Tag Archives: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

US Airways 11_10_14

US Airways Center will now be Talking Stick Resort Arena

The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community announced today that US Airways Center — the home of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rattlers, as well as the Valley’s premier concert venue – is poised to take on a new name, Talking Stick Resort Arena, under an agreement reached between the two parties.

“Like Talking Stick Resort, this venue has become an iconic destination for entertainment in Arizona,” said President Diane Enos of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the owner and operator of Talking Stick Resort. “Thousands of families and individuals have created long-lasting memories at this venue which makes its new name, ‘Talking Stick Resort Arena,’ all the more meaningful. We have a shared commitment with the Phoenix Suns in building a sense of community in the Valley and we are honored to help them provide a place for so many people to gather and celebrate.”

The naming rights agreement for the downtown venue is a multi-year deal that builds substantially on the existing agreement between the two parties. The name change will be visible throughout the facility, with Talking Stick Resort Arena being prominent on the exterior of the building; on the underbelly of the center hung scoreboard; on the arena’s rooftop; and featured on the Suns and Mercury basketball courts. The Casino Arizona Pavilion – the arena’s main lobby area – will retain its name. Additional details on the provisions of the naming rights agreement will be released as the transition begins.

“We could not be more excited about our expanded relationship with Talking Stick Resort,” said Phoenix Suns President Jason Rowley. “Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona has been a trusted and valued partner of the Phoenix Suns for many years. This naming rights agreement brings our partnership to a new level and will have an astral impact on the visibility of their support for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and the entire community.”

“This is an exciting day for Phoenix, and another example of what an incredible partner the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is for all of us,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We welcome the new name and look forward to the day when a Suns championship banner hangs from the rafters at Talking Stick Resort Arena.”

American Airlines, the current naming rights partner and owner of US Airways, has fulfilled all of its obligations and elected not to extend its naming rights agreement beyond the 2014-15 season. The facility’s naming transition to Talking Stick Resort Arena, from US Airways Center, is expected to be completed before the beginning of the 2015-16 Phoenix Suns season.

US Airways Center, which opened in 1992, has earned a reputation for excellence, having received a prestigious Prime Site Award from Facilities & Event Magazine as well as a Top 30 ranking for North American Arenas from Pollstar. It hosts an average of 130 events each year with a collective annual audience of one million people. Not only is the arena the home of the Phoenix Suns, but also the three-time WNBA world champion Phoenix Mercury. It is also the home field for five-time arena football world champions, the Arizona Rattlers.

In the past year, the arena has welcomed blockbuster acts such as Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga, adding to its long list of legendary performances from U2, George Strait and Garth Brooks as well as many others. Upcoming events include the UFC’s first-ever visit to Arizona in December, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Church with Dwight Yoakam, Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull, and Bette Midler. The arena also is known for its family content and is the host site each year for Disney on Ice, Marvel Adventure and Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

The Phoenix Suns operate and manage all aspects of US Airways Center under a long term agreement with the City of Phoenix, which owns the facility.

Talking Stick Resort is a AAA Four Diamond Rated Resort and a central landmark within the emerging Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination. Talking Stick Resort is locally owned and proudly operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The 240,000 sq. ft. property offers culturally rich experiences and luxury accommodations throughout its 496 deluxe guest rooms, 11 restaurants and lounges, world-class spa, 650-seat showroom, 25,000 sq. ft. grand ballroom, thriving cultural center and more than 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

trolley

Talking Stick Launches Trolley Service

The Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community announced extended season trolley service that will be offered to visitors in the city of Scottsdale and patrons of the Talking Stick Destination beginning this month.

Complimentary Talking Stick trolley service will run 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, with extended daily service being offered during Spring Training season. The trolley will connect seamlessly with Scottsdale’s existing routes, stopping at several Scottsdale hotspots like the W Scottsdale Hotel, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chaparral Suites Resort, and will ultimately connect patrons to amenities located in the Talking Stick Destination Area, including Talking Stick Golf Club, Talking Stick Resort, Octane Raceway, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and the Talking Stick Visitor Center.

“The Talking Stick Trolley is an extension of the service we offer each Spring Training season,” said Marketing Project Manager Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez. “Fans of sports, culture and entertainment will find many amenities to cheer about at Talking Stick and this complimentary service will allow them to enjoy them year round. We invite friends and visitors to let us take the wheel and bring you to the ultimate cultural and entertainment destination area that is Talking Stick.”

Service will run October thru May annually and is being sponsored by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and several Talking Stick area properties. For additional information on route locations and times, please visit www.TalkingStickArizona.com.

Chandler resident Charlene Vance became the latest Casino Arizona jackpot winner on Aug. 25. She took home $98,000.

Bingo player takes home more than $90,000 at Casino Arizona

Casino Arizona, an enterprise of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, announced a winner in its U-Pick progressive bingo game. Chandler resident Charlene Vance became the latest jackpot winner trying her luck at the property’s O-75 in 20 numbers or less on Aug. 25. She took home $98,000.

“We are no stranger to jackpots at Casino Arizona, but $98,000 is truly life changing,” said Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Casino Arizona. “It is thrilling to be a part of such a significant event in a person’s life and further to have played a role in it. We couldn’t be happier for Charlene!”

A bingo favorite, U-Pick allows players to select eight numbers between one and 75. A jackpot occurs when a participant’s eight numbers are chosen within the first 20 numbers called. As a progressive game, the jackpot for U-Pick begins at $5,000 and is increased $200 each session until it is won. The jackpot is then reset once again.

Casino Arizona’s 1000-seat Bingo Hall features various options for fun. In addition to oversized flat screen monitors, the facility offers 16 weekly sessions and a variety of food and drink specials. Bingo games offered include Double Action 9-Pack, Bonanza, Magic Ball, Starburst Mini’s, Sizzling 7, Salt River and Double Action Coverall just to name a few.

For more information on Casino Arizona’s Bingo games and prizes, call (480) 850-7777 or visit http://www.casinoarizona.com/bingo.aspx.

Great Hearts

Great Hearts Academies completes 5 charter schools

Great Hearts Academies and Nations|Wright announced today the recent completion of construction on five Valley charter schools.  The two newest Great Hearts campuses, Cicero and Arete, as well as an expanded Maryvale Preparatory Academy campus all opened on or before Aug. 11 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Nations Wright, serving as Owner’s Representative for Great Hearts, managed all of the projects.  “Representing Great Hearts in the development of these schools gives us the opportunity to support Great Hearts in its educational mission across the valley and to make a difference in these communities. We are honored and take pride in helping Great Hearts provide high quality, classical, liberal arts education to Valley children,” said Chris Nations, President, Nations Wright.

Great Hearts’ new Cicero campus is located on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community just south of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.  The new Arete campus is located at 4493 E. Baseline Rd. in Gilbert.  Each new campus houses two independent academies.  The Maryvale campus expansion enabled the school to double its capacity on the grounds at 6301 W Indian School Road.

Maryvale Prep, established in 2012, currently offers grades K-5 and serves a largely Hispanic student population.  A community investment loan from CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company financed the campus expansion.  The new 10,000 square foot addition of classrooms and office space was designed by Larson Associates Architects and constructed by Chasse Building Team.

