On June 18, a group of city and business leaders including Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Councilmembers Kevin Hartke, Jack Sellers and Jeff Weninger gathered in a freshly-graded dirt field to officially break ground on the $25 million Ocotillo Village Health Club & Spa. Joining the Mayor & Councilmembers at the groundbreaking ceremony were prominent Valley businessmen, Bennett Dorrance and Mark Sklar, co-founders of the DMB real estate development company, parent company of the Village Health Clubs & Spas. Scheduled for completion in spring 2015 and led by Sundt Construction, the 82KSF Ocotillo Village is expected to create 250 construction jobs and eventually create more than 220 full and part-time positions. The Ocotillo Village will also be the first East Valley location for this private, member-based health club, joining the three existing locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Looking for a chance to give your “less than loved” clothes a new lease on life? Cocktails & Clothes is the chance to donate new or gently used clothing to the Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) free Clothing Boutique for participants to have for job interviews or first week on the job.
Clothes can be dropped off at the annual event tomorrow, March 4, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the 19th Hole at the Adobe Golf Club at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. The event includes a raffle featuring custom-designed gift baskets each valued at $300 or more, a live auction, cocktails and hors d‚oeuvres.
Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased at the door or by contacting Susan Lagasse at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (602) 223-4333).
Each year, Cocktails & Clothes provides hundreds of new and gently used professional dresses, suits, slacks, blouses, shoes, briefcases and purses, and slacks, shirts, ties, shoes and sports jackets for women, men and young adults entering or re-entering the workforce.
Sperry Van Ness is the Diamond Sponsor. Sapphire Sponsors are Alliance Bank of Arizona and Avnet. Topaz Sponsor is AmTrust Bank. Emerald Sponsors are DMB and Dunlap & Magee.
The event is organized by the Friends of AWEE. Committee members are Phyllis Dumond, Judi Butterworth, Jami Savage, Kathy Jorgenson, Heather Moos, Nicole Ridberg, Carol Vernon, Sharon Contorno, Judy Jones, Arica Bec, Alison Harris, Roseann Marchett, Joe Hogan, Wendy Carlos, Victoria Benavidez and Shannon Ellermann.
For more information, visit www.awee.org.
Edkey Inc., the parent company of 16 Sequoia Charter Schools, has completed construction plans for the new $6.5 million kindergarten through 6th grade Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark, located on Eastmark Parkway, north of Ray Road in Mesa. The new tuition-free elementary school, which will serve 400 students, is scheduled to open in August for the 2014-15 school year.
According to Edkey CEO, Doug Pike, the Pathfinder campus at Eastmark is designed to optimize learning experiences in all spaces. Similar to a “children’s museum,” changeable interactive learning resources and demonstrations will be built into the common areas and learning boulevards (hallways) throughout the school. All 18 classrooms will have additional learning space to allow for small group activities and exploration of skills and concepts. The National School Lunch Program will be offered in the new cafeteria.
An outdoor interactive learning playground will help students make connections to learning and understand the relevance of curriculum on a day-to-day basis. A library will be contained in the student commons area. A computer lab will be accessible for all classes. Technology also will be available in the student common area and in the classrooms. A multi-purpose room for P.E., lunch, performances, school-wide events and activities open to the community will be a focal point of the campus.
“From the moment a child walks through Sequoia Pathfinder Academy’s doors, the campus will nurture the natural curiousness and creativity that every child is born with. By designing a fun, creative learning environment, students will be more motivated to learn in the classroom,” said Superintendent Curt Cardine.
According to Assistant Superintendent, Tamara Becker, academically, the new state-of-the-art campus will feature a proven approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Programs will emphasize learning behaviors that include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. In addition, free all-day kindergarten, music and art classes, and after-school programs will be offered.
Whitestone REIT, a real estate company that owns, operates and re-develops community centered properties, announced Thursday that it purchased Market Street at DC Ranch® in Scottsdale for $37.4M, or $156 per square foot. Market Street primarily serves the DC Ranch neighborhood, one of Scottsdale’s signature master planned communities, anchored by Safeway grocery, at the cross roads of Pima, and Thompson Peak, just north of highway 101. The 241,280 SF property is currently 80% occupied and includes land to build and lease another 35,000 square feet.
