Tag Archives: demolition

rsz_metrocenter_pic

Walmart announces new supercenter at Metrocenter Mall

Today, Walmart announced plans to build a Supercenter at the iconic Metrocenter Mall, near I-17 and 35th Avenue, in northwest Phoenix. Work on the project is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015 with the demolition of the former Broadway building, which has been vacant since 2006.

Officials with Walmart, the City of Phoenix and Metrocenter Mall, as well as area business owners and community leaders, were on-hand for the Supercenter announcement. This marks the single largest capital investment in Metrocenter Mall in decades.

“Metrocenter Mall is a Phoenix landmark that has served shoppers from across Arizona for decades,” said Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “I’m proud to be a part of this announcement with Walmart and I know that, together with its efforts and those of the City of Phoenix and area business and community leaders, Metrocenter Mall’s best days are still ahead.”

Metrocenter Mall opened in 1973 as the biggest shopping center in Arizona and one of the largest nationwide. Recent years saw Metrocenter challenged by the establishment of competing regional malls, changing shopping patterns and the Great Recession. Now, Metrocenter Mall owner Carlyle Development Group, the City of Phoenix and community leaders are intent on bringing new life to the area. In mid-March, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a redevelopment plan that will, over the coming decade, guide land use, infrastructure upgrades and public transportation for a 2,500-acre area, including Metrocenter Mall. Currently, the retail vacancy rate in the vicinity averages 28 percent, more than double the citywide figure.

The construction of a Walmart Supercenter is a critical part of Metrocenter’s turnaround, said Warren Fink, COO of Carlyle Development Group.

“Our vision when we acquired Metrocenter Mall two-and-a-half years ago was to bring in a well-known anchor to serve our local community. Walmart more than fulfills that requirement and we are thrilled to welcome them,” said Fink. “This is a first step toward revitalizing a once dominant mall, rebuilding customer commitment and moving forward with plans for the future of Metrocenter that include rezoning to permit complimentary uses such as multifamily apartments, senior housing, corporate offices, healthcare facilities and medical offices.”

Marcia Veidmark, Chairwoman of the North Mountain Business Alliance, is supportive of the Walmart Supercenter, and said its development should help attract additional customers and capital investment to the area.

“This is a very good day for Metrocenter Mall and for the Metro and North Mountain communities,” said Veidmark.  “Walmart’s investment can be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation.  We need both of these.”

New Supercenter, Same High-Quality Walmart Products and Services

The new Walmart Supercenter at Metrocenter Mall is scheduled to open in 2016. The 148,000-square-foot store will provide 24/7 shopping convenience and offer quality, value-priced general merchandise that includes apparel, electronics, toys and sporting goods. The store also will feature a full-service pharmacy and complete line of groceries, including organic selections, fresh dairy and meat departments and local favorites.

Walmart will construct the Supercenter with industry-leading technology to maximize energy efficiency, conserve water and minimize waste. Environmentally responsible features will include LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC units and the use of drought-tolerant landscaping irrigated with a low-flow and drip watering system.

Once open, the Supercenter will employ an estimated 250 associates. A mix of full- and part-time positions will be available throughout the store, including: department managers, customer service, personnel, maintenance, sales associates, stocking positions, cashiers and more.

“Walmart is committed to the Phoenix community, and we’re thrilled this Supercenter will bring one-stop shopping convenience to our customers while playing a key role in the revitalization of Metrocenter Mall,” said Paula Ginnett, a Walmart Vice President and Regional General Manager. “This is truly a win-win, and we are grateful to Metrocenter Mall officials, the City of Phoenix, community leaders and – most of all – Walmart customers for making it possible.”

Tempe, JLL, WEB

Demand for Density Meets Demolition Strategy

Greenlaw Partners and The Broe Group have selected the Phoenix office of JLL to market a 90KSF office project in Tempe, Ariz., where the demand for high density space spurred demolition of a portion of the complex in exchange for a higher parking ratio. Greenlaw Partners and The Broe Group purchased the project for $3.5M.