“The addition of CopperPoint Hall at our Maryvale Prep campus will allow us to expand our current offering and serve even more Maryvale students with a quality education.  With this additional investment in Maryvale, and our two new campuses in the east and west valley, we will graduate thousands more great-hearted young women and men for generations to come.” said Dr. Daniel Scoggins, Chief Executive Officer of Great Hearts Academies.

The new Cicero campus has over 90,000 square feet in four buildings, which includes 57 classrooms for the two academies, performing arts spaces, and a gymnasium.  The campus was designed by Gensler Architects and constructed by Chasse Building Team. The new Arete facilities, totaling 75,000 square feet, consist of 50 classrooms, performing arts spaces, and a gymnasium.  The campus was designed by Gensler Architects and constructed by Okland Construction.  Both the Cicero and Arete projects were primarily financed by Arizona Bank and Trust as the lead bank in a private tax-exempt bond issuance through the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.

Archway Classical Academy – Cicero (grades K-5) and Cicero Preparatory Academy (grades 6-12) take their name from Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman philosopher.  Archway Classical Academy – Arete (grades K-5) and Arete Preparatory Academy (grades 6-12) take their name from the Greek word for “heroic excellence.”

Proposed rendering courtesy of GPE

90th Street Medical Campus planned for SRPMIC

A state-of-the-art medical campus will soon be built at the northeast corner of Loop 101 and 90th Street, on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, less than two miles from the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

The 43-acre, mixed-use development will be named 90th Street Medical Campus.

“We have had tremendous interest for this extraordinary project from parties all over the country and overseas,” stated Julie Johnson, Executive Vice President with GPE Commercial Advisors, which has the exclusive listing to market this development. Johnson and Senior Vice President Alexandra Loye are the listing brokers for the property.

“With its excellent demographics, freeway signage and visibility, access and location, it’s perfect for all healthcare providers—and it’s certain to generate hundreds of new jobs,” says Loye.

Developed in partnership with Grosvenor Holdings and Healthcare Development Partners, the campus will include a 100,000 square foot Behavioral Hospital, already leased and in the planning stage. The project also calls for over 400,000 square feet of healthcare space for lease and sale, including a multi-tenant medical office building, a hospital-sponsored out-patient center, senior housing and complementary retail pads.

Nearby attractions include the Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring training facility, Talking Stick Resort and Casino, and the future OdySea Aquarium.

The demographic advantages of the North Scottsdale area include high median household incomes and a high-density insured population which is sure to attract the highest quality healthcare providers.

Johnson said the region has a high demand for physicians that will only increase in the near future. “A recent Physician Needs Assessment shows a statistical demand for medical professionals across almost every discipline, now and over the next five years,” she said. “And as a fast-growing area with lots of new families, there will be an especially high need for family practitioners and OB/GYNs.”

“This type of project is especially significant now, because we’re starting to see new development again for the first time since the downturn a few years ago,” said GPE Companies Founder Ron Genovese.

He continued, “With the number of good jobs this development will create, it really bodes well for the community. We’re just so pleased to be involved with this project.”

Top 5: Arizona Casinos - Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

Senators Urged to Preserve Future of Indian Gaming in Arizona

Congress has the power to intervene in a growing national practice and problem of ‘off-reservation gaming,’ or ‘reservation-shopping.’ The topic was at the heart of an oversight hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs today, titled, “Indian Gaming: The Next 25 Years,” and included discussion of H.R. 1410—the bi-partisan bill to solve the problem faced by the city of Glendale in Arizona, that will protect the integrity of Indian Gaming in the state, but would also be a beacon to cities and towns across the U.S. that find themselves in similar circumstances.

A prelude to a vote on H.R. 1410 by the U.S. Senate, today’s hearing included testimony from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) President, Diane Enos and City of Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, excerpts from their testimony follow, full transcripts can be found at www.indian.senate.gov.

SRPMIC President, Diane Enos opened her remarks, by saying, “For over 20 years Arizona Indian Gaming has been stable, predictable, and successful. However, sadly, its future in Arizona does not look good. It is threatened by the actions of one tribe. H.R. 1410, the ”Keep the Promise Act,” which is pending before the Committee, will help protect Indian gaming in Arizona. We respectfully urge the Committee to pass it.”

SRPMIC President explained to the Senators that private non-Indian gaming companies were always hovering over Arizona looking for an opportunity, a loophole, to overthrow Indian Gaming exclusivity, but that today, that exclusivity, and the current Indian Gaming compacts were jeopardized from within, by the Tohono O’odham Nation:

“This plan by the Tohono O’odham of building an additional casino in the Phoenix-metro area directly violates promises that they made, that other Arizona tribes made, and that the Governor of Arizona made to citizens who approved our compacts in November 2002,” stated Enos. In 2002, then-Governor Jane D. Hull announced that the compacts she and 17 tribes had negotiated for two and a half years – if approved by the voters – would ensure there would be “no additional casinos allowed in the Phoenix metropolitan area”. This promise of “no additional casinos in the Phoenix-metro area” was made by Tribes and the Governor over and over to the voters, Enos said, “because we believed it.”

City of Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers addressed the powerlessness of local government in this situation, saying, “Our choice was not ideal: continue to fight and hope for action from this body, or give in to this casino being forced on us. It is frustrating to be a city of our size and have no voice on a casino proposed by a tribal government more than a hundred miles away.”

Weiers also spoke up about what this means for other cities, “Our sister cities know that unless Congress acts, they may be next. There are over 200 other county islands in the Phoenix metropolitan area. And the Tohono O’odham Nation attorneys have said the Tribe has the right to close its existing three casinos and open them on these county islands. We are a test case, but it is the start of a very slippery slope. If Congress does not act, the entire Phoenix area should be prepared for more off-reservation casinos.”

golf

Topgolf opens first Arizona location

Golf entertainment leader Topgolf International, Inc. will open its first location in Arizona tomorrow, following its VIP grand opening party this evening. The new 65,000-square-foot facility will be the company’s 13th location worldwide, first in the southwestern United States, and the first to be built on Native American lands.

The private VIP grand opening party will feature music and entertainment, prize giveaways, complimentary food, drinks and, of course, Topgolf® play. Special appearances will be made by Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys from Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix. Topgolf partner Uber is offering partygoers 30 percent discounts on rides to and from the party as well as gift cards. The first 230 Phoenix-area residents to sign up for a Platinum or Gold membership at the new location received invitations to the party, in addition to community leaders and social media contest winners.

Topgolf is a one-of-a-kind golf entertainment experience with seven competitive games and advanced technology to track the accuracy and distance of players’ shots. Constructed by ARCO/Murray, the three-level Topgolf at Riverwalk facility includes: 102 climate-controlled hitting bays; a full-service restaurant and three bars; more than 230 high-definition flat-screen TVs; a rooftop terrace with fire pits; and 3,000 square feet of private event space. The Topgolf app, available for free download on iTunes and Google Play, allows users to change the channel on the TV in each hitting bay.

“We can’t wait to open our doors tomorrow,” said Topgolf at Riverwalk Director of Operations Hana Khouri. “It’s going to be an amazing summer at Topgolf. Golfing in Arizona during the summertime can be uncomfortably hot, but Topgolf offers a great alternative for golf fans since our hitting bays are shaded and cooled with fans and misters. We will be hosting golf tournaments, daytime clinics for kids, Monday evening leagues, themed costume parties, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night on our rooftop terrace. And even if you don’t play golf, there will be no shortage of things to do here.”

