Tag Archives: Glendale Arena

Mega Retailers

Mega Retailers Provide Optimum Outdoor Opportunities

Gone Fishing

Mega retailers provide optimum outdoor opportunities, but how do cities lure them here in the first place?

By Mica Thomas Mulloy

Glendale and Mesa may as well be bringing amusement parks into their respective towns. Upcoming additions to the cities are expected to draw millions of visitors each year—many traveling from hours away—and infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into municipal coffers. But it isn’t Disneyland and Six Flags opening their doors in the Valley; rather outdoor mega-retailers Cabela’s Inc. and Bass Pro Shop.

gone_fishingCabela’s plans its grand opening at the end of August in the Zanjero Business Park near Glendale’s Westgate City Center. Bass Pro Shop recently broke ground in Mesa’s super-sized Riverview retail center at the confluence of loops 101 and 202. Both sporting megaliths are highly coveted and, much as IKEA put Tempe on the retail destination map, are expected to edge West and East Valley commerce opportunities toward retail nirvana.

Born in the ‘War Room’
Cabela’s opens in the midst of Glendale Arena and Cardinals’ stadium to offer West Valley residents a super supply of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. Cabela’s spokesman David Draper says when his company looks for a retail location, executives first examine their mail-order customer base. They literally pinpoint their customers on large maps in their retail “war room” and determine if there is a large enough demand. With countless recreation opportunities in Arizona and metropolitan Phoenix, Glendale was a good match. “Obviously there is a great opportunity there,” Draper says.

Cabela’s purchased a 28-acre site in September 2005 and anticipates hosting 3 to 5 million customers in its first year. The store will feature acres of sporting displays, a freshwater aquarium and a centerpiece mountain replica complete with running waterfalls and streams.

The retailer received some help along the way—Glendale foot the bill to add necessary infrastructure as a development incentive. “The way we look at it, we are bringing something to the area,” Draper says. “To put our store there, we are going to need some infrastructure.” Glendale Economic Development Director Karen Thoreson says the city agreed to build public improvements based on the calculated financial boom Cabela’s should bring: an estimated $34.6 million in tax revenues over 10 years. “It’s bringing in a lot of business around it, it’s bringing in a lot of people who have never been to this side of the Valley,” she says.

Thoreson believes the area will experience supplementary benefits upon the mega-retailer’s arrival such as more than 1 million annual tourists and the addition of 300 new hotel rooms worth $30 million. “People come to Cabela’s like they come to Disneyland,” she says.

How to Land a Retail Giant
Marty DeRito, DeRito Partners CEO and Riverview developer, wanted to kick off the 250-acre commerce center with a unique anchor tenant. With that in mind, he, project partner Kimco Developers and Mesa economic officials started pursuing IKEA and Bass Pro Shop. When IKEA signed on with Tempe, all focus moved to Bass.

DeRito notes Bass Pro Shop, which sells everything outdoors from boats to bait, was interested, but also looked elsewhere in the state and toward California for their next location. “I had as much competition from other states as I did locally,” he says.

A Mesa contingency traveled to the International Council of Shopping Centers convention several years ago to meet with Bass Pro Shop executives and tout what Mesa, and the entire region for that matter, had to offer the retailer.

DeRito said Riverview will ultimately house three to five auto dealerships, 1.5 million square feet of retail space, 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of office and commerce facilities and two hotels. The center is expected to employ 5,000 to 6,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the region.

After two years of negotiations, Bass Pro Shop was hooked and signed a letter of intent. Larry Whiteley, Bass Pro Shop manager of corporate public relations, says regardless of what a developer offers, all the puzzle pieces must fit together perfectly before the retailer makes a move. “They could offer the moon, but it still has to be right for us,” he says. “We have to research it ourselves and find out if there is a built-in customer base.” Bass looks at the number of hunting and fishing licenses sold in an area, zip code reports of catalog sales and the area’s outdoor activities. Whiteley says in Mesa’s case, everything fit. “We wouldn’t be considering this and doing this if we didn’t feel confident with this,” he says.

With Bass Pro Shop now on board, DeRito Partners and Mesa came to terms on an incentive package for the project. Developers agreed to front $42 million needed to get the center on its feet with the possibility of earning that money back in coming years with shared retail-generated sales taxes.

AZ Business MagazineDeRito says if the center, and therefore the city, makes money, the developers earn some of their down payment back. If not, it is the developer who will suffer, not the tax payers.

Mesa Economic Development Management Assistant Scot Rigby says the incentive package is a win-win situation for Mesa, and the region as a whole. “Since you’re performing, since you are truly becoming a benefit to the city, you are eligible for these types of incentives,” he says of the plan’s structure.

