Tag Archives: michael pollack

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, Cheryl Pollack, Michael Pollack and Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. Photos courtesy of Pollack Investments.

Michael Pollack unveils biggest challenge of career

Horse Being LoweredReal estate entrepreneur and Valley philanthropist Michael Pollack of Pollack Investments has transformed hundreds of shopping centers, totaling more than 10-million square-feet of space, but never in his 40+ years of rehabbing centers has Pollack made this dramatic of a transformation until now.

Pollack unveiled his rehabilitated shopping center at Gilbert and Ray Roads in Gilbert, alongside Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer, who has spent the last six months rehabbing a torn ACL.  Together Pollack and Palmer shared their two inspirational rehabilitation stories of 2015.

“For me this was the biggest architectural challenge of my career,” said Pollack.  “We took something that was out of date and ugly, and refigured it to look like an old Hollywood western town.  Just like Carson Palmer’s rehabbed knee will give fans something to cheer about this season, I’m confident this new refreshed center at Ray and Gilbert will keep the community happy for years to come.”

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis presented Pollack with a special recognition award, and Pollack presented a contribution to the Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge. The non-profit, which rehabilitates animals and horses across the Valley.

While Palmer might not be an expert in the area of renovation, the Cardinals’ QB can sympathize about the time it takes to rehabilitate something of significance.

“This guy definitely deserves the credit. Michael’s center may have actually been a bigger undertaking than my knee,” joked Palmer. “But in all seriousness, I have spent a good six months working with my doctors and physical therapists and I’m happy to report I am getting close to being in possibly the best shape of my career. Just looking forward to getting back on the field and having a great season.”  

Palmer, who now calls the Valley home for much of the year, is very supportive of civic improvements and the local industry.  

Pollack even found a special place to incorporate the fiberglass horse that he saved from the ugly 12,500-square-foot strip mall after he purchased it in 2013.  During the press conference Pollack, alongside Palmer will use a crane to unveil the horse and its new Western setting.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 22 years ago,” said Pollack.  “It is a great feeling to know we not only saved the center, but today can find a new special home for the fiberglass horse and give some needed dollars back to an organization that rehabilitates real living and breathing horses right here in our own community.” 

Michael Pollack - Real Estate Investments

Michael Pollack closes February with $10M shopping center sale

Real Estate Entrepreneur Michael Pollack ends February with the $9.9 million sale of Bethany Square Shopping Center, a 100,000 square-foot mixed use center located at the northeast corner of 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.  

The owner and CEO of Mesa based Pollack Investments purchased the center in 1997 for $2.8 million. At the time the center was at 25-percent occupancy and in need of renovations.

“When we purchased this shopping center, we had several goals.  First it was in need of some small cosmetic repairs and secondly,  it needed to be brought up to full occupancy,” said Pollack.   “I’m proud to say we sold a vibrant and thriving center that is now at 99-percent occupancy and one the neighborhood can be proud of.”

The true mixed use property contains a large school, Goodwill and a combination of office and retail use.

Pollack, who still owns 100 commercial properties, including a Food City anchored shopping center located at Bethany Home Road and 27th Avenue and another center at Bethany Home Road and 59thAvenue, said it was time to move onto a new project.

That philosophy has been at the core of what his Mesa based Pollack Investments has been doing in shopping centers across California, Nevada, Texas and Arizona for the past 42 years.  

“I’ve bought and sold a lot of property over the years and I’m pleased with where we take these projects from and what we’re doing right now across the Valley.  We’re all about making our state better, one project at a time,” he said.

In the first two months of 2015, the real estate entrepreneur has already purchased several buildings, including the shop space attached to a Food City Grocery at the northeast corner of Mesa Drive and Southern in Mesa.  Pollack, who paid $1.1 million for the 20,000 square feet of retail space, plans another exciting renovation and repositioning of that property.