The addition of Market Street to Whitestone’s Arizona portfolio marks its 21st acquisition in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, and increases its footprint to over 1.8 MSF of gross leasable space. Whitestone has acquired three properties, Fountain Hills ($20.5 Million), Woodlands ($2.8 million) and Market Street ($37.4 million) totaling $60.7 million since its equity raise in October. Market Street is expected to be immediately accretive to Whitestone’s earnings, adding $0.06 to current Funds From Operation (FFO) per share.
The Seller, DMB developed Market Street as a part of the overall Master Planned Community to provide the residents of DC Ranch and Silverleaf a dynamic mix of local services and a place to dine, shop and work. In addition, Market Street has evolved into a popular destination to bring the community together by hosting major events including the Tour de Scottsdale and the Run for Ryan House.
“We’ve created a neighborhood in our thriving small town community of Verrado where people can explore the life they have waited to live for at least 55 years,” said Charley Freericks, president of DMB. “With Victory, DMB Associates has shifted the paradigm in how communities are planned to provide meaningful and authentic experiences for Baby Boomers.”
This new district is the culmination of years of consultation with lifestyle, health and medical experts to design a place that lives up to the aspirations of residents. Victory offers exclusivity and the connection of being part of the tightknit, multigenerational Verrado.
“We are living longer, healthier lives and expectations have changed for how we want to live,” said Nick Taratsas, DMB senior vice president and general manager of Victory. “The Boomer generation looks realistically at living to 100 years old. Victory provides the necessary flexibility for Boomers who want to work, stay healthy, have fun and be actively engaged in the community.”
Known for developing communities with a strong sense of place, DMB learned from experts from Arizona and across the country.
Experience Matters, a Phoenix-based organization connecting Boomers with nonprofits, highlighted the importance of meaningful engagement including an encore career, a part-time job and/or volunteering in ways that take advantage of Boomers’ expertise, experience and education within the community.
The Gray Institute, a Michigan-based organization that collaborated with Nike to develop their Professional Golf Training Program, inspired DMB to look at opportunities to include strength, coordination and power resiliency activities into Victory for all “athletes.”
DMB also consulted Dr. Walter Bortz, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University. Bortz instilled in DMB the importance of physical, mental and human connectivity to people, places and community as well as the benefits of taking a walk instead of a pill.
DMB hired Hart Howerton, one of the nation’s leading architectural and planning firms based in New York and San Francisco, to design the centerpiece of Victory with the advice of experts and future residents. Hart Howerton has earned international accolades for their work with properties like the Four Season Resorts. They also have been the creative force behind well-known places like Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.
With 3,500 homes at build out, Victory will be the first active adult community to offer homes designed and built by multiple home builders, providing innovative home plans, many options to personalize, more choices for the consumer and diverse neighborhoods.
Victory’s neighborhoods have been designed to take advantage of the new 18-hole golf course and open desert landscape as it winds through the neighborhoods with an extensive path and trail system, connecting residents with Verrado and the White Tank Mountains.
Centerpoint on Mill, a landmark for Mill Avenue and the heart of downtown Tempe since its inception 28 years ago, has been sold by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based DMB, Inc., to Mill Avenue Retail LLC of Scottsdale. The 127,027 square-foot commercial property commanded a sale price of $38.35 million.
Covering 22 acres starting at the northwest corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive in Tempe, Centerpoint on Mill was created through a unique public-private partnership with the City of Tempe. The property was DMB’s first large-scale mixed use development.
“One of DMB’s founding principles is based on the partnerships and the relationships built with municipalities, landowners, neighbors and tenants,” said Michael Burke, Vice President of Development for DMB. “The success of a development lies with the ability to craft and individualize a community or development based on the location and uniqueness of a parcel of land complemented by the visions of the municipality. DMB proudly partnered with the City of Tempe in the pursuit of creating and maintaining a vibrant and dynamic downtown area in and around Mill Avenue.”
