The Valley is already home to the largest concentration of Major League Baseball fields, used during the Cactus League Spring Training, but even more sporting venues are breaking ground and with them a variety of mixed-use retail, hospitality and multi-family developments. USA Place, Avenue Shoppes at P83 and Riverview Park are such milestone investments in the Valley. Between the three projects, more than three-quarters of a billion dollars is coming out of the ground next to major sports venues. There’s something to be said about the generating return of investment when a few months of star-quality use also needs to spur another eight to 10 months of revenue.
The key behind the three projects is that developers are focused on what happens when USA Basketball and Major League Baseball Spring Training games are not filling the stadiums. It’s the “off-season” activities that return the investment and ensure successful revenue streams. These are “they’re coming; now we can build it” developments. However, each has its own business plan for success.
A City Built Around a Campus
The joint venture that is USA Place LLC is run by Scottsdale-based Concord Eastridge. CEO Susan Eastridge says the project is the ultimate urban mixed-use development. Located on the future Tempe trolley line, USA Place is the new home to USA Basketball and Arizona Interscholastic Athletics. When it comes to filling the venue, AIA and landlord Arizona State University are the ones who will keep the 65KSF events center filled 10 months of the year. Eastridge says there are already 200 events a year locked into the facility.“This is a community where people can literally live, work and shop,” explains project manager Alisa Cutright-Thompson. “We have retail shops, apartments for professionals, the events center, meeting space and a hotel in a single urban complex.”
“We’re building something that ASU and Tempe have wanted — a class-A hotel and mixed-use community,” says Eastridge.
“The AIA will fill the center with more than 200 events per year. Conferences and meetings from the hotel will fill the rest. The residents will connect with the shops.”
A Venue for Westsiders
One of the largest projects in the West Valley will be the $150M mixed-use retail and hospitality development called the Avenue Shoppes at P83. Anchoring the main gate of the Peoria Sports Complex, the project brings life to the P83 entertainment district the city is trying to create.
“This is going to be a destination,” says Peoria Sports Park LLC managing member Michael Oliver. The Peoria-based developer says his personal experience is what led to the vision for the facility. “There are no entertainment and shopping destinations in Peoria. We’re going to anchor this with a complex that is in a category falling between Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland Commons. It will be a place to go and stay, not just shop and run.”
The development includes city-funded parking garages and a 140-room, high-rise hotel. Not including the rooftop bar, there are 245K SF for restaurants and shopping. PSP is looking at a major flag for the hotel, which will be set on top of the retail complex on city-owned land.
The Avenue Shoppes will start construction in the next year and is estimated to costing $150M. Michael Baker Jr. Inc. is handling design duties; a contractor has not been selected. CBRE is consulting on leasing.
Mesa ‘Ville Plans Year-Round Action
“This is new money in the market, and it’s a destination with both regional and local opportunities,” says Mesa Mayor Scott Smith about the showcase Cubs Park and hometown Riverview Park complex nestled against the Loop 101 and 202 freeways in northwest Mesa. “It’s the anchor for a lot of activity,” he adds. “Wrigleyville’s hotel and shops provide an opportunity for conferences and sports events.”
The city invested more than $90M into Cubs Park and another $30M into the recreation and sports facilities at Riverview Park. Structures, Inc., and Powers Hotel Corp. will build a full-service Sheraton Hotel next to Cubs Park, along with 20K SF of retail space in the first phase.
Construction starts this summer and developer Bob Yost expects it to be completed in time for the Super Bowl. Structures Inc., with Yost as CEO, is handling the design-build. It’s estimated that the hotel-retail project will cost more than $60M, but no one from Structures would confirm the price tag.