Tag Archives: phoenix

lease

NexMetro will build leased-home neighborhood in Chandler

Phoenix-headquartered NexMetro Communities, America’s builder of next-generation leased–home neighborhoods, announces the purchase of 15 acres at the northeast corner of Warner Road and Grace Boulevard, just west of Arizona Avenue, in Chandler, Arizona, where it plans to develop 194 homes. The development will feature one, two, and three bedroom floorplans and continues the developer’s charter of building single-family, detached homes for lease that cater to lifestyle-conscious consumers.  The deal, which closed on March 2, is part of NexMetro’s aggressive growth strategy for 2015.

The acquired property is less than two miles from Chandler’s Downtown District, and nearby to Gilbert’s Heritage District, both of which have undergone extensive redevelopment initiatives in the last several years.  With only two multifamily properties constructed in the area over the last 11 years, the construction of the new Avilla Homes neighborhood is expected to be a significant catalyst in the community’s revitalization, attracting higher-income residents seeking a quality lifestyle. 

Ground breaking is expected to occur in April, and homes will be ready to lease at the end of 2015.  Another Avilla neighborhood in Chandler, Avilla San Marcos, opened in two phases in 2014, and today has 257 homes located at Alma School and Pecos Road. 

“The City of Chandler is excited to see a project that is consistent with the recommendations of the Mayor’s 4-Corner committee to redevelop older, challenged commercial space,” said James Smith, Economic Development Program Manager.  “The Avilla Grace development fits our strategy of bringing increased density and activity to intersections with underperforming commercial space. The influx of new residents will help support the remaining commercial space and provide density on an important transit corridor.” 

NexMetro and its affiliated companies have been developing Avilla Home neighborhoods since 2011 when the first neighborhood opened in Tucson. Construction is currently underway in Goodyear at Avilla Palm Valley where 125 homes are expected to be available for lease this spring.  Additional development in Arizona is scheduled throughout 2015 with four new neighborhoods planned in Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. The company is also actively developing in other Sunbelt cities such as the Dallas suburbs of Plano and McKinney.

“It’s rewarding to see that our projects, including the Avilla Grace neighborhood, are highly anticipated, and even more so knowing that there is potential to bring a real vibrancy to an area previously considered undesirable.  Avilla Grace not only provides consumers with a worry-free lifestyle that allows them to enjoy the luxuries of home ownership without the burdens, but also enhances quality of life with close proximity to employment, entertainment and shopping districts,” said Josh Hartmann, Executive Vice President, NexMetro. 

BILL SOWDERS

William S. Sowders joins Gust Rosenfeld

Gust Rosenfeld, PLC announced that William S. Sowders joined the firm on March 2, 2015.  Sowders’ practice is concentrated on litigation, specifically in the areas of products liability, medical malpractice and healthcare, transportation, and accident and personal injury.

“Bill is a highly respected lawyer who brings a wealth of experience in litigation, in particular in the insurance defense field,” said Richard B. Hood, partner and member of the Executive Committee. “He is widely published and well known in the legal and the civic communities.  We look forward to having him join us at Gust Rosenfeld.” 

William Sowders received his J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and completed his B.S. degree at Northern Arizona University.  In 2012 and 2013, Sowders was honored as one of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars. He has published in several professional journals, and conducted a webinar on “Medical Records Review and Analysis.”  Sowders is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the State Bar of California, and the Maricopa County Bar Association. 

“I am very excited to join Gust Rosenfeld. The firm has fantastic attorneys across the board.  I’m looking forward to bringing my trial experience to an already strong litigation group and making our team evening stronger,” said Sowders.

Gust Rosenfeld is a full service law firm established in 1921 with offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Wickenburg. The firm is known for the quality of its lawyers and legal advice as well as its creative insights and practical solutions in business, public and civil law.  Gust Rosenfeld is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, business and corporate law, commercial finance, education law, environmental law, franchises and franchising, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, natural resources, public finance, public law, real estate, taxation, and trusts and estates.

MG Properties buys Trillium Papago Apartments for $36M

 MG Properties Group, a private San Diego-based real estate investor and operator, has announced the acquisition of the Trillium Papago Apartments in Phoenix, Arizona.

The property consists of 270 luxury apartments built in 2007. The property features an exceptional array of common area amenities, including a resort-style pool and spa, modern fitness center, movie theater, and pool room.

The property is located north-east of Phoenix Sky-Harbor Airport, providing convenient access to multiple job corridors within the region. MGPG plans to rebrand the property as Ascent at Papago Park. Units include nine-foot ceilings, full-sized washers and dryers, and a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom floor plans. 

Trillium Papago was purchased for $36,220,000 from Trillium Residential. The acquisition was financed with a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage from Fannie Mae, arranged by CBRE. 

According to Mark Gleiberman, MG Properties Group Chief Executive Officer, “This acquisition reflects our continued belief in the long term growth potential of the Phoenix market. The property’s excellent design and central location position it well to benefit from further growth in the region.”

Trillium Papago marks MG Properties Group’s fourth acquisition in the past six months.  The four acquisitions totaled approximately 700 units and $125,000,000 in combined purchase price. The company is targeting further acquisitions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. 

Top 5 Arizona Music Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

Viva PHX music festival features 20 venues

Viva PHX, a music festival going for its second round on March 14, will host more than 90 bands in 20 different venues in the downtown Phoenix area.

“The music is the No. 1 thing,” said Charlie Levy, creator of Viva PHX. “No. 2 is the experience.  If any of these bands don’t mean anything to you, you’re going to have a crazy great time.”

Usual music festivals have two stages and if you don’t know who is playing, then you don’t enjoy yourself, Levy said. But at Viva PHX, there are 20 venues playing at the same time.

“I want people to walk by a venue and poke their head in it and hopefully see the best show they’ve seen all year,” he said.