Centerpoint on Mill represents one of the most significant redevelopment efforts in the history of the downtown area of Tempe and was a catalyst in bringing entertainment, national office and retail users to Mill Avenue. Throughout the project’s lifetime, DMB has been committed to maintaining a quality mix of retail, dining and office tenants that ensures and enhances the vibrancy of the Tempe community.
“Over the past 28 years, the City of Tempe and DMB have worked together to create a point of pride for the Valley, a truly urban destination that models the live, work, play ideal. DMB’s work as placemakers, developing a downtown core featuring high quality national and local retailers, unique dining, art, theater, and residential, has helped brand Tempe as a destination for tourists and locals,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell.
Glenn Smigiel, Bob Young, Steve Brabant and Rick Abraham with CBRE’s Phoenix office represented DMB in the transaction. Mill Avenue Retail LLC negotiated on their own behalf.
“The sale of Centerpoint on Mill is an indicator of the health of the Tempe market and the continued strengthening of the Phoenix-metro area in general,” said Smigiel. “This is an excellent investment opportunity in a thriving submarket.”
Tempe continues to be one of the most active markets in the metro area with the sale of Centerpoint on Mill coming just months after the announcement of other major downtown Tempe development projects. USA Place, the future home of the USA Basketball headquarters, will be located on the southeast corner of Mill and University near Centerpoint on Mill. Other major projects new to the downtown Tempe market include the soon-to-break-ground Marina Heights, future home of a large regional headquarters for State Farm Insurance, and Hayden Ferry III, the third and final phase of Parkway Properties’ Hayden Ferry Lakeside office development.
Downtown Tempe continues to exceed industry market conditions with a Class-A office vacancy rate of 5.1percent. This is well below the metro Phoenix average of 18 percent. Job growth continues in Tempe as well. According to the City of Tempe, staff has participated in locating companies to Tempe in the past year resulting in 12,503 jobs and capital investment in the city exceeding $704 million.
The occupancy level, quality of tenants and prime location of Centerpoint on Mill allowed DMB to lease the property to stabilization. Overall, the property was 87% leased at time of sale while office space was 100% leased.
Current tenant roll includes Churchill’s Fine Cigars, Devil’s Diner, Fat Tuesday, Five Guys, Great Clips, The Handlebar Tempe, Jimmy John’s, Mellow Mushroom, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Pita Pit, Poppa Maize, Rita’s Italian Ice, Robbie Fox’s Public House and Sitewire. These tenants will soon be joined by AMC Theatres, Zipps Sports Grill, El Hefe, Hot N Juicy Crawfish, Lincoln Strategy Group and One Energy.
The sale also includes parking rights to approximately 720 parking spaces.
Capital Markets experts in the Phoenix Office of Jones Lang LaSalle have completed the $4.73 million sale of Main Street Lofts at Verrado, a Class A, urban-style, condominium-quality multifamily property located at the center of the Verrado master-planned community in Buckeye, Ariz.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s Executive Vice President John Cunningham and Vice President Charles Steele represented the property developer and seller, DMB Associates. The buyer is Waitt Verrado LLC, a newly formed company involving WaittCorp Real Estate LLC of Omaha, Neb. (Norm Waitt, Chairman) and Arcadia Capital Group LLC of Phoenix, Ariz. (Jay Khor, Director of Acquisitions).
As is the case with Main Street Lofts, the companies continue to seek high quality, uniquely positioned real estate opportunities in the Phoenix market. They purchased Main Street Lofts because of the prime location within the Main Street District at Verrado, one of the Valley’s fastest growing and highest quality master-planned communities. In the near term, the company will work to improve efficiency, grow rental rates and occupancy.
“This is a truly unique urban-designed property for the West Valley that earned very broad buyer interest,” said Cunningham. “The transaction continues to demonstrate the investment community’s interest in the recovering single-family and multifamily markets, particularly in the West Valley.”