“This is a center that has long been neglected and is in need of some serious attention and a complete overhaul of the space,” said Pollack.  “I hope to make this Food City Anchored Shopping Center at Mesa Drive and Southern something that not only the tenants, customers and neighbors can be proud of, but the entire city can enjoy for years to come.”

In Gilbert, Pollack is also deeply involved in what may be one of his most dramatic retail transformations to date at the southeast corner of Ray and Gilbert Road.  In the spring of 2013 Pollack purchased the 12,500-square-foot rundown strip center that housed a fiberglass horse on the roof of the plaza.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 24 years ago,” said Pollack. “It has been an architectural challenge. We are taking something that was totally antiquated and ugly. “My goal is to reposition the center and reconfigure it to look like something you would see at Disneyland.  We have even found a special place to incorporate the original fiberglass horse into the new western setting.”

As part of the repositioning of the Gilbert and Ray project, Pollack totallyrenovated the large adjoining restaurant space and brought a new tenant, JC’s Steakhouse to the center. With the center at 100% occupancy, construction should be completed by April 1, 2015.  

“This is a real-life example of what can be done with a rundown center.  I have taken one of the worst looking, most run-down shopping centers in Gilbert and I am turning it into the best looking center around,” said Pollack. 

Pollack is also proud to announce the purchase of a free standing building in front of his Alma School Villages Shoppes II project located between Elliot and Warner on Alma School Road in Chandler.  Pollack has grown the shopping center from 20,000 to 56,000 over the last decade and saw the opportunity to improve another building.

“The opportunity came up to buy the free standing building that fronts on Alma School Rd. that hashoused Oasis Bedrooms for many years,” said Pollack. “So we are pleased to take on another renovation and look to fill this 8,256 square foot space when the tenant moves out in about 120 days.”

But that’s not it for the real estate entrepreneur, in 2015 Pollack is also re-investing in the northeast corner of Alma School Rd. and Elliot Rd. in Chandler where he has brought the physical occupancy rates of the center to over 95% from a low of just 50% during the “Great Recession of 2009 to 2012.

The newest tenant at the Chandler location, AZ Elite Youth Sports and Gym will be where families can strengthen their bodies and strengthen their bonds together. AZ Elite is a premier fitness club for adults, teens and children alike, inclusive of a state-of-the-art gym, swim school, gymnastics program, rock-climbing wall, batting cages and training center. The 42,000-square-foot facility offers an array of adult fitness classes, as well as athletic training programs for children and teens in swimming, gymnastics, dance and more. Additionally, they will bring the family together in monthly fitness special events.

While the kids are immersed in their activities and classes, parents can work out in the gym, take their own class or relax at the same fitness club facility. When children aren’t scheduled for a class that day, their childcare center will keep kids happy and entertained while parents get in their workout. AZ Elite also offers a spa complex that includes massage therapy, skin care treatments, tanning and spray tanning options.

“We are so excited about AZ Elite Youth Sports and Gym Center being a part of our Chandler center. We feel that they can turn this into a center where families can come and have fun and exercise together,” Pollack said.

Pollack is also excited to welcome Rocker World and Zia Records to the center.  “We just recently celebrated the grand opening of Zia Records and we’re excited to welcome one of my all-time favorite record, CD and DVD stores,” said Pollack.


Michael Pollack

Michael Pollack donates to Women of Power International

The well-being of women and children in a community is vital to its growth and prosperity. No other entrepreneur knows this better than Michael Pollack, president of Mesa-based Pollack Investments. The Valley real estate mogul is once again donating to Women of Power International (WOPI) to continue his unrelenting dedication to the community.

This year, Pollack Investments will be donating $2,500 to support the 8th Annual Labor of Love Community Baby Show to be held on Saturday, August 30th, 2014.

“I always try to lend my focus to the community,” said Pollack. “Mothers are the foundation of our community and the well-being of the mothers and their children is always a priority.”

In 2013, the Labor of Love Community Baby Shower was able to help with over 240 new and expecting mothers by providing meals, informative seminars, and brand new gifts and prizes for the moms and their babies. This year, because of Pollack Investment’s generous donation, the health and happiness of the community can be continued through WOPI and the Labor of Love Community Baby Show.