Three blocks of Monroe Street will be closed off for a giant block party with food trucks, vendors, artists and a Lucha Libre wresting stage in the dead center of it.

It’s a lot of small venues, but intimate ones like Grace Chapel, Phoenix Masonic Temple and the basement of the Orpheum Theatre, Levy said,  which most of Phoenix probably doesn’t know exists.

“That’s why we want to keep it around 8,000 like last year, to keep it crowded but not overwhelming,” he said.

Levy said he can’t wait for people to enter Grace Chapel, part of that burned-down 100-year-old abbey on Monroe Street and seeing flamenco. “That’s fun for me,” he said.

Wild Ones (a band Levy raved about), Best Coast, Coolio, Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World and Arizona locals are the type of artists being featured this year. Levy said he also brought in bands from Mexico and Tucson to recreate those world music venues at South by Southwest.

“We kind of went for really great artists and not necessarily for flavor of the day,” Levy said, comparing Viva PHX to Pot of Gold and other music festivals in the Phoenix area at the same time.

A Spotify playlist is on the site to share music from the artists performing at Viva PHX and for the audience to discover them.  “You don’t have to be the biggest music nerd to enjoy this festival,” Levy said.

Viva PHX was planned in three months last year, but more time did not make it easier because it had to be better, Levy said. “As long as the people keep wanting it, it’ll keep happening,” he said.

law

Gordon & Rees names Leon Silver co-managing partner

Leon SilverOne of the fastest-growing law firms in the country, Gordon & Rees continues its expansion in the Phoenix market. To lead that expansion, the firm announced that Leon Silver has been named co-managing partner of its Phoenix office.

“We are looking forward to benefiting from Mr. Silver’s great enthusiasm and deep roots in the region as the Phoenix office continues to grow and thrive,” said Dion Cominos, Gordon & Rees firmwide managing partner. “2015 is going to be a very exciting year for the Gordon & Rees team in Phoenix.”

Silver joined the firm as a partner in November. He is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Retail & Hospitality and Privacy & Data Security Practice Groups.

Silver specializes in handling complicated business and real estate trials and arbitrations as well as finance and accounting disputes. He represents national and multinational retailers, restaurants, hotels, management companies, real estate investors and developers as well as many small businesses and entrepreneurs. He also assists clients with the implementation of data governance plans and protecting against and dealing with data breach incidents.  He has spoken and written on the subject in national and international presentations and publications.

“I am really excited by what the firm has planned for Phoenix and nationwide,” said Silver. “It’s a pleasure to be able to play a leadership role in our growth.”

Silver is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has received numerous community and professional honors.  He has been listed in Southwest Super Lawyers for commercial litigation since 2008. He was included on Ranking Arizona’s 2013 list of the top 10 commercial litigators in the state and on AZRE’s 2011 list of the top 10 people to know for commercial real estate. He is a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and Sustaining Member of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers.

Silver serves as Co-Chair of the Cyber Security SLG (“Specialty Litigation Group”), of DRI’s Commercial Litigation Committee and the Co-Chair of the Commercial Litigation SLG of DRI’s Retail and Hospitality Committee.

He earned his B.A. from St. Lawrence University and his J.D. from Arizona State University-Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Blue Hound

Baseball fans score big at Hotel Palomar through March

Baseball season is rounding the corner as Spring Training has officially kicked off in Arizona with the Cactus League playing at 10 stadiums across the Valley. Fans from all over the country are taking over the Valley of the Sun to cheer on their favorite team.

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, is a top choice for fans looking for centrally located lodging to all of the ballparks to experience Spring Training at its best. Fans can watch all of their favorite teams, and while staying downtown, enjoy the dining and nightlife at CityScape Phoenix, as well as many other entertainment, sporting and cultural options within walking distance of the hotel.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering fans the Rounding 2nd Second Base Package, which includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two specialty cocktails, $15 off transportation to get to or from the games, complimentary morning coffee and tea service in the living room, a hosted evening wine reception in the living room from 5pm until 6pm daily, complimentary access to EOS Fitness and for Kimpton Karma Rewards members, free wireless internet access. Rates from $269 (code RTWOB) and the package is valid through March 31 (877-488-1908, www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com).

Considered among the best places in the Valley for craft cocktails, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails’ head bartender, Stephanie Teslar, has created three specialty cocktails for Cubs, Royals and Angels fans. The Horsefeather (rye whiskey, lemon juice, angostura bitters, ginger beer) is a Kansas City favorite, Bobb Chinn Mai Tai (Jamaican rum, orange/pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine) is the only cocktail available at Wrigley field and served in a backpack, and a Shot and a Beer (Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Anaheim 1888 Lager) is a simple staple in Anaheim.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once. A boutique hotel, Hotel Palomar Phoenix is ideally located at CityScape Phoenix, downtown Phoenix’s dining, entertainment and shopping hub, with dozens of impressive options all walking distance from the hotel’s front door. Guests are also just steps away from US Airways Center, Chase Field, the Phoenix Convention Center, the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Science Center and more amazing restaurants than you’ll have time to indulge in.

Inside the hotel is the masterfully designed space that begins in the elegant mid-century modern lobby and extends all the way to the hotel’s 242 guest rooms, 16 of which are suites. Guests find everything they need at the hotel beginning with LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, perched on the hotel’s third floor pool deck, which is an oasis in the heart of the city with sweeping views of the stunning skyline. The spacious guest rooms, some of the largest in downtown Phoenix, have modern interior touches and views of the surrounding city and mountains. Among the many guest amenities are complimentary bikes for rental to cruise around downtown along with a custom pocket map that serves as an insider’s guide to the best of the city.  

To learn more about Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com.

oyster-bar-925x522

Little Cleo’s unveils ‘Happy Hour for the Absinthe Minded’

Little Cleo’s is unveiling a happy hour experience featuring specials on fresh, seasonal catches, cocktails and more. Here are the details:

Who: Seafood seekers, absinthe drinkers, cocktail lovers, champagne sippers, and happy hour goers looking for a unique experience.