Topgolf at Riverwalk hired approximately 450 local residents to staff the site. Company officials estimate that the location will serve 450,000 visitors in Scottsdale in its first year of operation, with a 10-year economic output exceeding $264 million.

“We are proud to welcome Topgolf to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and its Cultural and Entertainment Destination area, Talking Stick,” said Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez, Talking Stick Destination project manager. “Talking Stick offers a wide variety of amenities, from shopping and gaming to spring training baseball and hotel accommodations. We look forward to the additional fun and excitement that Topgolf will bring to our guest experience. When guests visit Topgolf, not only will they have a good time perfecting their golf swing, but they will also enjoy the spectacular views of the SRPMIC and the valley of the sun. It will be an experience unlike any other in the valley, and we are happy to welcome them.”

Topgolf at Riverwalk is located at 9500 E. Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.topgolf.com.

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Laws of the land: Navigating development in Indian Country

Gerrit Steenblik, Polsinelli

Gerrit Steenblik, Polsinelli

Anyone who has tried to develop on one of the 22 federally recognized Indian tribes’ land in Arizona has probably encountered the patchwork of land ownership that can sometimes make it difficult to build. Land on reservations can be owned by the tribe, held in trust and owned by an individual (both allotted property and non). Recently, Polsinelli’s Gerrit Steenblik and Anne Kleindienst shared that to negotiate a 55-year land lease for the development of the Noah Webster school on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, they had to work with many departments of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, including the general counsel’s office, the economic development division, the treasurer’s office, the education administration and the community’s public relations office, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the allotted land owners.

Each tribe functions as a sovereign nation and provides a variety of governmental services to tribal members.

Roxann Gallagher, Sacks Tierney

Roxann Gallagher, Sacks Tierney

“Because few tribes tax their members, many tribes engage in commercial activities to generate sufficient revenue to provide these services,” says Roxann Gallagher, attorney at Sacks Tierney. “As a result, we have traditionally seen a mix of bonds, either tax-exempt or taxable, issued to acquire, construct or improve both governmental and commercial facilities.”

With the introduction of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, came $2B meant to broaden the reach of tax-exempt funding for commercial development. A significant portion of that $2B volume cap for tribal economic development bonds are still available.

Native American communities can issue tax-exempt bonds to finance construction projects that will benefit their own community, such as government and community buildings. Various departments also offer federal grants to fund schools, pre-school programs, health care, and infrastructure, including water systems and roads in Indian country.

“Keys to success [with regards to building in Indian country] included the personal relationships, long-range planning to avoid last-minute glitches and the fact that the new Noah Webster School responded to a genuine need of the community, leading to a win-win result,” says Steenblik, who was the borrower’s counsel for the Noah Webster School being constructed on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The construction of the new Noah Webster Schools-Pima project within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is being funded by a tax-exempt bond issued by the Industrial Development Authority of Pima County that is only available to tax exempt, nonprofit and non-Indian owned business.

“Construction financing undertaken by a tribal government or tribal governmental entity has many of the same challenges as any other governmental financing in terms of timing, structure, respect for political processes, and adherence to regulatory requirements,” says Gallagher. “Most notably, however, there are some additional legal and business issues that must be considered if certain tribal real property or restricted revenues are intended as security for the indebtedness. For instance, there are federal restrictions on the alienation of tribal property, potentially complicated title issues, and limitations on recourse against some potential sources of repayment.”

Ed Rubacha, Jennings, Haug & Cunningham

Ed Rubacha, Jennings, Haug & Cunningham

Though Jennings, Haug & Cunningham’s Ed Rubacha says it’s unlikely for tribal communities to resist payment by declaring sovereign immunity after a project is completed, the disputes of the Hualapai Skywalk and Ranch can make some developers nervous. Granted, if it’s a large project, Rubacha says, with a well-known tribe it may be smart to ask for a waive of immunity. A recent example being the Navajo Nation waiving its right to declare immunity on a $500M purchase of a coal mine being purchased by the Navajo Transitional Energy Company.

In the early 2000’s, the Navajo Nation decided to build its first casino in Arizona. It wouldn’t break ground until 2011 or open until May 2013. Twin Arrows employs 1,300 people and will make $45M a year. Instead of enlisting the help of a commercial bank, developers worked with the Navajo government to secure adequate funding.

“In 2009-10, the capital market was really soft,” says Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Chief Executive Darrick Wachtman. “Wall Street wasn’t lending to the casino startups. There was no activity. It was a good opportunity for the nation to get good returns. The interest rate was higher than market. It’s dependent on the cash-flow leverage.”

As for developers, Gallagher reports positive feedback: “Sacks Tierney’s clients have found that successful tribal finance transactions are akin to hitting a perfect golf shot in that the result is well worth the effort.”

arizona

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community goes commercial

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community may have one of the best-located pieces of commercial real estate in the Phoenix Metro. It owns a 9.5-mile long area, known as the Pima Corridor, parallel to the Loop 101, a beltway connected to nearly all area freeways. Of that commercially zoned stretch, 143 acres remain undeveloped. Many Valley residents primarily associate the Talking Stick entertainment district with the Pima Corridor, the SRPMIC is seeking significant non-entertainment development within and without Talking Stick, including two charter schools and also procuring resources to update its existing data center.

“The SRPMIC is a pretty sophisticated community and as the community grows in population and business ventures, the adoption of technology also grows,” says SmithGroupJJR’s Technology Studio Leader Rob Sty. “[Records are] all stored electronically now. The community has gotten to the point that it needs to expand its data.”

As with any building on the community’s land, the data center must incorporate the culture’s aesthetic integrity. The challenge is that data centers, out of concern for security, tend to also be designed as background buildings.

“Architects and engineers do not always get to put that design element into a data center. It’s interesting for us,” Sty says, adding that designing a project for the SRPMIC was a community effort: “It’s a lot more interesting when all the groups are engaged. Everyone has a voice, and you come out with a better project.”

NOTCHES ON A TALKING STICK
A Talking Stick is a contemporary representation of the traditional O’odham (Pima) calendar stick, on which carvers recorded significant events and milestones throughout the year. It is also the namesake of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s entertainment district, which comprises about half of the tribes’ commercial land reserves. Talking Stick is a 1.1 MSF entertainment district consisting of a casino, resort, golf course, spring training facility and retail center called The Pavilions. Opened in the ‘80s, the Pavilions represents the second carving on Talking Stick’s calendar — the first being the union of the two tribes who comprise the community. The bottom of the stick shows vacant space with room to grow — and one of the many projects underway this year and next may just be the next addition.

The 1.1MSF Talking Stick’s build-up is due to a pro-development attitude of the community leaders as well as developers keen on getting their foot in the door of a burgeoning entertainment district. Since much of the traffic speeds by Talking Stick at 65 mph, designing for the corridor requires those such as PHX Architecture’s Erik Peterson to not only create something fun to visit but also something eye-catching from afar.

Peterson’s design for The Cove Family Fun Center, a metallic mesh-wrapped building with blue accent lighting around it is certainly made to pique the attention of freeway passengers. The building has to capture your attention, he says of his recent work on The Cove Family Fun Center — a 60KSF entertainment center. The basket-like building is set to break ground on SRPMIC later this year. Nick Andrews, developer of The Cove, was drawn to the Salt-River Pima Indian Community for his first project on tribal land due to the community’s proactive reputation.