According to Michael Burke, Vice President of Development at DMB, “the Main Street Lofts has helped energize Main Street, and the strong return of the multifamily market signalled the right time for this planned sale.”
Located at 21068 W. Main St., Main Street Lofts is a 44,750-square-foot property that includes 45 apartment homes in nine, two- and three-story buildings. The structures border the north and south sides of Main Street in Verrado’s town center, and sit above ground floor retail that is 100 percent leased to Bashas’ grocery store, CVS Pharmacy, Bank of America, Ciao, Grazie Pizzeria, Tempo Urban Bistro and Anderson Institute of Music.
Completed in 2004, Main Street Lofts is a collection of townhome, loft and apartment residences averaging 994 square feet. Units range from 736 square feet to 1,692 square feet (average 994 square feet) in studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans. The property additionally includes 16 private garages and 29 covered, lighted parking spaces.
The first new large-scale integrated community to launch in the Phoenix area in 10 years will hold a grand opening event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 to showcase its first phase of residential homes and the first phase of the Eastmark Great Park. Eastmark, located in the heart of the East Valley, is a vibrant new community focused on creating a connected life for its residents, employers and visitors.
To debut Eastmark to the public, DMB is planning a day of festivities that will include music throughout the parks system, family games and entertainment and activities for all ages to encourage the community to discover the lifestyle at Eastmark.
Tours of 20 new home models from seven homebuilders will be available to guests. Every home design in Eastmark features a new floorplan.
Eastmark’s phase one builders are:
Standard Pacific Homes
Meritage Homes Corporation
At the grand opening, visitors will be able to explore The ‘Mark, Eastmark’s Visitors and Community Center, enjoy the first 10 acres of the Eastmark Great Park, 11 neighborhood parks, piazzas and plazas and landscaped, tree-lined streets and parkways. Trollies and pedicabs will take guests around the community to enjoy outdoor concerts, kite flying and other demonstrations, food trucks and refreshments throughout the day.
“Eastmark is one of the most thoughtfully designed communities in the country. In our planning, we’ve artfully blended residential areas, employment cores, recreation and commerce to complement each other,” said Dea McDonald, DMB’s Senior Vice President and Eastmark’s General Manager. “Eastmark’s grand opening will give guests an opportunity to engage in ‘Life in Motion’ and enjoy fun, family-friendly activities and exciting looks at this community which is unlike anything else in Arizona.”
WHAT: Eastmark’s Grand Opening – Life in Motion
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2013
WHERE: Ray and Ellsworth Roads in Mesa
COST: Admission is Free
Star in the Eastmark Ad Campaign – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park
DJ – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park
Tillerman at Leisure World Yacht Club Demonstrations – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Eastmark Great Park Lake
DMB Community Life Block Party – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Kinetic Park
Summer Snowplay– 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Face Painting – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Food Trucks Open – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Eastmark Great Park
Aji Mobile Food
Sandra Dee’s Kitchen
Gourmet Command Center
Goodness Gracious Great Balls and Sliders
Yoga in the Park – 10:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Selenium Park
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 10:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. – Lincoln Square
Change on Three Jazz Group – 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 10:30 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. – Radiant Grove
Yoga in the Park – 11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. – Selenium Park
Rock Lobster Band – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Brad Zinn Magic Show – 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sports Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 11:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. – Lincoln Square
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Cambium Court
Center for True Harmony Wellness – Stress Management – 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. – Radiant Grove
Yoga in the Park – 12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. – Selenium Park
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. – Lincoln Square
Change on Three Jazz Group – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
Rock Lobster Band- 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Brad Zinn Magic Show – 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction – 12:30 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. – Radiant Grove
Yoga in the Park – 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Selenium Park
Jodi Light and The Shining Star Band– 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Cambium Court
Arizona Sport Coalition Soccer Demonstrations – 1:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Lincoln Square
Sirocco Jazz Group – 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
White Crane Tai Chi Instruction- 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Radiant Grove
Rock Lobster Band– 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Night Groove Band – 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Cambium Court
Center for True Harmony Wellness Relaxation Techniques – 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
Sirocco Jazz Group – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Lumiere Garden
Rock Lobster Band – 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Kinetic Point
Night Groove Band — 4:00 p.m. – 5 :00 p.m. – Cambium Court
The transformation of an automobile test track into a regional anchor community might intimidate even the most experienced of developers.