What: Feeling a little absent minded by the end of the day? Then the new “Happy Hour for the Absinthe Minded” at Little Cleo’s, located at The Yard in Phoenix, will speak to you.

Launching on Thursday, March 5th (did we mention that’s National Absinthe Day?), guests can cheers to the day’s end with a few shellfish staples, house champagne, absinthe, and absinthe cocktails such as Hemingway’s infamous Death in The Afternoon that mixes absinthe, dry sparkling wine, and simple syrup for the perfect way to kill an afternoon.  

Unique incentives available at “Happy Hour for the Absinthe Minded” include:

• $1 Oysters

• $1 Shrimp

• $2 Champagne Pours

• ½ off all Absinthe

• ½ off all  Absinthe Cocktails

For more information about Little Cleo’s at The Yard Phoenix or to view the complete menu, visit www.LittleCleos.com .

When: Available Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m.-5 p.m

Where: Little Cleo’s—The Yard, Phoenix, 5632 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Phone: 602.680.4044

Valley Metro Light Rail, Phoenix, Ariz.

Phoenix City Council approves 35-year streets, transit plan

A comprehensive plan to modernize Phoenix’s streets and public transit system over the next 35 years was approved Tuesday by the City Council.

Besides tripling the number of light rail miles by 2050, the transportation plan calls for significant expansion of bus service and upgrades to the city’s aging streets.

An additional three-tenths of one cent (30 cents per $100) sales tax would pay for the plan, which equals less than one additional cent on a $3 cup of coffee, about three cents more on an $10 lunch and about $60 more on a $20,000 car.

The Council approved the plan by a 6 to 3 vote, and city voters are expected to consider the measure on the August ballot.

“Great cities need great transportation and an evolving Phoenix needs to adapt with the times,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “A robust public transit system and well-maintained roads are vital to building and growing our economy for the future.”

167585360

ACG names finalists for ‘Deal of the Year’

Three finalists have been named for an award recognizing the most significant mergers and acquisitions transactions in Arizona.

The “Deal of the Year” is an award given by the Arizona Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) to recognize a company or private equity firm for their accomplishments regarding a merger, acquisition or capital market transaction.  The award will recognize a deal/transaction in the Arizona marketplace involving established businesses with between $10 million and $750 million of revenue that closed in calendar year 2014.

The three finalists for the award are:

• Vonage’s purchase of Scottsdale-based Telesphere Networks in a $114 million transaction. 

• Merz Pharma’s purchase of Mesa-based Ulthera, Inc. in a $600 million transaction. 

• Evergreen Pacific Partners’ purchase of Phoenix-based Vantage Mobility in a transaction valued between $50 million and $100 million (exact amount not disclosed for confidentiality reasons).

The Deal of the Year Award will be given out on March 10 at a dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. The ACG signature event begins with a networking session at 5 p.m. and culminates with the award presentation starting at 6:45 p.m.

“The three transactions nominated for Deal of the Year are ones that helped drive Arizona’s economy in 2014,” said Sanat Patel, Board President for ACG-Arizona. “These transactions have a profound effect on our economy, and this award is a recognition of the individuals and companies that were involved in helping move our state and our region forward.”

 

The award criteria are:

·       Deal-making that either created or demonstrates a real potential for substantial return on investment

·       Deal-making that evidences the unlocking of value and/or contribution to the strategic development of the business

·       Deal-making that produces a wider business impact, such as the development of new markets, products, services and/or technologies and the creation or retention of quality employment opportunities in Arizona

·       Deal-making that reflects a high level of professional expertise in the design of the transaction and tested creativity and deal-making skills in completing the transaction

·       At least one company involved in the transaction must be headquartered or have a majority of its operations in Arizona

Tickets for the March 10 event are available for $135 for ACG members and $155 for ACG non-members if purchased by midnight on March 3, and $155 for members and $175 for non-members after the 3rd. They may be purchased by visiting www.acg.org/arizona or calling 602-448-3981 or e-mailing acgarizona@acg.org

Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 14,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 56 chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Arizona chapter of ACG includes representatives from corporate investment and private equity groups, financiers, venture capitalists and supporting consultant services. For more information, visit www.acg.org/arizona

Feeney_Matt

Snell & Wilmer’s Matthew Feeney takes over as chairman

Snell & Wilmer announced that Matthew P. Feeney, a partner in the Phoenix office, has assumed the firm’s chairmanship. As announced in a press release on October 21, 2014, Feeney takes over for John J. Bouma, who steps down from the position after leading the firm for more than 30 years. Bouma remains active in his practice and continues to serve on the firm’s executive and compensation committees.

“I am deeply honored to assume the chairmanship of Snell & Wilmer,” said Feeney. “During my 32 years with the firm, I have had the unique opportunity to work with wonderful clients and colleagues, as well as with community and business leaders. I am particularly grateful for John’s mentorship and friendship during this transition period and look forward to being his partner for many years to come. I am committed to working with my Snell & Wilmer colleagues as we plan for a very successful future, guided by our foundational values of service to our clients, to our communities, and to each other.”

At Snell & Wilmer, Feeney’s practice is concentrated in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, SEC reporting and compliance, and corporate governance matters, including advising corporate boards and board committees. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School.

Throughout the course of his career, Feeney has been recognized for professional and community service excellence. Among his many professional awards, Feeney has consistently been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© (including Lawyer of the Year, Securities Law/Capital Markets Law (2015), Lawyer of the Year, Corporate Governance Law (2013) and Lawyer of the Year, Mergers & Acquisitions Law (2012)); Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; and Southwest Super Lawyers®.