“They’re really pro-growth when it comes to developers like us who have an entertainment-related venue,” Andrews says.

Just in the last 12 months, Talking Stick has seen development of a Courtyard Marriott, OdySea projects, Top Golf and other attractions. Blessing McAnlis-Vasquez, marketing project manager of Talking Stick, says it’s a combination of tribal leadership and private developers’ vision for tourism and entertainment amenities that has led to its recent success.

“Our leadership always looks ahead seven generations,” McAnlis-Vasquez says, though the present is just as exciting.

Though the SRPMIC has a population of 6,000, Salt River Fields, built in 2009, has more than 12 annual events, some of which bring up to 15,000 guests. The proposed OdySea Aquarium, set to break ground later this year, is designed to accommodate 15,000 visitors a day and will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest. Leasing at the Pavilions is at 87 percent, up from 50 percent at the downturn of the recession.

The shopping center has also seen more than $17M in renovations. Though The Cove Family Fun Center hasn’t signed a lease yet, the 60KSF entertainment venue is working proactively with the tribe to open for business by summer 2015.

THE RISE, FALL & REBIRTH OF THE PAVILIONS
When the Pavilions at Talking Stick was built, it was the freshest take on retail super centers. As time passed, ownership and management changed hands and the center fell into disrepair. Marty De Rito and business partner Chuck Carlise scooped up the property for $85M in January 2008 with 85 percent of the property leased. In 10 months, the recession dropped vacancy to 50 percent. Six years later, De Rito is just now breaking even on its purchase.

“This property could have taken our company down,” Carlise says. “Fortunately, now we’re about 87 percent leased. The tribe has been phenomenal in assisting us with the renaissance of this property.”

Just like the road through the center of the Pavilions to SRF, it goes both ways.

It was De Rito who got wind of the Diamondbacks’ desire to move north for spring training in 2009, and Carlise attributes his partner to bringing what would be a catalyst for the entire district to Salt River Fields.

“It’s an interesting thing when you have non-retail activity going on at the center. Salt River Fields helped this property to survive,” Carlise says.

Though SRF was a catalyst for businesses built up around the area and meant a surge of restaurant interest in Pavilions space, there was still one more hurdle De Rito Partners looked to clear — alcohol.

Until 2010, the only establishments that could serve liquor on tribal land were the hotel, casino and golf course — all owned by SRPMIC. De Rito Partners couldn’t bring restaurant tenants to the Pavilions if they needed a liquor license. Now, there’s a Red Robin under construction as well as business with Buffalo Wild Wings.

“There was no barrier for entry after that,” Carlise says.

The other saving graces for the Pavilions — lending (De Rito’s lender was General Electric, a bit more flexible than a regulated bank would have been) and moving an office to the Pavilions.

“We’ve probably saved half a million dollars just being onsite,” Carlise says, adding that the added attention to the property is what has contributed to the Pavilions’ return to its potential.

PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE

OdySea Aquarium
odyseaDevelopment and Management Team: Amram Knishinsky, Martin Pollack and Rubin Stahl
General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: Deutsch Architecture Group
Location: Via De Ventura and the 101 in Scottsdale at
the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 200KSF
Brokerage Firm: N/A
Value: $175M
Estimated completion date: 4Q 2015
The OdySea Aquarium will be the largest aquarium in the Southwest and in the unlikely setting of the Sonoran desert. The two-level facility will span more than 200KSF, and visitors will move to each level via acrylic tunnels while viewing animals of rivers and oceans in the world.

noah_websterNoah Webster School – Pima Campus
Developer: Noah Webster Schools & Salt River Devco
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Location: Pima & Jackrabbit roads, Scottsdale
Size: 51,502 SF
Value: $5.4M
Completed date: July 2014
The two-story framed K-6 charter school facility will feature 32 classrooms, including music and art rooms, a multi-purpose gym with cafeteria and stage, office space, conference rooms, play fields and bus parking. The project has been in planning and design for a number of years and the groundbreaking represents a significant milestone for Noah Webster Basic School and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s STEM education.

Great Hearts Academy – Cicero Campus
great_heartsDeveloper: De Rito Partners Development
General Contractor: Chasse Building Team
Architect: Gensler
Location: NWC Loop 101 & Indian Bend Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 85KSF
Brokerage Firm: Keyser/Mulhern Development Team
Value: $10M
Estimated completion date: July 2014
This nonprofit, tuition-free K-12 charter school will cater to 1,200 children in an area that was once occupied by a Chuck E. Cheese at the Pavilions Shopping Center. Phase I will accommodate students in grade K-7 and Phase II to 12th grade.

The Cove Family Fun Center
coveProject Name: The Cove Family Fun Center
Developer: Nick Andrews & David Prom
General Contractor: AR Mays Construction
Architect: PHX Architecture
Location: NEC of the Loop 101 Via de Ventura Interchange on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community
Size: 67KSF
Value: $13M
Estimated completion date: Summer 2015
The Cove Family Fun Center is slated to include 19 themed birthday/event rooms, laser tag, bowling, arcade games, laser tag and go-karts.

Arizona’s 25 Most Influential Minority Business Leaders

What would you do it you opened the pages of this magazine and saw Jerry Colangelo listed as one of the 25 Most Influential Minority Business Leaders in Arizona? You’d do a double take, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

Consider this: Among 439,633 Arizonans under age 5 in 2012, this is how the Census broke down those numbers:

• Hispanic: 196,776 (44.8 percent)
• Non-Hispanic white: 171,888 (39.1 percent)
• American Indian and Alaska Native: 22,198 (5 percent)
• Black: 18,617 (4.2 percent)
• Asian: 11,311 (2.6 percent)
• Two or more races: 18,088 (4.1 percent)
• Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 755 (0.17).

If you combine numbers like that with the fact that 91.7 percent of the nation’s population growth between 2000 and 2010 was attributed to racial and ethnic minorities, with the largest segment of population growth occurring in the Hispanic community, lists like this — the 25 Most Influential Minority Business Leaders in Arizona of 2014 — could become obsolete in our lifetimes.

Until we get there and as our state’s minority population moves toward majority status, it’s important to notice that the state’s most dynmanic business leaders have helped fuel our economic recovery and growth … and many of them just happen to be minorities. And while the future looks bright, we still have work to in overcoming outdated perceptions. According to a 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Report commissioned by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Phoenix MBDA Business Center, a significant portion of minority-owned businesses in Arizona have had problems earning the trust of their customers, suppliers, peers and lenders and need support from within the business community to help break down some of these misconceptions and stigma.

The 25 Most Influential Minority Business Leaders in Arizona, whom you will meet below, have changed that perception.


Benito AlmanzaBenito Almanza
Arizona president
Bank of America
Heritage: Mexican-American
A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara, Almanza has been with Bank of America for 34 years. He is a member of the Teach for America Arizona Board.
His hope for professional legacy: “Working every day with great teammates to make our community better and surrounding myself with strong leaders and developing them to replace me.”

Glynis BryanGlynis Bryan
CFO
Insight Enterprises Inc.
Heritage: Jamaican
Bryan is responsible for setting the company’s financial strategies; ensuring the company has the appropriate financial and operating controls and systems in place to support future growth; and serving as a financial and business advisor to the leadership team.
Her hope for professional legacy: “Setting a standard of excellence in an organization and helping teammates reach their full potential.”