Pollack Reality TV, WEB

Michael Pollack to Make National TV Debut in ‘Barry’d Treasure’

It’s no secret, Valley real estate entrepreneur Michael Pollack, of Pollack Investments loves collecting rare memorabilia.  From his sought after Frank Polk Slot Machine collection to owning the largest 3D Advertising Museum in the World to a beautiful collection of rare Baranger displays, Pollack owns some of the biggest and most sought after collections around the globe.

Over the years many have stepped in to help the Valley real estate mogul track down his next great find. So it was no surprise that Pollack is showcasing his rarities with the help of Barry Weiss and the new series “Barry’d Treasure,” to help find his next beloved antiques.

Watch “Barry’d Treasure” on A&E April 15th, at 10PM/9C as the Valley’s favorite collector teams up with Weiss on the episode entitled “The Unbearable Enlightenment of Barry” to find Pollack’s next great treasure.

“This was a lot of fun, not only to be working with Barry, but for him to help me find another great addition for my collection,” said Pollack.  “I have been collecting antiques since I was a little boy and anyone who knows me will tell you, finding these little gems and restoring them is a full-time job and I’m just glad Barry could help me.”


Michael Pollack Closes Chapter With Sale of 3 Main Street Retail Parcels in Mesa


Michael Pollack, owner of Mesa-based Pollack Investments, started the month of May with a $2M sale of three remaining parcels of retail space near Main and 63rd streets in East Mesa.

Mesa Main Plaza LLC out of Salt Lake City purchased 6209, 6215 and 6247 E. Main St. for almost $2M from Pollack Investments on May 1.

The three parcels, which total 67,740 SF, sold as part of a five-parcel retail project Pollack gradually sold over the past few years.

“It became a non-core asset for us,” Pollack said. “We are moving in a different direction and it was an old partnership that we wanted to close out.”

Pollack purchased the five parcels as one project about 10 years ago for $2.4M. In 2009, Pollack sold the first parcel for $1M. A year later he sold two more additional parcels for $800,000. Pollack says he has grossed $3.8M on the project.

He says the idea to subdivide the retail space came many years ago from his late son, Daniel, also a real estate developer, who died in 2011.

“This is really the closing of a chapter for all of us at Pollack Investments,” Pollack said. “It was actually my oldest son, Daniel, who had the great idea many years ago to divide up this project into five separate parcels and sell them separately.

“In the end it was really the smartest move and now we are selling at a time when the commercial real estate continues to rapidly improve for this type of product.”

One of the parcels, a 45,000 SF retail space was at one time a Fry’s grocery store and more recently a Goodwill store before they relocated into a larger facility nearby.

Pollack said he decided it was time to sell when broker Jon Willis of Willis Property Company brought him a potential buyer who wanted to continue to do creative things for the property with the community in mind.

“I feel very good about the sale because the new buyer brings a lot of imagination and creativity on the leasing side for this particular project,” Pollack said. “We did a lot of the heavy lifting on the renovation and redevelopment of this property and now it just needs to be fully leased or divided up and sold to the end users.”

Mesa Main Street Plaza LLC says it is open to various opportunities and is looking to lease the three parcels as soon as possible.

“Mesa Main Street Plaza LLC plans to create a friendly environment to attract businesses that will enhance the lives of those living in the community,” said Eric Sorenson, managing director of Mesa Main Street Plaza LLC.



Gilbert Strip Mall with Horse Atop is About to Get Long Overdue Makeover



Over the past 20 years Michael Pollack has purchased dozens of distressed properties only to later renovate and reposition the property, but never before has this Valley real estate mogul purchased a strip mall simply because it looked bad and had a fiberglass horse atop it.

That changed recently when Pollack purchased the fiberglass horse and the 12,500 SF strip mall at the SEC of Gilbert and Ray roads in Gilbert for $500,000.