Feeney has also been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations. In addition to helping develop a formal pro bono policy for Snell & Wilmer in the late 1980s under which attorneys receive billable hour credit for legal services to the poor, Feeney is a founding board member and former chair of St. Joseph the Worker, an organization that provides job development services to assist homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged individuals. He also served as a board member and president of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, which was created by the State Bar of Arizona to promote access to justice for all Arizonans. Feeney was also honored in 2014 by the American Jewish Committee with the Judge Learned Hand Community Service Award. He was recognized for demonstrating sustained contributions to the advancement of equality and democratic principles.  Feeney also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of the Musical Instrument Museum, the world’s only global musical instrument museum.

Mobile-Mini-Ribbon-Cutting

Mobile Mini opens new headquarters in Phoenix

Mobile Mini, Inc., the world’s leading provider of portable storage solutions, joined Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego today in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the company’s new headquarters and national sales center. Mayor Stanton and Councilwoman Gallego were joined by Mobile Mini President & CEO Erik Olsson at the ceremony and for a tour of the new offices.

Mobile Mini moved into a 55,000-square-foot office at 4646 E. Van Buren St. in Phoenix. The new headquarters consolidates Mobile Mini’s corporate and sales facilities and will be home to over 300 employees including the executive team, national sales center, customer support, finance, and accounting. In the centralized Phoenix location, Mobile Mini employees enjoy proximity to the Metro Light Rail system and Sky Harbor International Airport.

Mobile Mini is one of the Valley’s top companies with reported total revenue of $445 million in 2014 and demonstrates the economic success of Arizona. Founded in 1983 in Phoenix, the company serves customers throughout North America and the United Kingdom from 160 locations.

Mobile Mini rents portable storage and office containers and specialty containment products such as tanks, pumps, and filtration systems. The company product line is used across industries including construction, retail, energy, utilities, mining, government, and education. Customers can choose from a total rental fleet of over 200,000 units, including containers featuring its patented Tri-Cam Locking SystemTM.

 “The Valley is our home. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow our presence in a place that understands the importance of being business friendly and a city that welcomes home-grown companies with open arms,” said Mobile Mini President & CEO Erik Olsson. “The success we’ve experienced can be attributed to the terrific talent pool that the Valley has offered us. We expect that this great new office space will be our home for a long time and allow us to continue our growth as the world’s leader in secure storage solutions.”

“Mobile Mini’s storage solutions have helped thousands of businesses and families across Arizona, North America, and the U.K.,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “The company has helped create jobs and expand our local economy. The cost of living and doing business in Phoenix is lower than in many other major metropolitan areas in the country, and we’re happy that Mobile Mini has cast a vote of confidence in our city. Its decision to stay in Arizona means retaining and creating hundreds of jobs in the Valley.”

“Anytime a business opens shop in this district, it’s great news,” said District 8 Councilwoman Gallego, in whose district the company will be headquartered. “But with Mobile Mini, we not only gain a locally-grown company with international reach, we also gain an outstanding member of the community that cares about its home and people in all of the Valley of the Sun. Under Erik’s leadership, Mobile Mini is taking on a more critical role in giving back to the place it calls home.”

housing.prices

Phoenix-area housing market sees uptick

The sluggish Phoenix-area housing market just got a pleasant surprise. New figures show a sudden uptick in buyer demand, with a significant boost in homes under contract since late January.

“I do NOT think this has anything to do with the crowds that came in for the recent Super Bowl in Arizona, but that is coincidentally when we started to see this rise in demand,” says Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Orr looked at statistics from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) for his W. P. Carey School of Business analysis. In 2014, the Phoenix-area housing market had relatively low demand, and sales activity even dropped 14 percent. However, the new ARMLS numbers show this year has already brought in more than the usual seasonal uptrend in almost every price range.

These numbers are for non-distressed homes under contract in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, on a typical day in late February 2015 versus the same day in 2014:

  • Under $150,000 – Up 7 percent
  • $150,000 to $250,000 – Up 35 percent
  • $250,000 to $400,000 – Up 38 percent
  • $400,000 to $600,000 – Up 33 percent
  • $600,000 to $1.5 million – Up 12 percent
  • More than $1.5 million – Down 10 percent

Overall, non-distressed listings under contract are up 26 percent. Orr says luxury homes aren’t seeing as much impact from recent changes in market conditions, but entry-level and mid-range homes are attracting far more buyer interest.

“The reasons for these increases include: 1.) that lenders have started to relax their previously tight loan-underwriting guidelines and 2.) that more people who went through foreclosure or short sale are now able to return to homeownership,” explains Orr. “These changes largely affect the lower and middle ranges of the market.”

Orr calculates that, in 2014, the median single-family-home price in the Phoenix area went up 5.4 percent. He now expects 2015 to be a much better year for home sellers, if the new trend continues. However, he does have one note of caution.

“The Phoenix area was already dealing with a relatively low supply of available homes for sale before this uptick,” says Orr. “If the higher-demand trend continues for several months, then that tight supply could become a bigger issue.”

Orr’s next regularly-scheduled monthly housing report will be out in mid-March. Meantime, those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

stroke

Hundreds of pediatric physicians converge in Phoenix

Phoenix Children’s Hospital will play host to more than 750 physicians and health care professionals from across the U.S. for the 38th annual Melvin L. Cohen Pediatric Update at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix.
In the past four decades, the event has grown to become one of the largest pediatric health care conferences in the country. This year’s symposium will feature speakers from leading health care education centers and providers, including Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Harvard, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Mayo Clinic, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and of course, Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
This year’s Pediatric Update will build on the program’s long-standing tradition of educating pediatricians, specialists and pediatric nurse practitioners on the latest advances in evidence-based practices in pediatric medicine. Lecture and workshop topics will range from emergency medicine and infectious disease to gynecology, gastroenterology and psychology.
 
“As one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the country, we are well-suited to provide the best educational experience and timely pediatric information and practices for health professionals,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “The panel of medical professionals we present this year is unparalleled in its quality and commitment to excellence.”
 