Debbie CottonDebbie Cotton
Director
Phoenix Convention Center
Heritage: African American
Cotton manages a staff of 240 employees, a budget of $47.5 million and is the city’s chief representative to the state’s tourism and hospitality industry.
Her hope for professional legacy: “Throughout my career, I’d like to be remembered for adhering to high ethical standards and inspiring individuals to pursue careers within public service.”

Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.Gonzalo de la Melena Jr.
President and CEO
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Heritage: Peruvian and Mexican
De la Melena, who directs the state’s leading advocate representing more than 60,000 Hispanic business enterprises, has 20 years of global brand management, business development and Latino marketing experience gained from conducting business in more than 30 countries.
His hope for professional legacy: “For helping the lifeblood of our economy, small businesses, prosper – especially minority-owned businesses, now one-fourth of Arizona’s total. Our future global competitiveness depends on it.”

Diane EnosDiane Enos
President
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Enos is the 23rd president of the Salt River Community and the second women elected to the office. Enos is the first member of the Community to become a lawyer and practiced in the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office for 11 years.
Heritage: Onk Akimel O’Odham, or one of the River People otherwise known as Pima
Her hope for professional legacy: “The top qualities I’d like to be remembered for is someone who was unafraid to try something new and to do it with integrity for the good of my people.”

rufusRufus Glasper
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges
Heritage: African American
As the CEO of one of the nation’s largest systems of community colleges, he is leading MCCCD to address the community’s education and workforce training needs.
His hope for professional legacy: “An educator who focused on human rights and education for first-generation college students, quality healthcare, workforce and jobs, and re-framing an institution for the future.”

Deborah GriffinDeborah Griffin
President of the board of directors
Gila River Casinos
Heritage: Gila River Indian Community member and Mexican-American
Griffin leads Arizona’s largest minority-run business with more that 2,500 employees.
Her hope for professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered for creating a legacy of self-sufficiency and volunteerism in my community. My Tribe needs only to seek within themselves and have confidence in the beauty of their abilities to continue this legacy.”

Edmundo HidalgoEdmundo Hidalgo
President and CEO
Chicanos Por La Causa
Heritage: Mexican-American
His hope for professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the community. The Hispanic community is at a breakaway point because of our demographics and the opportunities we establish for our youth will have a tremendous impact on our state. As the Hispanic community goes, so will the State of Arizona. My focus has always been in support of education and ensuring that young people get the opportunities I received as I was beginning my career. I am blessed to have been mentored by many individuals who were willing to invest in me and I have the responsibility to do the same.”

leezieLeezie Kim
Partner
Quarles & Brady
Heritage: Korean-American
Kim returned to Quarles & Brady after four years of service as a White House appointee to the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and as general counsel to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Her hope for professional legacy: “As a trusted counselor to and partner with leaders in business, government and politics who found new ways to get things done that make life a little better for us all.”

david_kongDavid Kong
President and CEO
Best Western International
Since he was named president and CEO in 2004, Kong has guided Best Western International through a brand resurgence, winning numerous awards for training, social media and ecommerce initiatives. Brand Keys ranked Best Western No. 1 in customer loyalty for four consecutive years.
Heritage: Asian
His hope for professional legacy: “I’d like to be remembered for having made a positive difference – in Best Western, in the industry and the lives of all our associates and our hotel staff.”

paulPaul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation
Luna leads Helios Education Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. He is the former president of Valley of the Sun United Way and has held positions with Pepsi, IBM and the Office of Governor Bruce Babbitt.
Heritage: Hispanic
His hope for professional legacy: “That I cared about our community and helped make it better.”

steve_maciasSteve Macias
President and CEO
Pivot Manufacturing
Macias serves on the Governor’s Council on Small Business and is co-chair of the Supply Chain/Buy Arizona Committee, which is exploring ways government can help promote Arizona businesses.
Heritage: Hispanic
His hope for professional legacy: “Someone who made a positive impact in promoting manufacturing as a worthwhile and valuable industry that provides quality jobs to the community.”

louis_manuelLouis J. Manuel, Jr.
Chairman
Ak-Chin Indian Community
Heritage: Tohono O’odham Nation and Ak-Chin Indian Community
Manuel has diversified his Community’s economy with Ak-Chin Farms, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Santa Cruz Commerce Center and a partnership with the Super Bowl Host Committee.
His hope for professional legacy: “That my decision making gave value and sustainability in promoting a strong future and self-reliance for the people I serve.”

clarenceClarence McAllister
President and CEO
Fortis Networks
Heritage: Black Latino
McAllister was born in Panama and earned degrees in electrical engineering from ASU and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. In 2000, he and his wife Reyna started Fortis, a certified 8a and HUBZone government contractor specialized in engineering, construction and technology services.
His hope for professional legacy: “As an immigrant who came to this country in search of the American Dream, and built a business that employs more than 100 Americans.”

alfred_molinaAlfredo Molina
Chairman
Molina Jewelers
Heritage: Hispanic
Molina went from fleeing Cuba as a boy without a change of clothes to rocking the jewelry world by selling the Archduke Joseph diamond for $21.5 million, the most ever paid at auction for a colorless diamond.
His hope for professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered as someone who made a difference. I believe that every individual is a precious jewel and it is my commitment and social responsibility to ensure they become brilliant.”

rodolfo-pargaRodolfo Parga, Jr.
Managing shareholder
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
Heritage: Mexican
Parga has been named in multiple editions of Southwest Super Lawyers®, including in 2014. He also serves on the doard of Chicanos Por la Causa, a leading nonprofit helping advance and create economic and educational opportunities.
His hope for professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered as always trying my best to do the right thing, and being fair and loyal.”

Dan PuenteDan Puente
Owner
D.P. Electric
Heritage: Hispanic
Puente founded D.P. Electric in 1990 out of his garage with one truck and has built it into the largest Hispanic-owned company in Arizona.
His hope for professional legacy: “As an individual who created a company that set industry standards, gave back to an industry generous with opportunity and helped people grow personally and professionally.”

terry_ramblerTerry Rambler
Chairman
Arizona Indian Gaming Association
Heritage: San Carlos Apache Tribe
In addition to his AIGA leadership role, Rambler is chariman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and president of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.
His hope for professional legacy: “Strong vision, consistent oversight, yet humble leadership that helped build successful partnerships in economic development, cultural preservation, and the expansion of tribal sovereignty.”

Terence-RobertsTerence Roberts, M.D., J.D.
Radiation oncologist
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Heritage: African-American
Roberts specializes in stereotactic radiosurgery and tumors of the brain, spine, and prostate. He also received a law degree from Stanford University and practiced corporate law in the Silicon Valley for start-up companies.
His hope for professional legacy: “I would like to be remembered professionally as compassionate, knowledgeable and having integrity. Also as someone who innovated in an era of health care reform.”

