Tag Archives: MetLife

Esplanade rendering, courtesy of CBRE

Esplanade to undergo Gensler-designed renovations in 2015

The Esplanade has announced that the mixed-use development will undergo renovations to its ground plane and retail space with work slated to begin in first quarter 2015.

Renovation plans currently include strategies to open up the three main entry points to the retail portions of the property to make them more inviting and accessible to visitors. Additionally, the walkways will be redesigned so retailers can provide their customers with indoor/outdoor spaces in which to shop and dine. The central corridor will be reimagined to create a community square offering a space for the Esplanade community to come together. The space will offer outdoor seating as well an area for community events.

The Esplanade is one of the area’s most prestigious and sought-after office locations; it’s the heart of the Camelback Corridor,” said Andi St. John, managing director of Asset Services with CBRE, which oversees management of the entire Esplanade complex. “The planned renovations will capitalize on the existing cache commanded by the property and create a first-class retail experience better connecting the complex to the Biltmore community.”

MetLife, the owner of the property, has tapped CBRE to oversee management of the renovations. Gensler has been selected as the project’s architect and design firm. A general contractor has yet to be announced. CBRE is also responsible for property management and the marketing and leasing of the retail portions of the property. JLL handles the marketing and leasing of the office space.

Located on E. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix, the Esplanade benefits from proximity to a wealth of amenities, including adjacency to the Biltmore Fashion Park with its myriad of iconic retailers and restaurants. Offering office tenants a vibrant community in which to work, shop and dine, the Esplanade epitomizes the “lifestyle” type of work environments modern office users want.

Real estate professionals recognize that economic drivers are moving move back to city-centers and office buildings can no longer just be office buildings,” said Traci Russell, vice president with CBRE, who oversees the marketing and leasing assignment on retail space at the Esplanade. “The Esplanade already offers office tenants a mixed-use, well-amenitied environment in a core location. With the planned renovations the complex will be elevated to become the epicenter of the Biltmore community. Not only will office tenants benefit, but the Esplanade will become a place for neighborhood residents and Biltmore visitors to gather and connect as well.”

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Eric Skartveit, Delta Dental of Arizona

Eric Skartveit, Delta Dental of Arizona

Delta Dental of Arizona announced the hiring of Eric Skartveit as the dental insurance company’s new director of underwriting.

“We are excited to have Eric as a part of the Delta Dental team,” said Craig Livesay, Delta Dental of Arizona’s vice president of operations. “His expertise in dental product strategy, risk management and financial consulting will be tremendously beneficial in helping make dental benefits more affordable and accessible to Arizonans.”

A graduate with distinction of DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in 2001, he has extensive experience in external client and market focused consulting as well as many years of insurance carrier experience. He has focused on financial consulting including underwriting and funding arrangements for the past 14 years and has 7 years of experience as a senior financial underwriter. Prior to joining Delta Dental of Arizona, Skartveit worked as a consultant for two national firms and served as the senior financial underwriter for MetLife and UnitedHealthcare.

Skartveit also received a bachelor of science in mathematics from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He now lives with his wife and son in Phoenix.

shops at esplanade

2 new restaurants opening at Esplanade

Cushman & Wakefield today announced the opening of two new restaurants at The Shops at Esplanade, located on the southeast corner of Camelback Road and 24th Street.  The new tenants are part of Esplanade owner, MetLife, and Cushman & Wakefield’s efforts to revitalize the property’s retail presence.

“We have worked diligently with MetLife to attract an exciting and successful blend of restaurants and retailers at the property that will suit this market,” said Jon Cowen, Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield.  “The Camelback Corridor provides a fabulous market opportunity for the correct tenants and we’re pleased that ownership’s plan is coming to fruition.”

Pearl Live!, a Scottsdale–based company, will open a sushi restaurant with live entertainment.  Pearl Live! at the Esplanade will be the second sushi/entertainment concept for renowned restaurateur, Jimmy Carlin.  The Esplanade location will feature a large, outdoor patio, an indoor/outdoor bar, and live music.  Situated directly across from the Ritz Carlton, the space was previously occupied by Morton’s Steakhouse. Mr. Carlin plans to cater to the business lunch and happy hour crowds, but also provide an upscale venue at night.  Bob Tam, former corporate chef for PF Chang’s and current Director of Culinary Operations for Maven Hospitality Group (who recently opened The Strand Urban Italian in downtown Phoenix), will be responsible for the creation of Pearl Live!’s menu.  The approximate 7,977 square foot sushi restaurant is slated to open in May.

Solo Trattoria, a new concept from Chicago-based Gemstone Café Group, plans to open their doors at the Esplanade in mid February.  Brittany Harrison of Catalyst Commercial represented the tenant in this transaction, bringing the company’s first location to Arizona.  The Modern Italian restaurant leased approximately 2,555 square feet of space which was previously occupied by Picazzo’s Pizza.  Solo Trattoria, with its cozy and inviting ambiance, will feature fresh tasting Italian food, including Naples style thin crust pizza, authentic pastas, imported cheeses, and wine and beer.

Jon Cowen and Summer Jackson of Cushman & Wakefield serve as exclusive leasing agents for the Shops at Esplanade, while Larry Downey, Jerry Jacobs, and Michael Crystal lease the available office space for property owner MetLife.

Camelback Esplanade

Camelback Esplanade Has A New Addition: The Del Frisco's Grille

Camelback Esplanade, once the unofficial headquarters for Valley power lunches, is now mentioned most often for slowing revenue and high turnover rates. This June, however, the storied mixed-use center will welcome a newcomer to the table.

In its first restaurant venture in Arizona, Del Frisco’s Grille will fill the now-vacant booths of the venerable Houston’s Restaurant, which relocated in December 2010.

Del Frisco’s Grille, a high-end steakhouse and bar, serves contemporary American cuisine.

Del Frisco’s Grille is exactly what the landlord hoped for, says Jon Cowen, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona. Cowen was the property’s listing agent, representing the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York in the lease transaction.

“MetLife, the owner of the property, is very pleased to be leasing space to a high caliber brand like Del Frisco’s Grille,” Cowen says. “This mixed-use restaurant and retail project is the perfect home for a destination restaurant of this quality and reputation.”

Camelback Esplanade lost major tenants in Houston’s Restaurant and McCormick & Schmick’s, which closed abruptly in early January. In an effort to revamp the property’s appeal, Camelback Esplanade plans to amend its image, Cowen says.

“This lease is a critical first step in our plans to re-merchandise the retail space at Camelback Esplanade,” Cowen says.

Despite the center’s dwindling headcount, Del Frisco’s Grille is eager to make the move.

“This Camelback location is ideal,” says Bill Martens, director of development at Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. “It has a good balance of strong office and residential density to support this dining experience, making us a convenient choice for our local guests.”

Del Frisco’s Grille plans to extensively renovate the 7,379 SF restaurant space, including the installation of a roof deck patio for extended dining capacity. Located at 24th Street and Camelback, the restaurant will be the third Del Frisco’s Grille location nationwide.

To find out more about Camelback Esplanade’s restaurants, camelbackesplanade3.com.