Adding to Pediatric Update’s already robust series, the 2015 conference will also present two engaging symposiums exploring dynamic trends in pediatric neuroscience and obesity. 
 
Coinciding with Pediatric Update, the 19th annual Children’s Neuroscience Symposium, presented by Barrow at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, brings a dedicated examination of the latest information to assess neurological conditions and manage patient care. Sessions will focus on pediatric spinal disorders, the pediatrician’s role in neurological emergencies and neurosurgery, as well as advances in children’s headaches and sleep disorders.
 
“Pediatric neurological disorders impact thousands of families across the country, and at Phoenix Children’s we continue to provide the educational resources to improve patient care,” said Dr. P. David Adelson, director, Barrow at Phoenix Children’s.
 
In its third year, the Pediatric Update’s Childhood Obesity Symposium seeks to provide a better understanding of the complex causes of weight gain, maintenance and weight loss. Endocrinology, behavioral health, microbiomes, and diet and fitness will play a role in the learning.
 
“It’s estimated that more than a third of America’s youth are overweight or obese,” Dr. Don McClellan, division chief, pediatric endocrinologist, Phoenix Children’s Medical Group. “Phoenix Children’s takes this problem very seriously, because obesity creates a myriad of problems for youth, and often leads to diseases and serious health issues later in life.”
Booker Evans - Headshot

Booker T. Evans, Jr. joins Ballard Spahr

Booker T. Evans, Jr., a prominent white collar criminal defense attorney and commercial litigator with more than 25 years of experience defending multimillion-dollar cases for businesses and individuals, has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in Phoenix, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today.

Mr. Evans was Chief Deputy District Attorney in Las Vegas and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Nevada and Arizona before entering private practice. He currently serves as Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court.

“Booker’s standing as a trial lawyer, a bar and community leader, and an advocate for diversity in the profession means that he will fit in beautifully at Ballard,” Mr. Stewart said. “He shares our commitment to legal excellence and our values. We are absolutely delighted to have him.”

Mr. Evans has broad civil and criminal trial experience and handles post-conviction matters involving the federal courts and their sentencing guidelines. He is well known for his work in white collar criminal defense, RICO cases, product liability, insurance matters, and health law. 

He also has tried cases involving tax evasion, disputes over real estate holdings, copyright and trademark infringement, criminal bankruptcy fraud, and civil forfeiture. Mr. Evans is Co-Chair for the 2015 Arizona State Bar Convention and is the co-founder of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association. He is licensed to practice in Arizona and Nevada. Ballard Spahr has offices in both Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“Booker is a highly respected litigator in Phoenix,” said Stephen M. Savage, Managing Partner for Ballard Spahr’s Phoenix office. “In addition to being the quintessential gentleman, he has the level of skill and experience to handle our largest and most complex litigation matters. He’s a terrific fit for the office and the firm.”

Mr. Evans’ arrival adds depth to Ballard Spahr’s national litigation and trial teams. Our litigators are prepared to take the largest and most complex cases to trial, as plaintiff’s or defense counsel. They are located in every one of the firm’s 14 offices, and try cases in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Members of our White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations Group conduct internal investigations and represent clients facing government enforcement actions. We have represented public figures, political leaders, and Fortune 500 corporations and executives in a range of high-stakes criminal and civil matters.

“Ballard is home to some of the finest litigators in the country and has the national platform I was looking for,” Mr. Evans said. “I look forward to being part of the firm’s growth in the West and to adding my own experience to the mix.”

law_firm

Greenberg Traurig appoints 2 new shareholders

The Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has promoted Nathan T. Mitchler and Dana L. Hooper to shareholder. Firm wide, Greenberg Traurig elevated 32 attorneys to shareholder in its 2015 class. In addition, the firm also announced record financial performance for 2014.

“Nathan and Dana are superior lawyers who are deeply dedicated to their clients and their profession,” said John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “We are proud to welcome them as Phoenix Shareholders.”

• Nathan T. Mitchler focuses his practice on multiple areas of complex litigation, business disputes and intellectual property. He also is well-versed in all aspects of discovery and pre-trial motions practice.

• Dana L. Hooper works with clients in areas of commercial litigation, business matters and sports law. In 2014, she was named to the board of directors of the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association.

“Those named to our class of 2015 represent the firm’s commitment to excellence in the delivery of legal services,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s CEO. “They live the special culture that is Greenberg Traurig. Because of professionals like these throughout the firm, we have been able to remain committed to unmatched coverage of the United States. We also have a highly focused international expansion based on excellence and strength rather than simply geographical spread that in itself adds no value to our clients and which could dilute our quality, culture, and financial condition.”

Greenberg Traurig appears in The BTI Client Service A-team 2015, 2014 and 2013 reports among The BTI Client Service 30, an elite group of 30 law firms most recognized, by clients, for providing excellent client service. It also is among the Power Elite in the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard report assessing the nature and strength of law firms’ client relationships.

CityScape Downtown Phoenix_email

Orangetheory Fitness will open at CityScape

On the heels of the recent openings of GrabbaGreen, Fractured Prune Doughnut and EOS Fitness, CityScape Phoenix will welcome yet another new tenant in late April when Orangetheory Fitness opens its doors.

The fast-growing, national fitness franchise has 19 existing or planned locations across the Valley and this new 3,150 square-foot studio at CityScape will be the first in Downtown Phoenix.

“Orangetheory is one of the hottest fitness brands in the country right now and we’re excited to add them to the mix at CityScape,” said Jeff Moloznik, vice president of development at RED. “This is a great workout option for anyone who works or lives downtown.”

Orangetheory Fitness is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart-rate-monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by skilled personal trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX® suspension training and free weights, burning an average of 500 – 1,000 calories, including after-burn. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post-workout. Orangetheory Fitness was recently ranked No. 399 in Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List and No. 403 in Entrepreneur’s 2014 Franchise 500® list of the top franchises in the world. 