Steve SanghiSteve Sanghi
Chairman, CEO and president
Microchip Technology
Heritage: Indian
Sanghi, named president of Microchip in 1990, CEO in 1991 and chairman in 1993, is the author of “Driving Excellence: How The Aggregate System Turned Microchip Technology from a Failing Company to a Market Leader.”
His hope for professional legacy: “For building Microchip Technology into one of the most successful semiconductor companies, which achieved an unprecedented 100 consecutive profitable quarters in a brutally competitive industry.”

roxanne_song_ongRoxanne K. Song Ong
Chief presiding judge
Phoenix Municipal Court
Heritage: Chinese American
Song Ong, who chair the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Minorities, was the first Asian female judge in Arizona and first minority to be named as Phoenix chief judge.
Her hope for professional legacy: “It would be my great honor to be remembered for three primary things: (1) my work in judicial and civics education, (2) the promotion of cultural competency and diversity in the judicial and legal profession, and (3) promoting access to justice for all Arizonans through legal services and education.”

Charlie-ToucheCharlie Touché
Chairman and CEO
Lovitt & Touché, Inc.
In 2004, Touché became chairman and CEO of one of the largest insurance agencies in the United States, with nearly 200 employees in three offices and more than $300 million in total premiums.
Heritage: Hispanic
His hope for professional legacy: “I’m proud to say that during this entire century, we’ve remained a client-driven, hands-on kind of company with people who will roll up their sleeves and jump in the trenches to help those we do business with.”

lisa_uriasLisa Urias
President and CEO
Urias Communications
Heritage: Mexican
Urias has built an award-winning advertising, marketing and public relations agency that specializes in the diverse markets of the American Southwest, particularly the Hispanic market.
Her hope for professional legacy: “Having a nationally-known agency that successfully connects corporations to multicultural markets through ad campaigns, public relations and community outreach for mutual benefit and respect.”

lonnie_williamsLonnie J. Williams, Jr.
Partner
Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Heritage: Black
The Yale graduate’s practice focuses on commercial business and employment-related matters. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America.
His hope for professional legacy: “Martin Luther King said, ‘if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.’ Professionally, I would like to be remembered like that street sweeper.”

kuldip_vermaKuldip Verma
CEO
Vermaland
Heritage: East Indian
Vermaland, founded by Verma, holds more than 24,000 acres of land in Arizona with a portfolio valued at $500 million. Nabha, the tiny Indian village Verma was born in, could fit many times into the acreage he now controls in the desert Southwest.
His hope for professional legacy: “I saw a dream and pursued it. Success without humility is a curse, but Success with your values intact is a blessing.”

Courtesy of Adolfson & Peterson Construction

New to Market: Noah Webster School – Pima Campus

Developer: Noah Webster Schools & Salt River Devco
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Location: Pima & Jackrabbit roads, Scottsdale
Size: 51,502 SF
Value: $5.4M
Completed date: July 2014
Project Description: The two-story framed K-6 charter school facility will feature 32 classrooms, including music and art rooms, a multi-purpose gym with cafeteria and stage, office space, conference rooms, play fields and bus parking. The project has been in planning and design for a number of years and the groundbreaking represents a significant milestone for Noah Webster Basic School and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. With a challenging curriculum and structured STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy, the new Pima Campus will enhance the state of the art technology program – adding to the commitment to ensure each student progresses academically and experiences success on a daily basis.

AIGA's Spicer Was Featured Speaker in London

Valerie Spicer, Executive Director Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA), was a featured panelist at ICE Totally Gaming seminar, “Opportunities in Indian Country” on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, in London, UK.  The seminar is co-produced by ICE Totally Gaming and Victor Rocha of PECHANGA.net in cooperation with Clarion Gaming’s Ewa Bakun.  Spicer is featured on the panel “Tribal Perspectives on internet gaming and overview of the tribal iGaming ventures.”

“I’m very fortunate that Valerie is able to join me at the ICE Totally Gaming conference in London as a panelist for the Opportunities in Indian Country:  Tribal Gaming Seminars,” said Victor Rocha.  “Val brings an extraordinary background in tribal gaming having worked in both the public and private sectors.  She not only has the respect of our industry, she was recently recognized as a Great Woman of Gaming, Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management.  I couldn’t ask for a better person to represent Indian Country in Europe.”

ICE Totally Gaming is the biggest gaming exhibition in the world. ICE 8 Conferences provide in-depth opportunities to learn through case studies, interactive discussions and focused networking about the most exciting areas in gaming. The seminars on Opportunities in Indian Country are free to participants at ICE Totally Gaming and designed to educate the European gaming industry about tribal gaming, the opportunities and impacts.

“The European market has conducted internet gaming for many years.  This program is a timely opportunity for us to engage with this market.  We anticipate an excellent exchange of information,” said Valerie Spicer, Executive Director AIGA. “Tribes will get qualified information on internet and social gaming and the potential business opportunities that can result, more importantly we can tell our story to the European market.  Personally I’m looking forward to explaining the difference between commercial and tribal gaming and how the economic impact from tribal gaming ripples through our communities and also positively affects our neighboring communities.”

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association has a membership of 17 tribes representing more than 90% of the Indian people living on reservations in Arizona. AIGA was established November 21, 1994 by Arizona tribal leaders.  The Association is committed to advancing the lives of Indian peoples – economically, socially and politically – so that Indian tribes in Arizona can achieve their goal of self-reliance.  Current membership includes:  Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave, Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai  Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation,  White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Zuni Tribe.

For more information about ICE, visit http://www.icetotallygaming.com/opportunities-indian-country or ICE Totally Gaming: http://www.icetotallygaming.com/.

casino indian gaming

Indian tribe will appeal Glendale casino ruling

An Indian tribe in Arizona has told a judge it intends to appeal his decision that concluded another Indian tribe’s plan to build a casino on the edge of Glendale was legal.

The Gila River Indian Community is appealing U.S. District Judge David Campbell’s May 7 ruling in which he said the Tohono O’odham Nation’s plan to build the casino was legal because the state’s voter-approved gambling compacts didn’t contain language prohibiting new casino construction.

The state of Arizona, Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community sued the Tohono O’odham Nation to stop the casino.

They said it violates zoning and state laws and would disrupt residential neighborhoods.

The Tohono O’odham Nation unveiled its plans for the massive resort and casino in 2009.

Diane Enos - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Diane Enos – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Diane Enos – President,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Enos is the second woman elected as president of the SRPMIC. She is dedicated to promoting education for the SRPMIC people and creating new opportunities that allow the traditional O’odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) lifestyle to flourish within the community. Enos is the first member of the SRPMIC to become an attorney and is chair of the executive board for the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona.

Surprising fact: “I am a painter at heart. My undergrad degree is in fine arts and I had started on a career in painting and sculpture before getting the political bug.

Biggest challenge: “Time management and learning how to accomplish as much as I can without being scattered.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Salt River Fields, Colorado Rockies - Image Provided by Flickr

Salt River Fields Surpasses 1 Million In Attendance

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) announced that Saturday’s sold out crowd of 11,576 pushed the total attendance at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick over the one-million mark since the complex opened in 2011. The shared facility between the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies, constructed in partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, reached the milestone in just 24 months of operation. The total includes all ticketed events at Salt River Fields including concerts, festivals and Spring Training games.

“It is quite an accomplishment to reach this milestone in such a short amount of time and it’s really a testament to the baseball fans throughout Arizona,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “Along with our partners at the Rockies and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, we set out to create the best Spring Training facility in all of baseball and we feel strongly that we were able to do just that.”

In addition to hosting Spring Training games from the two National League West Division teams, Salt River Fields will host four games in March as part of the World Baseball Classic. On Tuesday, March 5, the D-backs will host an exhibition night game against Team Mexico and on Wednesday, March 6, the Rockies will face Team USA in a 7:10 p.m. start. The official World Baseball Classic games will kick off on Thursday, March 6 as Team Italy faces Team Mexico in a 1:00 p.m. game followed by a 12:30 p.m. contest on Friday, March 7 between Team Canada and Team Italy.

