Tag Archives: Macerich

Cheryl Lombard, Photo by Mike Mertes for AZ Big Media

The changing face of development: Cheryl Lombard

If Valley Partnership is the voice of responsible development in the Valley, new CEO and President Cheryl Lombard is expected to be the deep breath behind it.  In mid-March, she transitioned from being director of government relations at The Nature Conservancy in Arizona to the leader of Valley Partnership.

“We were looking for a transformative leader that could really build on the organization’s more than 25-year history,” says Chairman of the Board Scott Nelson of Macerich. “Someone who was well connected and respected in the community, especially in the role of advocacy, which is one of our organizational pillars. We truly believe there is an opportunity to take Valley Partnership to the next level as a voice in the community and a value-add proposition to our partner companies. We are extremely confident that Cheryl can deliver on those promises.”

Lombard has led companies and clients through challenging entitlement cases and large master-planned community developments in California.

“Her understanding of the government agency, municipal and community touch points and how they relate to the development process is paramount in the underlying goals of Valley Partnership,” says Nelson.

While at The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, Lombard helped develop, lead and execute the strategic initiatives for the organization.

“Her Nature Conservancy involvement with local, state and federal legislation and policy making will be a tremendous asset to Valley Partnership,” says Nelson. “Her role required her to bring different stakeholders and viewpoints together to work on and advance issues impacting the organization.”

Lombard holds a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law, a Master’s in public administration from California State University and a Bachelor’s degree from American University.

What attracted you to working with Valley Partnership, given your previous role at The Nature Conservancy?
I gained years of experience in the development industry as a public affairs executive and attorney in California, helping acquire entitlements through some of the most challenging bodies. My 10 years with The Nature Conservancy made Valley Partnership the perfect fit to utilize my experience representing all sides in the development process.

What Valley Partnership Political Action Committee (VPAC) efforts we can expect with you as president and CEO?
VPAC is a great tool that allows us to participate in the political process at a different level, while also furthering Valley Partnership’s reach. We anticipate enhancing VPAC for the 2016 elections to actively support state and local candidates and potentially ballot measures that share our principles and priorities.

What specific issues is Valley Partnership advocating  in 2015?
The biggest is how we prepare for the future and our water so we continue to maintain economic vitality. Arizona has led the way in the West with its leadership in dealing with a continuing drought. We need to ensure funding is sufficient to our state agencies and water providers to ensure our water security.
Next are economic development and the tools we need for infrastructure, a well-funded Arizona State Land Department, and consistent policies on taxes and fees. As we prepare for the 2016 legislative session, we want to work closely with the chambers and other commercial real estate development organizations to assemble a unified agenda.

 How does Valley Partnership partner with — and distinguish itself from — the other commercial real estate and development organizations in Arizona and the Valley?
Valley Partnership is an advocacy organization that is an umbrella group and honest broker for the development industry. We are the only group who can lobby at all levels of government and have members from the commercial, industrial and master planned real estate development industries. Other groups are slightly narrower in focus or membership. However, partnerships, collaboration and coordination with all of these groups is extremely important to all of our success.

What role do you see Arizona’s higher education institutions playing in the Valley’s development and growth? How do you think the recent budget cuts to education may affect such development?
The leadership and forethought of Arizona’s higher education institutions in the development of downtown Phoenix and Tempe have had a tremendous impact in kick-starting surrounding commercial development. It has made the universities a nationwide example of how public and private investment can be done. Recent budget cuts have made it even more important for our higher education institutions to focus on how to make the most of their assets and be true entrepreneurs.

Arrowhead Towne Center Project Rendering (2)

Macerich upgrading Arrowhead Towne Center

Macerich today announced details of key updates planned for Arrowhead Towne Center, its dominant West Valley retail property that also will welcome a new, 25,000-square-foot H&M.

Up-to-the-moment, technology-focused new amenities are a major focus of the interior and exterior renovation at Arrowhead Towne Center that starts this spring and will be complete by late 2015.