For more information, visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com. For more information about CityScape Phoenix, tenants and to see what’s happening today, visit www.cityscapephoenix.com.

stk150362rke

Take Charge America unveils Home Ready Counseling

Prospective homebuyers across the country now have access to a new service helping them receive approval for a mortgage. Take Charge America, Inc., a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency headquartered in Phoenix, now offers Home Ready Counseling, a program specifically designed to address the top approval requirements for a home loan.

“With low mortgage interest rates and a recovering housing market, many consumers are taking steps to enter or re-enter the housing market, but lack the knowledge they need to get approved for a loan,” said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America. “What’s more, people who have been turned down in the past may not know how to rebuild their credit and improve their chances of approval the next time around.”

With Home Ready Counseling, Take Charge America’s certified counselors provide one-on-one counseling sessions addressing mortgage requirements including down payments and debt-to-income ratio. In addition, counselors analyze credit scores and develop personalized action plans to help potential homebuyers rebuild their credit and meet home buying goals. Plans include:

• Custom overview of positive and negative factors impacting their credit scores

• Potential opportunities to increase point values with each of the three credit bureaus

• Detailed instructions on how to proceed with creditor disputes or issues

• A task timeline aligned with the customer’s home buying goals

Consumers enrolled in Home Ready Counseling also receive access to monthly educational emails and Take Charge America’s online homebuyer education course, which teaches them the terms used in the home-buying process, how loans are obtained, documents needed to close a mortgage, and how to avoid predatory lenders.

Visit Home Ready Counseling or call (866) 260-6751 to learn more about the service.

ebola

2 Arizona hospitals designated Ebola treatment centers

Hospital systems in Phoenix and Tucson are among 55 across the United States designated as Ebola treatment centers.

The two Arizona hospital systems designated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are Maricopa Integrated Health Systems in Phoenix and the University of Arizona Health Network.

MIHS President CEO Steve Purves says the CDC designation for his institution reflects many months of preparation and training by hospital personnel to develop and implement comprehensive protocols for treating Ebola.

There are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in Arizona. Public health officials said the designation is precautionary and that the likelihood of an Ebola patient arriving in Arizona is remote.

Camelback Medical Plaza

Spooner Physical Therapy leases two Phoenix office suites

Commercial Properties, Inc., Arizona’s largest locally owned commercial real estate brokerage, is pleased to announce the lease of two suites for Spooner Physical Therapy. Spooner Camelback will be expanding and relocating to 5040 N. 15th Avenue, and Spooner Desert Ridge will be expanding and relocating to 20830 N. Tatum Blvd., in Phoenix, Arizona.  Scott Nelson of CPI’s Scottsdale Office Group represented the tenant, Spooner Physical Therapy at these properties.

Spooner Physical Therapy leased a suite in Camelback Medical Plaza, a ±47,755 SF medical building at 5040 N. 15th Avenue.  Camelback Medical Plaza is located just north of Camelback Road, on 15th Avenue and is listed by Colliers International.  Spooner Physical Therapy also leased space in Desert Ridge Corporate Center, a 137,225 SF office building at 20830 N Tatum Blvd.  Desert Ridge Corporate Center – Phase II was built in 2007, and is listed by Lee & Associates.

Scott Nelson commented. “My client, Spooner Physical Therapy offers outpatient rehabilitation services at their 16 locations throughout the valley.  For the last 25 years, they have transformed their communities through the founding principle of ‘health in motion’.  Moving into new suits allows Spooner Physical Therapy to better serve their clients physical therapy needs by offering the  surrounding communities services such as orthopedic rehab, hand therapy, breast cancer rehab, pelvic health therapy, ASTYM treatment, trigger point dry needling, and the AlterG Anit-Gravity Treadmill. The therapists work closely with their patients in setting individualized, goal driven care, dedicated to helping individuals of all ages and abilities achieve their maximum physical potential. Visit spoonerphysicaltherapy.com for more information on locations and services.”

The combined square footage taken by Spooner Physical Therapy was ±11,666 SF and resulted in nearly $2.5 million in total consideration.

Scott Nelson may be contacted for additional information at snelson@cpiaz.com, or 480.522.2790.

bath

Re-Bath of Phoenix named Franchise of the Year

Chosen from more than 200 franchises, Re-Bath® of Phoenix was named Franchise of the Year by Re-Bath, LLC, America’s largest bathroom remodeling franchisor, during the Home Brands Group™ Reunion on Jan. 19, 2015, in Orlando, Fla.

Owner Kurt Kittleson accepted the award, which is the most prestigious of any presented to franchises internationally. Franchise of the Year is the honor given to franchises that represent the brand by embracing the Re-Bath® Code of Values and sales system at all times while growing their businesses with proper training, management, high sales, customer service and professional service.

According to Re-Bath, LLC, President, Marty Rasmussen, “Kurt has been a successful entrepreneur his entire life. He is committed to developing his team and giving them the opportunity to excel. Above all, he is a leader and team player with the Re-Bath organization’s best interests in mind. He encourages all to work not only harder, but smarter.”

