve Moore, GPCVB, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Q&A Steve Moore, President & CEO of Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau

Steve Moore
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau

What is the outlook of tourism in Arizona and the Valley as you see it?

Tourism is a $17 billion industry here, and it is strong enough to have absorbed some body blows over the past couple of years. The recession hurt. The “AIG effect” hurt. Backlash from SB 1070 hurt. People are still worried about the economy, and large groups are still a little trigger shy.

But we are seeing a few positive signs. Business travel is inching upward. Room rates are rising a little. In Phoenix, the metric we use to assess the financial performance of our hotels indicated improvement in 2010 versus 2009. So far this year, the BCS Championship Game gave the Valley’s hotels a boost in January, spring training provided its annual injection of visitors in March, and the MLB All-Star Week is going to be a huge asset for us in July. But the outlook is not as rosy as it’s been painted in some media accounts. We still have a lot of ground to make up.

How is the Greater Phoenix CVB performing in this environment, and how would you define the CVB’s role in the local economy?

In fiscal year 2010, our sales staff booked over 400,000 future delegates into the convention center and hotels across the Valley. These delegates will spend over $525 million when they get here — that’s direct spending, and it doesn’t include what the family and friends who accompany them will spend. If you were to look at the CVB’s future bookings in terms of corporate portfolio, that “portfolio” would be valued at $2.4 billion. That’s how much direct spending is attached to the future delegates we’ve booked, and that’s the price you could expect to get for the CVB if it were “sold.” Of course, we’re not for sale — we’re a nonprofit. But I think the analogy helps people get their heads around how vital the visitors industry is to the local economy.

What obstacles are currently facing the visitors industry, and what are some future challenges for the Greater Phoenix CVB?

The economy’s signs of recovery give us reason for optimism — but that optimism has to be tempered with a measure of caution. Group business may gradually climb back to pre-recession levels, but spending probably will rise at a slower rate. In that way, this recovery will somewhat mirror the industry’s post-9/11 recovery, albeit with a more gradual climb out of the bottom, because the recession affected all industries, not just ours.

Also, as the cost of oil continues to rise, so does the cost of air travel. Airlines have gradually decreased their capacities, switching to smaller planes and fewer flights. This can increase the cost of air travel and inflate travel times, both of which factor into a business’ decision about where to hold a meeting or convention. It’s something we play close attention to because Phoenix is a fly-in destination. Another challenge for us arose this past September, when the GSA recommended that federal agencies substitute teleconferencing and webcasts for face-to-face meetings whenever possible. Suppliers will likely follow suit, and that’s not good for our industry.

Within the CVB itself, one of our greatest challenges is budgetary. The formula funding we created back in 1998 will yield a million dollars less for us in the next fiscal year than it did in this fiscal year. We have lost four sales people this year, and we have not been able to replace them. We also lost half of our Prop 302 funds to the Legislature, which hinders our ability to market the destination to a national and international audience.

Has the Greater Phoenix CVB seen improvements since the passing of SB 1070? How so?

It’s been about a year since SB 1070 was passed, and in that time we’ve lost six definite conventions. We’ve lost only two since last July, when (federal) Judge (Susan) Bolton’s ruling blocked some of the bill’s most controversial provisions. Our sales team spent a lot of time and energy holding onto some of our large conventions and rebooking others. It’s the pipeline we are most concerned about, and at the close of the calendar year, our booking pace had slowed by 36 percent over last year’s pace — and last year was a recession year.

The fact that 19 other states have introduced immigration bills similar to SB 1070 has taken a little of the heat off us. It’s hard to quantify how much convention business we aren’t even getting considered for due to concerns over the bills. We do know that large, diverse associations are more risk averse than smaller, corporate meetings. Those smaller meetings have started to return to the Valley.

How will the All-Star Game and the MLB FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center impact Phoenix’s economy and tourism?

The All-Star Game and the events surrounding it — the Home Run Derby, the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and FanFest at the convention center — are expected to inject $67 million of direct spending into Arizona’s economy. This estimate does not include local production expenses by national and international broadcast media, nor does it take into account hospitality expenditures by sponsors for receptions, parties and banquets.

The fact that All-Star Week arrives in town during summer, our traditional low season, magnifies its economic benefit to the community and provides us a grand-scale opportunity to show leisure travelers and meeting groups that visiting Phoenix in summertime is fun. And it’s the latest in a growing list of mega sporting events whose presence here proves that large and diverse groups and events are welcome and successful in Arizona.

What are your thoughts on the Arizona Office of Tourism’s “In One Word — Arizona” marketing campaign that launched in November?

Well, using just one word is economical, and that’s a good thing. Seriously, though, it’s a beautiful campaign that dramatically captures the beauty of our state. The existence of such a campaign is absolutely essential. Tourism is a $17 billion asset for Arizona. That asset must be trumpeted; that asset must be leveraged; that asset must be cared for. We all know AOT has been devastated by state budget cuts. If there’s one word that should be applied to AOT’s funding, that word is “restoration.”

What are your thoughts on the new Westin Phoenix Downtown and the rest of the downtown hotels and how they can potentially attract more tourists and business travelers?

Westin is a trusted brand, and the new hotel is a wonderful addition to downtown. Many of the conventions we book at the CVB are what we call “citywide conventions.” What that means is, they are big enough so that their attendees and their families spread out to multiple hotels. With the addition of the Westin, there are now more than 2,700 guest rooms within walking distance of the convention center. And more are on the way: A boutique Kimpton hotel — another trusted brand — is scheduled to open in CityScape early next year. So we’ll have the Sheraton, the Hyatt, the Wyndham, the Westin and the Kimpton right in the city’s core, all near the convention center, all near stops for the light rail, all near CityScape. For years we tended to talk about downtown in the future tense — as in, “It’s going to be great.” Downtown is now all about the present tense. It is great, and the catalyst to making it that way was the visitors industry.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011