Tempe 10/60 Corporate Center (formerly known as Corporate Fountains) is located at 4415 – 4625 S. Wendler Dr. in Tempe, alongside Interstate 10 and just south of the I-10/SR-60 (Superstition Freeway). The project originally totalled 110,000 square feet in two 45KSF, two-story buildings and one 20,000-square-foot, single-story building. Upon review of the property, Greenlaw and The Broe Group recognized the opportunity to add value to its investment through a number of key physical changes. In an effort to increase density, one of the project’s buildings—located at the center of the property—was demolished to create a two-building, 90KSF campus.

The demolition upgraded the project’s parking ratio from 5:1,000 to 7:1,000. The new owners plan to complete additional improvements in the coming months, including the demolition-rebuild of existing building interiors.

“This creates a greater corporate advantage and improved occupancy costs for our target users,” said Scott San Filippo, partner at Greenlaw Partners. “JLL is a great choice to market this asset in that they are a strategic partner in effectively positioning creative opportunities such as Tempe 10/60 Corporate Center. Phoenix has a lot of value-add opportunity and it will be a market where we look to remain active.”

“Going to this length to create a high density environment underscores Phoenix’s demand for this type of space,” said JLL Managing Director Dave Seeger, who is marketing Tempe 10/60 Corporate Center with JLL colleague and Managing Director Karsten Peterson. “A parking ratio of 4:1,000 or 5:1,000 is good, and 6:1,000 is great, but a ratio of 7:1,000 is outstanding.”

According to JLL’s Q1 2014 Phoenix Office Report, tenants across the Valley are beginning to see their already limited space options dwindle in hot submarkets like Tempe. This is driving up rental rates and creating growing upside potential for owners, including those with high-density space that is attractive to users like call centers, high tech companies and financial institutions.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with Greenlaw on this acquisition,” said Jim Crawford of The Broe Group. “We’re bullish on Phoenix as well, but recognize that success is based on teaming with owners who are experts at adding value and who understand the dynamics of the tenants in the market.”

“Corporate America as a whole is moving toward the open office configuration—highly efficient, very flexible, higher density footprints,” said Peterson. “Adaptive reuse plays like Tempe 10/60 Corporate Center are a prime example of how owners can repurpose inefficient, zombie space to economically reposition a project.”

Originally built in 1985, Tempe 10/60 Corporate Center features 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, generous landscaping and immediate freeway visibility and access to Interstate 10 via Baseline Road. It is minutes from the I-10/US-60 interchange, Arizona Mills Mall, Sky Harbor International Airport and Arizona Grand Resort.

Phoenix Wright House

Sale of home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright falls through

A sale of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that had been slated for demolition has fallen through and the home once again will go on the market, a real estate broker marketing the property said Monday, according to an Associated Press report.

The buyer, who has not been identified, decided during an inspection period to not proceed with the purchase because of unspecified personal and business reasons, said Robert Joffe. “I don’t think I’m ever going to know the truth.”

The home will again be listed for sale for $2,379,000, the price on which the now-canceled agreement was based, Joffe said.

However, he said the window to sell the home runs only until Dec. 4 because the Phoenix city council plans on Dec. 5 to consider approving an historic designation for the property.

“We cannot market it after the 4th because after that date, the property (value) will have been confiscated by the city and this will move to another arena,” Joffe said.

Joffe declined to elaborate when asked whether that means the development company would sue in court if the city approves the historic overlay designation, which would block demolition for three years.

An attorney for the company, 8081 Meridian, has threatened a lawsuit if the city approves an historic designation that reduces the property value. Arizona has a voter-approved state constitutional protection against government action that reduces property values.

The home dates from the early 1950s. Wright designed it for his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Gladys, who died in 1997 and 2008, respectively. Wright family members sold the property in 2008, and representatives of 8081 Meridian have said the company wasn’t aware of the home’s background when the company bought it for $1.8 million in June.

The company’s plan to demolish the home in order to redevelop the 2-acre property stirred controversy, particularly among architects and historical preservation advocates.