“I can remember looking at that horse when I first rolled into town 22 years ago,”  Pollack said. “For me this is about the architectural challenge. We are taking something that is out of date and ugly and refiguring it to look like an old Hollywood Western town. We’ve even found a special place to incorporate this fiberglass horse into the new Western setting.”

A Chandler family under the name PBS Corp. owned the property for the past 38 years and was looking to sell the strip mall. Broker Brian Gast with Strategic Retail Group said Pollack was the perfect redeveloper for the property.

“When you look at what Michael Pollack has done around the Valley with hundreds of properties and shopping centers, this was a win-win situation for the buyer, seller, existing tenants and new tenants to come,” Gast said. “Michael is known for taking something that is quite frankly an eyesore and really making it beautiful and that’s what we need to get this center back up to 100% occupancy.”

Pollack says his first order of business will be finding a new Mexican restaurant tenant to replace Café Posada which will close its doors for good by the end of April. Renovations on the center, which is currently at 50% occupancy, will start right away. Pollack says he will then focus on finding more tenants to get the center up to 100% capacity.

With the anticipated corporation of the town of Gilbert’s planning and building department Pollack says the SEC of Gilbert and Ray roads will have a new look come summertime.

“As with every project we’re really excited to get going so we can once again make this a corner that both the town of Gilbert and community are proud to call their own,”  Pollack said.

In the past year Pollack has transformed other distressed properties in Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe. He will be closing on another deal in Chandler in the next 30 days.


Michael Pollack - Real Estate Investments

Pollack donates $1 million to Goodwill

Austin Powers said it. Michael Pollack is doing it. One million dollars. When Pollack says he wants to put Arizonans back to work he is literally putting his money where his mouth is.  Once again this week one of the Valley’s most generous entrepreneurs has reached into his pocketbook donating $100,000 to Goodwill of Central Arizona. This puts Pollack’s lifetime of giving to Goodwill at more than a $1 million.

“Simply put, I believe in what Goodwill stands for and that is putting people back to work, especially during times like these,” said Michael Pollack, owner of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments. “When you see the stories first hand like I have, people who are getting a chance to go back to work and feed their families and be productive members of society, it is very easy to continue giving to an organization that is truly making a major difference in our community.”

Goodwill of Central Arizona says Pollack’s $100,000 contribution this week is also its biggest cash contribution from an individual made to the organization so far in 2013. The organization says Pollack over the years has generously donated more than $1 million dollars between his cash donations, discounted/free rent and other in-kind contributions.

The biggest cash contribution came in 2010 when during the struggling economy Pollack wrote the organization a $250,000 check, the organization’s largest cash donation to date.

Pollack’s giving has not only come in the form of monetary donations, but the real estate entrepreneur has re-developed in-fill space that now houses Goodwill stores. Pollack Investments also uses Goodwill’s commercial services, like parking lot sweeping for about 60 shopping centers.

A year and a half ago – Goodwill honored Pollack with the Lifetime Achievement Award and this past October Pollack was honored with the 2012 Business Partner of the Year at Goodwill of Central Arizona’s 12th Annual Evening of Goodwill.

“We cannot express how grateful we are for Michael Pollack’s continued generosity and support of our organization.” said Jim Teter, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central Arizona. “We believe that through the power of work, every person, no matter their situation, can reach their fullest potential. And this recent donation will assist in our efforts to provide further job preparation services, at no cost, to our communities in central Arizona, Prescott and Yuma.”

Cave Creek Commercial Center

Developer Re-Energizing Another Valley Commercial Center

Valley real estate investor Michael Pollack purchased a Phoenix commercial center with plans of re-investing in the neighborhood and renovating the neglected center.

Pollack purchased the 25,000 SF commercial center, which sits at the corner of Cave Creek Rd. and Grandview this past month for about $750,000.

With just a few tenants currently renting space, Pollack says he plans to spend several hundred thousand dollars renovating the entire commercial center so additional tenants can move in.