Highlights of the significant updates include:

• New technology-focused amenities designed for shoppers include a brand-new Text Concierge program to provide shoppers with personalized customer service at their fingertips.  Shoppers simply text their questions to 623-227-4227 and a friendly, knowledgeable, on-site guest services representative will get right back to them. Free and reliable, high-speed center-wide WiFi, a state-of-the-art, 17-foot-screen Center Court digital LED board, device charging stations, and four new digital directories add to the updated digital amenities for guests.  New technology will deliver special offers and promotions to shoppers’ smartphones that they can take advantage of in real time, while they are shopping on property.

• Redefined seating areas will feature desert-inspired colors and textures as well as offer device charging stations, inspiring shoppers to sit down, relax and plug in. New landscaping throughout the mall as well a plant-based “green wall” will be added against the elevator in Center Court.

• New interior way finding signage complements the all-new property website with advanced search capabilities to help shoppers find their favorite stores, wherever and whenever they want. 

• The ceiling throughout the entire mall will be re-painted in warm tones accented by neutral wooden beams and highlighted with new, modern, LED light fixtures

• New restrooms (including family facilities and nursing rooms) will be added near the Children’s Play Area and the existing food court restrooms will be fully renovated.

• Upgraded architecture throughout the Food Court will complement the refreshed restaurants to create a more intimate feel. Little Tokyo joined the dining line-up in November, Dairy Queen/Orange Julius recently re-opened in a brand new location and Paradise Bakery has just completed its conversion to Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe.  The updated food court will feature an open-air dining option via a retractable wall that will create an enhanced, indoor-outdoor food court experience.

• The community room will be updated and expanded to include upgraded furnishings, additional amenities and outdoor space.

• Exterior renovations will include improved landscaping and lighting, new paint, as well as new monument signage, and overall enhancements to the entrances.

“Arrowhead Towne Center has long been a well-loved shopping destination for the West Valley and an irreplaceable asset for Macerich,” said Maria Halstead, Property Manager, Arrowhead Towne Center. “We are enhancing the guest experience, not only with beautiful renovations, but also with exciting new technology-focused amenities for our shoppers. The results will be incredible, offering guests a seamless shopping experience that is modern, sustainable and socially rewarding, and providing our retailers and brand partners with an even better platform for connecting with customers.”

In partnership with the City of Glendale, Arrowhead Towne Center is also improving the transit center on the north side of the mall. “We are excited to partner with Macerich on our transit center project,” said Kevin Link, Glendale Transit. “This project will enhance passenger amenities, providing a shade structure, additional seating, a ticket vending machine and a new bus pull-out area for passenger loading and unloading.”

HGTV set 102014

Valley malls offer innovative Santa experience

Chandler Fashion Center and Scottsdale Fashion Square  introduces a thoroughly modern, extraordinarily experiential visit with Santa C — the new Santa HQ, presented by HGTV.

Set to open on November 8th at Chandler Fashion Center and November 15th at Scottsdale Fashion Square, HGTV’s Santa HQ invites families to experience the unparalleled wonder of Santa’s world in the modern and digital age. Visitors can take an ELFIE selfie and star in their own holiday video, explore Santa’s Observatory using ELF-RAY Vision, test out the ‘Naughty O’ Nice Meter,’ and enjoy a memorable photo with Santa. Consumers can also plan ahead this year by booking a reservation online at www.Santa-HQ.com to the experience easier than ever to enjoy.

Santa HQ also features “Sleigh Ride” – a featured track on the recently-released Pentatonix holiday album, That’s Christmas To Me – as part of the experience’s light show.  That’s Christmas To Me is available in stores and online, and will be available to those visiting Santa at Chandler Fashion Center and Scottsdale Fashion Square  throughout the holiday season.

The two shopping centers also invites our guests to enter the HGTV Home for the Holidays Sweepstakes for a chance to win $10,000. The sweepstakes is scheduled to begin on November 11, 2014. To see how they can enter, guests of Santa HQ centers can text “santahq” to 36500 to be directed to www.santa-hq.com, or they can enter at Guest Services.

Visitors to Santa HQ can expect a jingle-filled sensory overload, in which the sights and sounds of the season will be up front and personal. The striking set was handcrafted in Atlanta where Santa’s HGTV elves were hard at work designing the new environment for the  local shoppers.