Orchestrating a large team of specialized consultants and contractors, adhering to a budget during an economic downturn and an aggressive timeline requires teamwork and focused discipline. But with Eastmark, DMB proved the job can be done.
In 2008, the General Motors Proving Grounds still had significant buildings and test tracks needing be cleared to prepare for development.
Working with Reclamation Sciences, DMB up-cycled and reused elements from the site in ways never before thought possible. More than 35 buildings were removed for these first phases and the company continues to remove and recycle 74 miles of test track from the proving grounds.
“Ninety-five percent of all these materials have made their way into other developments,” says Dea McDonald, Eastmark’s general manager and a senior vice president at DMB Associates.
“We are exceeding our sustainability goals for Eastmark because of Reclamation Services’ repurposing, re-using, and recycling.”
Local, regional and international customers including ADOT and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport bought recycled copper, asphalt, buildings, steel and other metals. Rick Rummel, vice president of Rummel Construction, has been using some of the materials.
“DMB has made a commitment to utilize recycled asphalt and concrete from the existing improvements left over from the GM Proving Grounds and incorporate them into the new Eastmark community,” Rummel says.
Today, connected sewer and water infrastructure are all under development for a late spring opening. DMB is accelerating the development inside Eastmark so early residents will have access to the community center, the Eastmark Great Park and other community amenities when they move in.
Hundreds of workers are on site working to get buildings up, parks in and homes started.
“The size of the project increases the complexity of coordination and demands that all entities work closely together to deliver a high quality project on time,” says Mike Rock, vice president of Bernards, one of the primary contractors on the development. The company worked under a joint development agreement for the builders, eliminating the need for a separate contractor on each individual parcel.
Markham Contracting won the City of Mesa’s public bid to build the elements of the Community Facilities District (CFD), including collector and arterial streets at Eastmark.
“To keep the project moving, the DMB team works to find answers quickly,” says Mike Markham, COO of Markham Contracting. “Fortunately, at this point, we are ahead of schedule on our piece.”
Rummel Construction completed the clearing and mass grading for the infrastructure roadways and builder parcels in this first phase and is looking ahead.
“DMB has kept active involvement from the architects, engineers and the City of Mesa throughout the construction process to ensure no detail is overlooked,” Rummel says.
At 5 square miles, Eastmark is the largest tract of privately-held developable land in the East Valley.
That scope is not lost on the landowner, DMB Associates.
“You have to imagine planning five Kierland Master Plans and thinking about the life cycles of development as much as 50 years in the future,” says Karrin Taylor, the DMB executive vice president who led the entitlement effort. “There’s a unique responsibility and stewardship over this land because of its impact on the greater Gateway region.”
The vision for Eastmark includes entitlements for 20 MSF of commercial space — slightly less than Downtown Phoenix — including a major resort/hotel core and up to 15,000 homes at build out.
“The potential economic impact of Eastmark on Mesa and the East Valley cannot be understated,” Taylor says. “Our goal is to create another major employment core. This community will offer everything in one place, and it’s just minutes from an airport terminal to connect business travelers to the world.”
Planning began at the height of the economic downturn, and DMB learned some important lessons about partnership, speed and flexibility.
“Using Form Based Code for the first time in Mesa, this Community Plan allows Eastmark to respond to the market and encourages a variety of uses around the 3,200 acres,” Taylor explains. “The planning framework was structured with the City of Mesa to minimize discretionary approvals for projects that have clear economic benefits, in the hope that employers who want to bring quality jobs to Mesa can move through the process quickly.”
In today’s world, businesses need to move quickly. Employers who are bringing high quality jobs need know they have the ability to get a fast track on development — or they will move on to another site, explains Scott Somers, city council member for Mesa’s District 6, which includes the Gateway area.