In addition to these games, fans are invited to watch Team USA in its first official workout on Monday, March 4 at 1 p.m.

In each of its first two seasons, Salt River Fields has broken the total attendance mark for a two-team complex, as last year’s record total between the D-backs and Rockies was 369,393. The D-backs’ average attendance of 11,677 was the highest in Major League Baseball for the second consecutive season.

Following its first year, Salt River Fields was a finalist for the “Sports Facility of the Year” by Sports Business Journal. The facility has earned LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council and has received numerous awards including “Best Place to See a Spring Training Game” by the Phoenix New Times, “Best Spring Training Facility” by Arizona Foothills magazine and “Ballpark of the Year” by Ballpark Digest, BaseballParks.com and Digitalparks.com.

The largest one-day event on record at Salt River Fields came in January 2012, when more than 20,000 people came to the facility for Street Eats.

Salt River Fields’ 2013 calendar already touts several major events: April 20 is the 4th Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival with 12,000 expected to attend; the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Charity Softball Game April 27, when approximately 5,000 are anticipated; and the Independence Day Music Festival July 3, with more than 14,000 attending last year to see Country Music powerhouses Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker.

Rancho Solano - Ventura Campus

Rancho Solano Ventura Campus Set To Open

The inaugural school year for Rancho Solano Ventura Campus, the newest academic program from Meritas Family of Schools, is scheduled to commence in August.

Located in Scottsdale just west of the 101 and Via de Ventura interchange, the Ventura Campus at Pima Center offers accessibility and locality. Rancho Solano’s Ventura Campus retains their celebration for cultural diversity by joining Pima Center, a development of MainSpring Capital Group in conjunction with members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The education program will be housed in the existing 82,000 SF, two-story building, originally developed by Opus Southwest in 2009, and purchased by a MainSpring affiliate in 2011. Initially designed as a suburban office space, the building features significant upgrades from typical educational structures.

Together with MainSpring, Meritas and Rancho Solano are working to develop the land to the west of the academics building; the Tempe architecture firm of Ayers Saint Gross handled the planning and design. hardison/downey is general contractor.

Athletics facilities will consist of outdoor basketball courts, a tennis complex, regulation soccer and football field, and a 24,000 SF gymnasium and student center. The Ventura Campus facilities are complemented by the southern proximity to the new state-of-the-art Salt River Fields sports complex.

Since foundation in 1954, Rancho Solano Private Schools has provided Arizona students with an option for reaching their truest academic potential. Their education program joined the Meritas Family of Schools in 2007, uniting an international network of the finest preparatory schools. The Ventura Campus will accommodate students in grades 6-12, continuing the tradition of Rancho Solano’s holistic approach to education.

MainSpring Capital Group, also located within Pima Center, has steadily been developing this 209-acre land project over the past several years. As a privately held real estate organization specialized in development and acquisition, MainSpring maintains a diverse portfolio. Founded in 1992, MainSpring and their investment affiliates have since had ownership control in approximately 7 million square feet of commercial space, developed a golf course and master planned communities, and own over 2,000 acres of mixed use land within Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.

Through the extensive experience of the principals Marty Farnsworth, Mills Brown, Curtis Brown, Gerry Blomquist, and Joe Bayer, MainSpring consistently demonstrates stability. Reliable expertise within the executive team has allowed MainSpring to survive through difficult economic and real estate cycles. MainSpring’s continued success is due to their conservative financial underwriting, personal involvement in transactions, and innovative approaches to investment. Accomplishments of this team are further recognized by their valued relationships with investors, financial institutions, and lessees.

For more information, contact Mills Brown: 480.362.9602.

Hospitality And Casino Construction Increase On Tribal Lands - Gila River Indian Community

Hospitality And Casino Construction Increase On Tribal Lands

The Gila River Indian Community is building two new hotels that total more than 200 rooms, a new, 70,000 SF casino, and a conference center. The Navajo Nation is building its first Arizona casino near Flagstaff.

“(Construction in Indian country) is actually one of the market sectors that is really thriving,” says Rogers Owers, an attorney with Andante Law Firm, whose speciality is construction laws in Indian country. “Whether it’s design, construction, or brokering the real estate deals, cash flows into the industry as a whole.”

In Tucson, a new 44,500 SF convention center and a 1,120-car parking structure opened at Casino del Sol in November. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino increased its guest capacity to 300 rentable rooms, and renovated its restaurant in July.

As several Arizona tribes reveal major hospitality and casino construction projects, one thing is a sure bet — 2012 is shaping up to be another jackpot year.

The Arizona Department of Gaming reports that trial casino revenues steadily declined from 2008 to 2010, but returned to the green in 2011. During this period, hospitality and casino construction in Indian country slowed.

Talking Stick Resort, which opened its doors on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in 2010, was the last significant Native American casino and hospitality project in almost a year.

Today, several sizable construction projects in Indian country are underway or open for business. The largest, a multifaceted undertaking by the Gila River Indian Community, includes a new 90-room hotel and the demolition and remodel of Vee Quiva Casino in West Phoenix, plus a new conference center, 130-room hotel and restaurant at Lone Butte Casino in Chandler.

The Gila River Indian Community, going all in, also is reportedly opening a new hotel at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa, which is a short distance from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The construction venture at Vee Quiva is still in its developmental stages, according to Melody Hudson, public relations manager for Gila River Casinos. It is expected to open in the summer of 2013 at a cost of $135M.

“Rebuilding Vee Quiva Casino is part of a strategic plan the Gila River Indian Community has set in place to refresh our casinos while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Community and creating new job opportunities in Arizona,” says Anthony Villareal Sr., Casino Expansion Owners Team chairman.

After its reconstruction, Vee Quiva Casino will total nearly 175,000 SF — almost double its original size.

Further north, the Navajo Nation broke ground last March on Twin Arrows Casino outside of Flagstaff, its first casino in Arizona.

The 320,000 SF, $150M casino, scheduled to open in July, will include a hotel and conference center. General contractor is Hunt Construction and the architect is Friedmutter Group.

Some casinos, on the other hand, already have their cards on the table. Casino Del Sol and Harrah’s Ak-Chin opened their newly renovated facilities in 2011.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe renovated and expanded Casino Del Sol’s hotel and convention center in Tucson to the tune of $75M. The additions included 215 new rooms, a conference center, a parking structure and a spa. It is the second phase of the tribe’s ongoing hospitality and casino refurbishment project. McCarthy Building Companies served as GC and LEO A DALY was the architect.

McCarthy project manager Kurt Nyberg says construction went smoothly because the tribe first commissioned his company in 2003.

“What helped with this expansion is that the Casino Del Sol had gained building experience when both firms worked on the original casino project,” Nyberg says, “so the process was not entirely new from the owner’s perspective.”

Another big player in Arizona, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort, finished its hotel and restaurant renovations in July after 11 months of construction. Lead designer Jason Ploszaj of RSP Architects says the construction was vital, because the “hotel was turning away guests nightly.”

The expansion, a $20M, 5-story hotel tower, doubled the number of rentable rooms at the Maricopa resort.