“Our goal at these two centers  is to enhance the customer experience in every way possible, and we are delighted to have  a partner like HGTV that shares our passion  about delivering exciting opportunities  guests can’t find anywhere else, “ said Kimberly Hastings, Macerich. “Visits and photos with Santa at the mall are a well-loved holiday tradition, and this year we are enhancing the entire experience with Santa HQ.”

Marcella's Advertising shoot. -- photo by Mark W. Lipczynski copyright 2009

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill opening in Scottsdale

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill is excited to announce its second Arizona location at Scottsdale Fashion Square, following the success of their first valley location that opened in the Valley, at Tempe Marketplace, in 2011. The gastropub will open its doors to the public in February of 2015 and will feature 8,500 square feet of interior seating, handcrafted food, 24 craft beers on tap, signature cocktails and over 1,500 square feet of prime patio space for enjoying the great weather.

“We are extremely excited to open our newest location in Scottsdale,” said Thirsty Lion CEO John Plew. “Thirsty Lion is the perfect fit for this area of town and we look forward to providing Scottsdale with great service, a diverse menu, local quality ingredients, and a great selection of local craft beer”.

This is the second property Thirsty Lion as opened within a Macerich property.  In November 2011 Thirsty Lion opened up in Tigard, OR at Washington Square Mall, the success of which spawned the current growth of the brand. The continued growth of downtown Scottsdale, as well as the addition of Dicks Sporting Goods and Harkins Theater in the center, were all factors in Thirsty Lion’s decision to call Fashion Square its new home.  This will be the 6th Thirsty Lion location, following a hugely successful opening in Denver, CO at the new Union Station project.

Thirsty Lion’s culinary commitment is to provide an eclectic variety of cuisines, with an emphasis on local ingredients and bold flavors. A seasonal fresh sheet will focus on the changing season’s offerings, featuring unique ingredients including fresh seafood, quality meats and local vegetables and fruits. The bar will feature 24 craft beers on tap, many of which will be local, offering a beer on hand for every plate and every palate. The gastropub also features unique craft cocktails that utilize combinations of fresh fruit purees, juices and premium liquors, as well as 25 different wines by the glass.

“We work hard to combine quality ingredients and scratch recipes to create menu items that satisfy the ‘foodie’ in all of us,” said Thirsty Lion Executive Chef Keith Castro. “The flavor profiles are complex, yet blend well in their simplistic approach to create ‘craveable’ food; an intense desire for more.”

Thirsty Lion will incorporate 2 bars into the space including an indoor/outdoor bar that services the patio as well as an interior space that can be used for private events. The open exhibition kitchen and centerpiece bar create a sense of community. Multiple flat screens also make it the perfect spot for sports fans to enjoy delicious food, drinks and friendly service, while cheering on their favorite teams.

treo board

AzTAP lends a hand for success

When cities face complex land use and real estate issues amidst a multitude of opinions and interests, ULI Arizona helps make experts in the industry available to provide strategic advice. Amy Malloy, senior development manager at Macerich, joined ULI Arizona’s Technical Assistance Panel (AzTAP) committee eight years ago after receiving AzTAP assistance for downtown redevelopment while working in Apache Junction.

Now, she’s on the other side of the program as the ULI Arizona AzTAP committee vice-chair and, along with other AzTAP committee members, works closely with different sponsor communities to coordinate one- to two-day panel programs that provide objective, nonpartisan guidance to local jurisdictions on specific development challenges. Interdisciplinary panel teams are chosen for their specific knowledge and the holistic examination that they provide to help resolve local issues.

“This is a rewarding program to be involved in giving back to Arizona municipalities,” Malloy says, adding, “I think ULI is just such a valuable organization to look critically and intuitively at smart land use.”

For the past four years, the Union Pacific Building America Foundation has helped underwrite AzTAP costs enabling smaller communities to benefit for this resource. Interest for this program is souring statewide, ranging from rural counties dealing with open space preservation issues to small town central business districts and main street revitalization.

Malloy says it takes several months to prepare for an AzTAP, from developing briefing materials to picking the right panel of industry experts and working with local officials and stakeholders to define the scope of questions that will frame the panel discussion. The sponsor community prepares a briefing book of local economic and demographic information and often arranges a site tour to provide panelists on-the-ground perspective into local conditions.