The region has already begun to land at the top of site selection lists, including as a finalist for Apple’s recent search for the right site in Arizona.
“DMB has been aggressive in pursuing employers in partnership with us. They have demonstrated a willingness to align partners to get deals done,” says Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), which worked with DMB on securing a deal to keep First Solar in the Valley.
“Eastmark has a unique ability to attract major employers because of the compelling vision — a stellar location in the Gateway Area, a planning framework that allows large and small scale employment in an amenity-rich site, and a developer who will help companies move through the planning process quickly,” Broome says.
In addition to the regional and national economic development efforts DMB has undertaken, it is also working on a number of educational and healthcare partnerships for Eastmark. Each of DMB’s master-planned communities features a partnership with local healthcare and lifelong learning institutions as a foundation for the community life programming being developed now.
“Fast forward to 2040, when Arizona is home to more than 9 million people,” Taylor predicts. “Our goal is to have Arizona’s most innovative, most creative companies calling Eastmark home, for thousands of people to play in our Great Park every afternoon, and for a second generation of families to be making their life in Eastmark.”
Scottsdale-based AV Homes and JEN Partners, a New York City-based residential investment company, through a newly formed entity, acquired 527-acres at Eastmark, DMB Associates’ newest large-scale integrated community in Mesa.
AV Homes’ investment was $18.6M; JEN Partners investment was $13.6M.
AV Homes will control 310 acres on which it plans to build approximately 1,000 homes under its Vitalia active adult brand. JEN Partners plans to develop the remaining 217-acre into a gated executive club community where it will sell approximately 550 developed home sites to a select group of luxury home builders.
AV Homes Executive Vice President Carl Mulac said the opportunity to be associated with Eastmark gives the company strong positions in both the East and West Valley active adult markets.
“Eastmark is clearly one of the best development locations in the region. As the local home building industry continues to improve, we will be well positioned to serve active adults in two proven markets,” he said.
The company is currently building at its CantaMia active adult community located in the West Valley’s Estrella master-planned community.
Mulac said the company is developing its plans for new housing product and the community amenities at Eastmark. He noted that the new active adult community will include an extensive open-space/trail system in lieu of a golf course as there are numerous public courses in the area.
Pending entitlements, groundbreaking for the active adult community is expected to occur in early 2014 with the first home closing anticipated in late 2014. This will follow the grand opening of Eastmark in May of 2013.
Phoenix-based TerraWest Management Company will manage entitlement and land development activities on behalf of the companies. TerraWest’s Managing Member Mike Jesberger said that JEN Partners’ executive club community will be attractive to executives who are employed at a growing number of companies that have established, or are establishing operations in the nearby area.
“We are planning a community that will offer an exceptional lifestyle opportunity and luxury homes from some of the Valley’s most distinguished builders.” Jesberger said. The timeline for development of the executive club mirrors that of the active adult community, and Jesberger noted that he is currently in negotiations with a number of possible homebuilding partners.
“In researching the growth of this market and the demographics of the area, we recognized early on the opportunity to bring a new active adult community to Eastmark. This phase of the development will enhance our vision for an integrated, vibrant community,” said Dea McDonald, Senior Vice President of DMB Associates and General Manager of Eastmark.
“We have always envisioned the addition of an executive enclave at Eastmark. Our proximity to so many employers and to a world-class airport makes this a desirable location for this kind of community.”
DMB Associates broke ground on what is being touted as one of the next biggest economic engines for the Valley – its newest community, Eastmark.
The ceremony, held near the intersection of Ray and Ellsworth roads in Mesa, was attended by about 50 people, including partners, DMB Associates executives and East Valley leaders, including Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Councilman Scott Somers.
“This is not only the start of a community, but decades of meaningful development,” said Dea McDonald, DMB senior vice president and Eastmark general manager. “Today’s event represents the culmination of years of planning and preparation for the property, which spans five square miles.