Rigby believes Bass Pro Shop’s agreement to build in Mesa speaks volumes not only for the store and local citizens, but also the economic viability of the entire valley. “The region is showing national retailers that they need to be in Arizona if they are going to be successful in their plans as a business,” he says. “It’s too big of an area for them to overlook now.”

www.cabelas.com
www.basspro.com

Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

Home Run

Playing The Economics Of Sports In The West Valley

Home Run

Playing the economics of sports in the West Valley

 

It’s not so much a case of “if you build it, they will come” that is turning the West Valley into a sports mecca. Rather, it’s the other way around. People have come to the West Valley in droves, setting the stage for an economic explosion and a sports megalopolis. The Arizona Cardinals stadium opens this month, the NHL Phoenix Coyotes play in adjacent Glendale Arena, five Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training at West Valley sites with two cities avidly seeking other teams to call their own and Phoenix International Raceway stages two major NASCAR races a year.

home_runEconomist Elliott Pollack says population growth came to the West Valley first. Contrary to the view of some, Pollack says, “The Phoenix area grows like a balloon in a very orderly manner, at its periphery. Growth got to the west side and the area was looking for an image.”

He calls Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs “a very smart lady,” who took advantage of the situation—a population explosion and an abundance of available land. The growth is happening not only in Glendale but in Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Avondale and Buckeye as well.

Cardinals Stadium and Glendale Arena essentially created a focal point for that area. “It gave the media something to focus on,” Pollack says. “The area would have grown anyway, but now with a much better image than before.”

Julie Frisoni, marketing and communication director for the city of Glendale, agrees. “Growth is driving the West Valley expansion,” she says. “Much of the East Valley is built up and developed. In the next 15 to 20 years, 40 percent of all growth will be west of the 101 (Agua Fria Freeway).”
People moving to the West Valley expect good housing, quality jobs, entertainment and sporting options, restaurants and shopping opportunities, Frisoni says. “Glendale always has been a bedroom community, a place where people lived and went somewhere else to work and for entertainment. Growth demands the amenities you’re seeing spring up.”

With growth comes soaring land prices. When the deal for the Glendale Arena was struck in 2001, agricultural land there was selling for $2 a square foot. Today, commercial land at the Westgate City Center in Glendale carries a price tag of as much as $25 a square foot. In seven to 10 years, Westgate will have 6 million square feet of retail and restaurants.

Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC, a West Valley economic development organization, says the sports explosion is having a huge dual impact—direct and indirect—on the West Valley economy. The direct impact is fairly easy to calculate. For example, Lunsford says, each of the two NASCAR races are worth $200 million to $250 million to the local economy, and the 2008 NFL Super Bowl, $250 million to $300 million. Add to the mix the Fiesta Bowl and the NCAA Bowl Championship games, plus the hundreds of events, concerts and meetings to be held in the Arizona Cardinals stadium and Glendale Arena and the economic impact is huge, he says.

Spring training is yet another economic engine. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers train in Surprise, the Milwaukee Brewers are in the Maryvale area of Phoenix and the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners share a stadium in Peoria. Glendale and Goodyear are on the hunt for Major League teams and appear serious about building their own stadiums. “In two years we could end up with eight teams in the West Valley,” Lunsford says.

Frisoni says Glendale has entered into an exclusive agreement with teams to discuss a potential spring training site. She won’t say how many or which teams the city is targeting or where a stadium site would be. “We are continuing to move forward,” Frisoni says. “We expect a resolution very soon.”
Meanwhile, the Goodyear City Council in March approved a site for a new spring training complex and gave the City Manager’s Office authority to seek Major League teams. Goodyear Mayor Jim Cavanaugh says the complex would be located on the Woods’ Family property east of Estrella Parkway near Yuma Road. The ballpark complex would include commercial, office, hospitality and residential uses.

AZ Business MagazineLunsford notes the indirect impact of the West Valley’s sports explosion is the retail and service development that those kinds of activities spawn.
Economist Pollack sees a change overtaking the West Valley, particularly in the Westgate City Center complex. “There was a lot of economic development going on during construction of the stadium and arena, bringing in retail and more revenues,” he says. “Hopefully the concept will be that people will go there, eat, shop, go to a game or a concert and then go home. Now, they go to a Coyotes game, get out of their car, see the game, get back in their car, and go home. There are not a lot of places to eat on the west side, and that will change.

“It’s not that the arenas created the growth, they created a focal point for growth. It’s going to be a sports and retail mecca that people from other parts of the Valley will go to see games and concerts.”

www.westmarc.org

 

 

Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

 

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