“AzTAP panels are able to look critically at community problems,” she says. “Sometimes a panel offers back to basics strategies which can be a wake-up call, because we offer external perspectives that aren’t mired in local politics, the guidance can be particularly effective.”

This was evident in the Town of Carefree. The day after the panel, the town formed a steering committee to begin implementing suggested changes.

“People sitting separately at the beginning of the day were now sitting together,” says Malloy. “The town manager was the unsung hero in all of this. He was trying his hardest to get these divergent interests in one direction. Fortunately, the AzTAP was the tool that helped bring people in line. The light bulb had gone off.”

Carefree Mayor David Schwan agrees. “The AzTAP program created energy in both the town staff and the economic stakeholders in Carefree,” says Schwan. “Building owners, landlords, merchants and restaurant operators were all enthusiastic about the process of the AzTAP. The recommendations of the meeting are being used in a full-scale economic study of Carefree possibilities. In my view, the AzTAP was a critical first step to move forward with a sound plan for economic development in Carefree.”

John C Lincoln

John C. Lincoln Sonoran Health and Emergency Center Opens Dec. 9

John C. Lincoln’s Sonoran Health and Emergency Center, located on 22 acres south of Carefree Highway and Sonoran Boulevard near Interstate 17 in North Phoenix, will open to the public on Monday, Dec. 9.

The $18M Sonoran Health and Emergency Center is a 40,000 SF facility with emergency services, medical imaging and breast health screening with lower dose 3-D mammography. The Center will employ approximately 40 staff members.

Designed by the Devenny Group, Ltd., the medical complex was built by DPR Construction, according to Sheila Gerry, John C. Lincoln senior vice president, Real Estate and Facilities Development. The Health Network acquired the site in October 2012 from shopping mall developer Macerich and its Westcor division for $5.6M.

Ground was broken and construction began during the first week of December 2012. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich put in road and water infrastructure to accommodate the medical complex development. Macerich still owns an adjacent 55 acres in the development along I-17 south of the Carefree Highway.

The $18M funds site work, all construction and purchase of furnishings and medical equipment. The cost does not include future construction of a 120-bed hospital, which is planned to be built on the site. The hospital and additional medical office buildings will be developed at a later time to be determined by developments in the area’s economy and population growth.

John C. Lincoln already has two hospitals under its umbrella: John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital at the Loop 101 and I-17 and John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital on Dunlap in North Central Phoenix. The Health Network also includes the John C. Lincoln Health Center with Urgent Care at Anthem, 33 primary care and specialty physician practices including 22 in the North Valley, and the Desert Mission health and human services for under- and uninsured members of the community.


Retail: It’s a New Reality

As municipalities all across Arizona have seen their general funds strongly impacted over the last several years due in part to significant drops in sales tax revenue, the importance of a vibrant/strong retail sector has once again taken on a prominent role.

With Arizona cities in some instances relying on retail sales taxes for up to one-third of their general fund revenue, there is today a quiet, but forceful emphasis – particularly in rural areas – being placed on economic development professionals to make sure their programs help retain and attract new retail businesses to their communities, with the progressive municipalities leading the way.

In addition to the general fund ramifications of retail sales tax collection, another significant new reality of the retail sector has been recognized.  Todd Sergi, co-chair of the AZ/New Mexico Alliance for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), said the stigma of retail jobs being associated only with unattractive, part-time or low-paying jobs is changing.

“With bankers, pharmacists, medical professionals and other non-traditional retail businesses more commonly becoming a part of the new, redefined mainstream shopping environment, the retail sector is now creating well-paid jobs not traditionally seen before,” Sergi said.

The recession in Arizona provided examples in many instances of what a well-designed, well planned center does, or does not, look like.  Successful retail centers have common themes.  Municipalities have realized what it takes for retailers to have success in their cities, including ample parking, un-obscured visibility and easy access from the surrounding streets and easy-to-see signage.  These elements are routinely found in the more highly occupied centers that fared better through the economic down cycle.
Sergi said, “Everyone realizes that a hard-to-get-to retail center hidden behind large over grown landscaped settings with bad signage and limited parking is a lose-lose.  We don’t need more empty buildings.”