The Home Brands Group™ Reunion is an annual convention of hundreds of Re-Bath®, 5 Day Kitchens℠ and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain® franchisees and vendors.

football

Super Bowl generates record revenues for hotels

In addition to being the most-watched televised event of all time, Super Bowl XLIX generated unprecedented revenues for metropolitan Phoenix’s hotel industry.
According to Smith Travel Research, revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key indicator of hotel performance, spiked at $324.87 for metro Phoenix on Jan. 31, the day before the Super Bowl. That’s the highest RevPAR ever recorded for metro Phoenix’s hotels for a single day, and represents a 318 percent increase over the same day in 2014.
Super Bowl Sunday saw a similar surge in RevPAR, at $320.55, a whopping 410 percent increase over the same day a year ago.
For the Super Bowl and the three days leading up it, RevPAR in metro Phoenix more than tripled from the same four-day period in 2014.
Super Bowl XLIX is now responsible for the three highest revenue performances in metro Phoenix history—and four of the top 10. (In all, metro Phoenix owes eight of its top 10 RevPAR showings to the NFL’s signature event, as four others occurred when the Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.)
“The Super Bowl’s power to generate revenue for our hotel industry is historically unrivaled, but this year’s game exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Mooney, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Visit Phoenix. “And the positive impact was felt across eight hotel submarkets in the metro area.”
The 2015 Super Bowl also boosted occupancy rates. Occupancy at metro Phoenix hotels for Jan. 31 was 95.7 percent, the seventh-highest on record.
For the four days leading up to, and including, the Super Bowl—Thursday through Sunday—occupancy at metro Phoenix hotels was 91.5 percent. That’s 40 percent higher than the same period in 2014.
The Central Phoenix submarket, which includes downtown Phoenix hotels, posted the highest occupancy rates in the metro area during Super Bowl week, topping out at 98 percent on Jan. 31.
“Occupancy rates were higher in downtown Phoenix than they were for the Super Bowl in 2008, even though that submarket has 2,000 more rooms than it did back then,” Mooney said. “That’s a testament to the Super Bowl activity that was centered downtown, including Super Bowl Central fan campus and the NFL Experience theme park.”
housing.prices

Phoenix home prices rose 5 percent in 2014

The final numbers are out for 2014, and the median single-family-home prices in the Phoenix area officially went up 5.4 percent. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the highlights of that report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of December:

• The median single-family-home sales price rose 5.4 percent in 2014 – from $204,000 to $215,000.
• Demand for townhomes and condos is strengthening, and the median sales price for those types of homes went up a whopping 15 percent in 2014.
• Demand for rental homes also remains strong.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to summer 2013. Then, the median single-family-home price rose just another 5.4 percent — $204,000 to $215,000 — from December 2013 to December 2014. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up about 3 percent. At the same time, townhomes and condos really took off, with their median sales price up about 15 percent – from $123,900 to $142,000.

“The most promising signs in 2014 were for townhomes and condominiums, where both sales volumes and prices were higher than expected,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director or the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Demand is shifting away from single-family homes and toward smaller attached homes that are easier to maintain and to ‘lock and leave.’ Growing numbers of baby boomers, whose children have grown up and left, are downsizing. Many millennials also seem to show a preference for smaller, easy-to-maintain homes in central locations.”

Orr adds that mid-range and luxury homes continue to do relatively well in the Phoenix market, while it’s tougher to find homes priced below $150,000. The amount of single-family home sales overall was up 3 percent from December 2013 to December 2014.

Meantime, the supply level remains low. The number of active listings available on Jan. 1, 2015 was down 3 percent from the already low level of Jan. 1, 2014. Fewer “distressed” homes are coming onto the market, with completed foreclosures down 42 percent from December 2013 to December 2014. That lack of cheap inventory is keeping investor interest significantly lower than it was during the initial housing recovery.

Other home buyers weren’t filling the gap, but we may see a positive turn soon.

“We anticipate a modest increase in sales in 2015, as compared with 2014,” says Orr. “The primary increase in demand is likely to come from boomerang buyers who have repaired their credit after foreclosure or short sale several years ago.”

Multifamily units and rental homes continue to command local attention. The multifamily vacancy rate for the end of 2014 was at an all-time low, and multifamily construction permits have been on a strong upward trend. Rental homes are seeing relatively fast turnover and low vacancy rates. As a result, rents are up 6.8 percent in the Phoenix area over the past 12 months.

Lastly, Orr mentions that some Canadians may decide to lock in profits made on Phoenix-area homes bought since the housing crash. In 2014 alone, the prices went up an additional 15 percent when converted to the Canadian dollar.

Those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

romance

Tips to keep employers mindful of office romances

Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Love is in the air, and sometimes those amorous feelings lead to claims of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. As Valentine’s Day approaches, employers should be mindful about office romances in light of some interesting statistics:

• More than 20 percent of married couples met at work, yet nearly half of those employees reported that they did not know if their company had a policy on office romances.
• According to a recent survey, 59 percent of employees admitted that they have been involved in an office romance.
• An additional 64 percent answered that they would be willing to do so if the opportunity arose.
• This same survey reported that 75 percent of employers do not have a policy regarding workplace relationships.
AshleyMadison.com (a dating site for married people looking to cheat – yikes!) reports that 46 percent percent of men and 37 percent of women have had an affair with a co-worker. Among these cheaters, 72 percent of women and 59 percent of men say that they had their first encounter with the affair partner at a company holiday party … which means now is the time for employers to pay attention!
• A different 2013 survey indicates that 92 percent of employees feel they should not have to report their office romance to Human Resources.
• That same survey shows that nearly 85 percent of surveyed workers believe work colleagues should be allowed to have sex and 90 percent admitted being (or having been) attracted to a co-worker.

It’s Only Love, What’s the Harm?

While consensual office relationships are more commonplace than in the past, they can trigger business and legal headaches for employers when the relationship fizzles or is no longer consensual. Moreover, fellow employees may feel resentful, jealous, uncomfortable, or intimidated (especially in relationships between a supervisor and a subordinate), leading to complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Importantly, claims may be brought not only by the individuals in the relationship, but even by third parties. Complaints of “paramour favoritism” are on the rise and are being filed by employees who allege they are overlooked due to preferential treatment towards a co-worker who is engaged in a romantic relationship with the boss.  While courts differ on whether such claims are meritorious, turning a blind eye to such relationships may result in business interruption and liability.