“No project is too small or too big, but we are selective in what we buy,” Pollack said.  “And with this project we know we are buying it with the challenge in front of us.”

Pollack has redeveloped more than 10 MSF of real estate projects since his career began several decades ago.  Pollack’s purchase of the Cave Creek and Grandview shopping center follows a pattern of buying distressed properties and refurbishing the infill space. He has done so approximately 80 times throughout Arizona.

“Finding that distressed property and taking something that was once an eye-sore in the community and making it come to life and function like it should once again for the people who live in those areas is what we do,” Pollack said.

As with many of the other commercial center properties Pollack has purchased over the years, the response has been tremendous from the surrounding neighborhood.

Pollack said the renovations should take about a month and he expects the commercial center to be leased rapidly.  Pollack is seeing an increased leasing velocity in the past several months.

For more information on Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments visit www.pollackinvestments.com.

Michael Pollack - Real Estate Investments

Michael Pollack, Real Estate Investments

Michael Pollack discusses his experience in the real estate industry in Arizona.

Michael Pollack

Title: President and Founder
Company: Real Estate Investments

What was it about the real estate industry that attracted you?

My grandfather and father were in the real estate industry. Growing up, all I really knew was real estate. When I was in the fourth grade, I gave a presentation on how to read working blueprints. So I’ve been doing this a long time.

Video by Cory Bergquist

What qualities helped you become successful in your industry?

I believe that you have to be honest, you have to have integrity, and you have to work really hard. This is not a business that is easy. You have to be able to roll up your sleeves and work really hard.

What qualities do you think a successful CEO needs to possess?

I work sometimes seven days a week and four or five nights a week. But it’s not working to just work, it’s working smart. It’s important that you lead by example.

Are there any obstacles to working in Arizona that you might not face in other states?

We’re still not compared equally with metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago or San Francisco. They are seen much more as financial hubs. Our state leaders really need to focus on what’s important today: employment and diversification. We built this state on construction. We built the economy by building homes to house the construction workers. Now, we need to diversify so that we build a more sustainable economy.

How has your industry changed since you started?

When I started, you could do a residential contract on one page. So it’s changed a lot in that it takes a lot more paper to do essentially the same thing.

How do you think your industry is going to change in the next 10 years?

One of the things that is going to be very important going forward is the lessons learned — hopefully — in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. That lesson is that you cannot have the attitude of “build it, and they will come.” We have to build for a reason. Hopefully, that lesson will be in the forefront as we emerge from what has been some very dark days. The other big change is that we are going to see retailers getting smaller again. They grew into these supermega-sized boxes that were so big you needed a golf cart to go through them. That’s going to shrink. We’ve learned that the biggest is not necessarily the best anymore.

What has been your most significant challenge as CEO of your company?

The biggest challenge of my career was not getting carried away with the hype and exuberance of the marketplace in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 to the point where I could have easily over-leveraged and put myself in a position where I would be unable to make a recovery during the economic downturn. I watched so many friends and colleagues feasting on debt and getting to do all these projects while I watched from sidelines, telling myself, “This does not making economic sense.” Having the discipline to do that was the biggest challenge of my career.

What achievement are you most proud of?

I think we’ve truly been able to make a difference in the communities that we have worked in. Some of our redevelopment projects have changed neighborhoods and changed areas of our cities. My goal is to continue to make the communities we work in a better place one day and one project at a time.

Vital Stats: Michael Pollack

  • Has been involved in more than 11 million square feet of projects.
  • Is the drummer for Corporate Affair, a band that plays charitable events.
  • The Pollack family business began in 1937 in San Jose, Calif., when Sidney Gambord,
    Michael Pollack’s grandfather, decided to enter the real estate development business.
  • Entered the real estate business in 1973 while he was still in his teens, building
    single-family homes.
  • Began doing business in Arizona in 1991 with the purchase of a 23,623-square-foot
    shopping center that was 90 percent vacant. Within months, the occupancy rate climbed to
    more than 90 percent.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012