Fortunately, the design and planning barriers for retailers to enter a market have been noted.  Lessons were learned.  Statewide, both elected leaders and municipality staff have seen first-hand examples where dated or onerous policy cost their communities opportunities for new sales tax revenue.  The demand and competition to attract those businesses, in some instances, sent potential new entrants to neighboring communities viewed as more reasonable and forward thinking.

The retail industry has been adapting, as well.

Garrett Newland, vice president of development for Macerich, said we are seeing these adaptations every day with continuing anchor changes and new retail concepts.
“Retail is reinventing itself right before our eyes,” he said.  “What malls look like today is vastly different than what we saw in the ‘80s and ‘90s and it doesn’t matter if it’s a super-regional mall or a corner strip center.”

With empty stores and some poorly designed centers dotting Arizona’s retail landscape, a number of existing centers will have to be retrofitted, or possibly redeveloped, to make them assets to the community that can be counted on to generate needed sales and/or real estate tax revenue.

The evolution of retail e-commerce is also changing the face of retail.

An ICSC report recently indicated that retail e-commerce has grown seven-fold since 2000 and at its current growth rate will double again by 2016.  Legislation that requires e-commerce retailers to capture sales tax dollars for government coffers to some degree may level the playing field for the bricks and mortar retailers.

But even so, to remain competitive the storefront of tomorrow is changing.  Retailers now understand the need to integrate their physical and on-line presence, how to balance the product search, selection, transaction and delivery processes desired by today’s consumer and the ability to offer a variety of delivery and return options.

Michael P. Niemira, vice president, chief economist and director of research for ICSC, said the partnerships being established between the private and public sectors, the ability of retail to adapt and meet the needs of today’s customers and the willingness of economic developers to embrace retail bode well for the future economic success of each of our communities.
Eric Larson is president-elect of the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) and board chair for the Scottsdale area Chamber of Commerce. AAED and ICSC will co-present a retail symposium Jan. 8 in which these topics will be discussed in detail by those quoted and others, as well as presentations made by representatives of new/expanding Arizona retailers.  For information, call (602) 240-2233 or visit www.aaed.com.


John C. Lincoln Unveils North Mountain Hospital Entrance Renovation

A $5M reconstruction project to redesign and rebuild the entrance of John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital at Dunlap Ave. and 2nd St. in Phoenix will be unveiled Nov. 29.

The renovation was made possible when David and Joan Lincoln and his sister, Lillian Lincoln Howell – descendants of John C. Lincoln – donated $4M to upgrade and reconstruct the entrance.

Additional major contributors include the John C. Lincoln Health Foundation Guild, Lincoln GIVES, the Health Network employee giving program and the John C. Lincoln North Mountain Auxiliary.

Construction began in January 2012 as part of a larger renovation at the North Mountain Hospital. DPR Construction is the general contractor and Orcutt | Winslow is the architect.

Areas to be unveiled include the hospital’s main entrance, lobby, gift shop, spiritual center, admitting, coffee bistro and newly designed donor wall. The final phase of renovations will begin on Nov. 30 and include enhanced indoor public dining and the addition of outdoor and staff dining areas.

“This gift will allow us to re-invent the patient and visitor experience at the North Mountain Hospital,” said Rhonda Forsyth, president and CEO of the John C. Lincoln Health Network. “We’ll create a welcoming and warm entry lobby that is the pathway to healing for patients, visitors, staff and the community.”

The transformation of the 12,840 SF areas of John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital creates a soothing and calming environment for patients and visitors. The journey to wellness begins here – on the Pathway to Healing – with a welcoming and inviting experience on par with the quality of care provided by nurses, physicians and staff throughout the John C. Lincoln Health Network.

“The hospital is dear to our family’s hearts, and it is important that the lobby reflect the quality of care received inside the hospital,” David Lincoln said shortly after the donation was made. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and this is our chance to make a great first impression to our patients and visitors.”