In 2011, for example, the EEOC reported that 11,364 charges of sexual harassment were filed, and 16.3 percent of those were filed by men. The EEOC recovered more than $52 million in damages for sexual harassment claims in 2011. Employers might not be able to prevent love in the office, but they can take action to mitigate potential liability. An important initial measure is to draft a good policy depending on your company’s size, structure, business goals, and culture.  If you implement an office dating policy, you must enforce it uniformly and take appropriate and equal action for violations of the policy.

What Does Company Policy Say?

Now is a good time for employers to update or create a policy governing dating among workers.  While some policies prohibit romantic relationships altogether, many employers recognize that employees will date each other regardless of policy. In fact, they might “sneak around” to avoid violating the policy, which could create even more tension if the relationship is discovered or known only to a select few.  In addition, strict no-dating policies may be difficult to implement and enforce, as they may not clearly define the conduct that is forbidden (e.g., does the policy prohibit socializing, dating, romantic relationships, or something else?).

Some policies interdict dating among management and staff, while others specify that there is to be no fraternization with outside third parties to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of impropriety.  Still, other organizations mandate that employees who date one another voluntarily inform the company about their relationship.

In such cases, the notification policies direct employees to report their dating relationships to Human Resources, the EEO officer, or a member of management, and they ask employees to sign a written consent regarding the romantic relationship. While this type of policy may seem intrusive, these documents are drafted to protect employers from unwanted complaints of future sexual harassment or retaliation.

When asking employees to sign consents, you should again advise them about the company’s sexual harassment policy and remind them about ramifications of policy violations. Document that the employees entered into the relationship voluntarily, were counseled and – if/when the relationship ends – include a memo in their respective personnel records that the relationship ended, and the employees were reminded about the company’s sexual harassment policy.  You should require the dating parties to make certain written representations to shield the company from future claims:

• The individuals have entered the relationship voluntarily and the relationship is consensual.
• The employees will not engage in any conduct that makes others uncomfortable, intimidated, or creates a hostile work environment for other employees, guests, or third parties.
• The employees do not and will not make any decisions that could impact each other’s terms and conditions of employment.
• The employees will act professionally toward each other at all times, even after the relationship has ended.
• The relationship will not cause unnecessary workplace disruptions or distractions or otherwise adversely impact productivity.
• The employees will not retaliate against each other if/when the relationship ends.

Tips for Employers

Employers should prepare and implement a clear policy regarding office relationships or update an existing one, and be sure to disseminate it and obtain employees’ acknowledgements. The policy should address to extent to which office relationships are permissible, and, if appropriate, require employees to promptly disclose the existence (or termination) of a romantic or sexual relationship to a designated member of Human Resources, EEO officer or management.  When the employees involved are in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, disclosure is especially critical so that the employer may effectively address the impact of the relationship (e.g., evaluating if it is necessary to change job duties or reassign the employee(s)).

If harassment occurs despite an employer’s best efforts to prevent and stop it, you will have a strong defense if you can demonstrate that you have done the following:

• Implement and enforce a sexual harassment and office romance policy that provides a clear reporting channel and prohibits retaliation for good faith complaints.
• Train new and existing employees on the sexual harassment policy and document the training.
• Train managers on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to handle complaints.
• Train employees to report inappropriate behavior.
• If a relationship develops between a manager and his/her subordinate, transfer one of them, if possible, to eliminate a direct reporting relationship.
• Promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints.
• Take appropriate corrective action to address prior incidents of sexual harassment.

Regardless of the type of policy your company adopts, be sure to customize it to the needs and actual practices of your business. Train employees and managers on expectations governing office romances. A well-drafted and uniformly enforced fraternization (or non-fraternization) policy will not prevent workplace relationships altogether, but it can protect you if you encounter office romances.
Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

medium_megin_legos

Legoland Discovery Center coming to Arizona Mills

Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments and The Mills, a Simon company, today, announced plans to open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center (LDC) at Arizona Mills. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Phoenix will be Merlin’s seventh LDC to open in the USA and reflects the success of the concept and the huge and enduring appeal of the LEGO brick. It will join Merlin’s popular SEA LIFE aquarium at Arizona Mills.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a unique indoor attraction, based on the popular LEGO brick. Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three hour experience consisting of a range of exciting LEGO play areas including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and of course, the popular MINILAND exhibit found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction.  MINILAND  is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location – at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix this will include both buildings from the City’s impressive skyline and landmarks from the surrounding area, all nominated by the local community.

“The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept has been a huge success across the globe, particularly as part of a family day out of shopping and dining. This, together with the fact that a large number of families with small children live within a 2 – 3 hour drive, makes Arizona Mills the ideal location for the attraction. We are sure visitors, both here and abroad, will embrace the Center,” said Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin Midway Attractions Operating Group.

This significant addition will mark a transformative time for Arizona Mills as it prepares for an upcoming summer renovation to its entertainment wing that will be centered around family friendly experiences and dining options. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix will expand Arizona Mills’ presence in the market as the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping destination.

Plans and designs are already in place for the 60,000 square foot attraction and construction will begin in June 2015. LEGO models for the Phoenix attractions will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction to be ready for the opening in late spring 2016.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Merlin at many of our properties and are very pleased to welcome LEGOLAND Discovery Center, their best global brand, to Arizona Mills,” said Gregg Goodman, president of The Mills. “This, together with SEA LIFE, which Phoenix has embraced as its own special aquarium in the desert, will play a key role in our plans to create a family entertainment district within Arizona Mills. Our goal is to make it the premier destination for families who enjoy great shopping combined with high quality entertainment and dining.”

Merlin has grown significantly since it first opened SEA LIFE in Phoenix and now has more
than 20 attractions in the US.

“Our objective is to ‘cluster’ several complementary attractions together, as we are doing in Phoenix, offering even more reason for families with young children to spend an exciting day at Arizona Mills. Indeed, projects such as this play a very important part in our future growth strategy,” added Earlam.