“For years, DMB has been reclaiming and recycling materials from the former proving grounds, including miles of track and tons of building materials. Now, we’re building Eastmark’s community infrastructure – the streets, utilities and early amenities to prepare for future businesses and the homebuilders who will debut their newest homes at Eastmark early next year.”
Added DMB President Charley Freericks: “The groundbreaking of our first phase is an important milestone for DMB and a positive indicator for Arizona’s recovering real estate market. The sounds of construction equipment signifies the start of the new heart and hub of the East Valley.
The first residential phase of Eastmark includes an interactive welcome center/community center, approximately 700 single-family homes and the initial phase of the 100-acre Great Park. This central amenity will provide recreation opportunities for residents and visitors and will ultimately connect the residential phase to schools and businesses. Eastmark’s first homes are scheduled for opening in the spring of 2013.
While much has been done to set the framework for development, DMB envisions an evolving community that earns the designation as the cultural, educational and economic core of the region. Eastmark will integrate residential areas, resort components, employment cores and commerce.
“Eastmark represents an incredible and unique opportunity for large-scale community development. Its strategic location and existing healthcare, education and transportation infrastructure align to make Eastmark the most desirable place in the region,” said Drew Brown, DMB’s chairman and founder. “These important amenities, along with our unique brand of placemaking, will create a quality of life that transforms Eastmark into a sought-after community for families and a nationally competitive location for employers.”
Eastmark is Arizona’s newest planned community situated on 3,200 acres in the center of the Gateway area, connected to the larger Southeast Valley, and anchored by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, businesses and educational institutions. DMB acquired the property, which formerly served as the General Motors Proving Grounds, in 2006.
DMB executive Charley Freericks today was named President of DMB Associates, Inc.
Freericks formerly served as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of DMB Commercial (DMBC).
“As we enter a new phase of active development with the planned launch of Eastmark, at the former GM Proving Grounds, DMB is positioning its team for the development of this exciting new community and the reemergence of development throughout its Arizona portfolio,” said Drew Brown, DMB Founding Partner and Board Chairman. “Charley brings a wealth of experience working in our communities. We are thrilled to have him leading the company during a very dynamic period of growth for our operations.”
“I’m excited about the near- and long-term opportunities, and continuing to work with a team comprised of the most talented professionals in our industry. Our people and our portfolio are a powerful combination. DMB’s real estate assets represent the Valley’s finest masterplanned communities and mixed-use properties, and they are poised for significant residential and employment growth,” Freericks said.
Freericks joined DMB Associates in 1997 and has served as the general manager for Verrado and DC Ranch, and as the senior executive in charge of Marley Park and One Scottsdale. His leadership of DMBC in most recent years resulted in DMB protecting and strategically positioning its portfolio of commercial assets, which today are nearly fully leased.
Freericks is active in industry associations and community groups, currently serving Fighter Country Partnership (Luke Air Force Base) as Board Chair since 2006. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, an active member of NAIOP and has served as Chairman for Valley Partnership and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) Arizona. He’s recognized in the industry for his leadership, market knowledge, and expertise in land and commercial development.
Prior to joining DMB, Freericks served as President of Talley Realty Group after starting his career with Grubb & Ellis.
David Bruner, DMB’s COO, is remaining with DMB through an orderly transition period and returning to his long-time role as investment partner with DMB Circle Road. Bruner started his partnership with the Company more than 20 years ago, working with the partners on a number of strategic land investments and commercial development opportunities. Three years ago, Bruner brought his real estate and financial expertise to DMB and helped position the Company for the next development cycle.
“A long-time Valley entrepreneur and value-add real estate veteran, David will continue to partner with DMB Associates through his family of companies,” Brown said.
DMB Associates, Inc., will continue to focus on its legacy community projects and partnerships, including DC Ranch, Verrado, Marley Park and Sendero, the newest community within Rancho Mission Viejo in southern California, and will continue to manage its commercial/mixed-use portfolio including One Scottsdale, Centerpoint on Mill and Market Street. The 3,200-acre Eastmark property, DMB’s newest master-planned community located in the heart of the East Valley, is underway on its first phases of development scheduled for opening in 2013.