Marcia Mintz, CEO of the John C. Lincoln Health Foundation, noted that “this gift demonstrates the philanthropic leadership of the Lincoln family and serves as a principal gift model for the Foundation and our developing donor base.

“We are grateful for the generous support of the Lincoln family whose governance and philanthropic support have been steadfast for more than 80 years. This is a reflection of their continuing pride in the direction and mission of this organization.”

>> John C. Lincoln Sonoran Health and Emergency Center

Shopping mall developer Macerich and its Westcor division sold 22 acres of land on October 15 for $5.6M to John C. Lincoln Health Network. Macerich still owns 55 acres at the Sonoran Crossing development along Interstate 17 near Carefree Highway.

“We plan to start with a free-standing emergency center, primary care offices and diagnostic imaging, including 3D mammography. We will eventually expand to build a hospital and add medical office buildings in the future,” Rhonda Forsyth, president and CEO of John C. Lincoln Health Network, said in astatement.

The master plan for the Emergency Center and Diagnostic Imaging has been completed.

Devenney has been selected as architect to design the first building, which will include an Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging Services and Medical Offices.

DPR has been selected as the general contractor. Ground will break/construction will start on the North Valley facility during the first week of December.

John C. Lincoln’s investment in building construction and equipment is approximately $18M, according to Sheila Gerry, John C. Lincoln Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities Development.

The cost does not include construction of the 120-bed hospital which ultimately is planned to be built on the site. The $18M funds site work for a 40,000 SF building; construction of the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging and medical offices; and purchase of medical equipment.

A new 120-bed hospital and medical campus will be developed on the site at a time to be determined based on future developments in the area economy and population growth

John C. Lincoln already has two hospitals under its umbrella: John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital at the Loop 101 and I-17 and John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital on Dunlap in north central Phoenix.



power center

Cole Real Estate Investments And RED Development Acquire Macerich's Interest In Arizona Power Centers

Cole Real Estate Investments and RED Development today announced the acquisition of Macerich’s interests in two retail power centers located in Chandler.

In a related transaction, Cole acquired 100% ownership of a third power center in Gilbert. The transaction value for all three properties is $100.55M.

As part of an ongoing joint venture, Phoenix-based partners Cole and RED Development are acquiring Macerich’s 50% ownership interests in the Chandler Festival and Chandler Village Center for $31M and $14.8M, respectively, for a total purchase price of $45.8M. RED will serve as onsite property manager and leasing agent for both properties.

Additionally, Cole is acquiring 100% ownership of SanTan Marketplace in Gilbert for $54.8M from Macerich and its investment partner. RED will also act as the leasing agent on this shopping center, while Cole will handle day-to-day property management.

All three assets are considered premier “power” shopping centers within the Southeast Valley submarket, and boast numerous creditworthy tenants with long-term leases.

“These power centers are all primary retail destinations in the Southeast Phoenix trade area and capitalize on the synergy and traffic of nearby regional malls,” said Thomas W. Roberts, executive vice president and head of real estate investments at Cole. “Each of these properties is anchored by nationally recognized, creditworthy retailers contributing solid fundamentals to our portfolio of core retail assets.”

“We are pleased to grow our portfolio to include Chandler Festival and Chandler Village Center, two high-quality, high-performing assets located in a very strong market where RED has developed three retail properties,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner at RED. “We look forward to applying RED’s extensive leasing, management, development and marketing experience to position both assets for future success as we continue to investigate similar acquisition opportunities as part of our joint venture.”

Cole was represented internally by Chuck Vogel, senior vice president, real estate joint ventures, and Clint Marchuk, senior director of acquisitions. RED was represented by Barry Shannahan, vice president of acquisition and development at the firm.

The Cole-RED joint venture, announced in September 2011, brings together Cole’s conservative investment strategy and capital markets access, with RED’s industry-leading in-house leasing, management and development capabilities. The primary acquisition target is high-quality, multi-tenant retail properties, including power centers and grocery-anchored shopping centers, with upside potential through the implementation of asset management and capital improvement programs to reposition the properties and maximize operational efficiencies. The joint venture of the two Phoenix-based firms is targeting investments in the $15M to $100M range, primarily in the Midwest and Western United States.