“In order to better serve guests, Harrah’s decided that after more than 10 years of success, and expansion of 152 new hotel rooms was necessary to refresh the hotel experience,” Ploszaj says.

For more information on casino and hospitality construction visit, ciic.construction.asu.edu

 

AZRE Magazine March/April 2012

RED Awards 2012 - Salt River Fields

RED Awards 2012: Most Challenging Project, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

On March 1, AZRE hosted the 7th Annual RED Awards reception at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2011 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and a record 116 projects were submitted by architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms in Arizona. This year, the winner for Most Challenging Project was Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.


Most Challenging Project

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Developer: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC)
Contractor: Mortenson Construction
Architect: HKS Architects, Inc.
Size: 279,635 SF
Location: 7555 N Pima Rd., Scottsdale
Completed: January, 2011

Salt River FieldsThe first major league spring training ballpark to be built on Native American land, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a sports complex engaging community involvement while embracing the values and culture of the SRPMIC. The challenge was to meet an aggressive construction schedule in anticipation of the start of spring training for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. Sitting on 140 acres, the project’s centerpiece is an 11,000-seat stadium. The design and building process took less than two years as a result of a complete team effort between Mortenson Construction, HKS and the tribe. The team at Salt River Fields also placed emphasis on energy and water preservation. Water-saving techniques reduced usage by more than 45% and the energy savings of 23.5%.

saltriverfields.com


Video by Cory Bergquist


Honorable Mention

Arizona Science Center Phase III Remodifications

Developer: Arizona Science Center
Contractor: Brycon Construction Company
Architect: Architekton
Size: 17,000 SF
Location: 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix
Completed: January, 2011


Video by Cory Bergquist


RED Awards 2012 Winners & Finalists

AZRE Magazine March/April 2012

Salt River Devco, Courtyard by Marriott - AZRE Magazine September/October 2011

Salt River Devco, Ak-Chin Indian Community And Tribes Diversifying Their Holdings

Salt River Devco, Ak-Chin Indian Community And Arizona’s Native American tribes are diversifying their holdings through added infrastructure, business parks and development partners

When it comes to large construction projects on Indian lands, casinos and the hospitality industry supporting them generally dominate the public’s consciousness on the subject.
Powerhouse revenue generators such as Talking Stick Casino and Resort, Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino and the plethora of other gaming-related projects completed in recent years support the notion.

But even those welcomed construction projects during an otherwise bleak period in the state’s commercial construction history should be viewed as the end of the boom period for casino projects, some observers say.

“A lot of tribes started in gaming and that’s consumed their focus,” says Vince Lujan, president of Salt River Devco, an entity of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Salt River Devco’s charge is to attract non-gaming related development to Indian community lands. “Now they want to diversify their holdings.”

Developing a game plan

If the build-out of casinos and their ancillary projects has indeed begun, as some suggest, Arizona tribes have already recognized the need to broaden their holdings. Several have launched into non-gaming development with little fanfare — but with the belief those projects will either keep generating revenue for the tribe and/or provide a higher quality of life for their members.

In many instances such projects are underway. The Ak-Chin Indian Community’s waste reclamation facility already is making life easier for tribal members. In other cases, tribes, such as the SRP-MIC, are aggressively adding tenants to their business park.

In addition to the spectacular Fields at Talking Stick spring training baseball facility that the SRP-MIC added to its holdings last year, it has also been ambitious in trying to grow its industrial park with tenants. Chaparral Business Center sits off Loop 101 in an area considered geographically prime because of its proximity to Scottsdale.

The 55-acre park is only partially developed, but Salt River Devco is working hard to change that.

“We want to help the community develop a general land use plan for the 101 corridor,” says Jeff Roberts, Salt River Devco’s asset manager.

That plan calls for medical, retail and light industrial and Salt River Devco is touting its build-to-suit plans to prospective tenants.

In the buildings currently completed, occupancy runs at about 90%, Roberts says. Fender Musical Instruments, William Lyon Homes, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management and Insurance Co. are among the current tenants.

The tribe’s biggest commercial project currently underway is the $22M Scottsdale 101 Courtyard by Marriott on the NEC of Pima and Vista Drive, just south of McDowell Ave. When completed in January, it will feature 158 rooms, a 3,000 SF conference center and will be pursuing LEED certification.

Catering to business travelers and spring training guests, the hotel (Marriott’s first on tribal land) is just the kind of project that will boost the industrial park’s attractiveness in addition to supporting the casino and resort,  Roberts says.

“What the 101 corridor has it lots of available land in a desirable locations,” he says. “We want to position ourselves to propose new development to users.”

Because tribes generally don’t have a property tax base to help generate revenue, they are always on the lookout about how to generate revenue through sales taxes or other types of taxes, Lujan says.

Upgrading infrastructure

At Ak-Chin Indian Community in Pinal County, it is just wrapping up construction of a new water reclamation project and breaking ground on another surface water treatment plant.

The water reclamation facility is a $43M project that had been underway since September 2009. With 13 miles of new pipelines and pumping structures along with a 28,000 SF operations facility, the project  has received several awards for its architects, Carollo Engineers, and general contractor, MGC Contractors.

In June, the tribe started construction on the surface water treatment plant. That $18M project being built by PCL Construction is expected to be completed in July 2012.

“In order to support future growth and expansion, we realized there was a need to upgrade our infrastructure,” says Jayne Long, Ak-Chin capital projects manager.

Other Ak-Chin projects include the recent completion of a white shell building in May at its 110-acre industrial park. They are also planning for a second building at the Santa Cruz Commerce Center. Current tenants include Hickman’s Eggs, M&S Machinery, Hit & Pitch and Crossfit Battlefit. The tribe also owns a golf course and regional airport. At both sites, they plan to make improvements.

And in July, it began construction on a 6,500 SF grocery store within the reservation. The Vekol Market will be completed in November, giving tribal members a true grocery store shopping experience.

“The Community has gotten bonding or bank financing on some of these projects,” Long says. “But this community was self sufficient before they had casino operations from its agricultural interests.”

Still, the tribe’s 16-year affiliation with Harrah’s has been a major impetus behind its ability to take on so many projects. It continues to build homes for its members and just completed a new fire station. It is currently in the design stage for a justice complex that will include a police station, detention facility and court. That 50,000 SF project could break ground in 1Q 2012.

It also plans to make improvements to the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, which it acquired last year, and the Phoenix Regional Airport, which it owns.

That’s in addition to the recently completed expansion project at Harrah’s Casino, which doubled its room capacity with the opneing of a five-story addition. The $20M project was financed by the tribe. Harrah’s manages all aspects of the gaming operation and the hotel.

Looking to the future

Casino Del Sol Hotel Lobby, Pascua Yaqui TribeStill, the recession has hurt tribal development just as it has all development.

“The boom years are over,” says Dan Lewis, a Native American market sector leader in the Phoenix office for Leo A Daly, an international architectural, engineering, planning and interior design firm. “Now the focus is on maintaining casino competitiveness and meeting the needs of its members.”

Lewis’ firm just wrapped up design additions to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s Casino Del Sol in Tucson. The project included the addition of a hotel, conference center, parking garage, laundry facility and warehouse to the existing 213,000 SF casino.

Peridot Healthcare Center - AZRE Magazine September/October 2011

In Peridot, the $80.2M San Carlos Apache Healthcare Center is scheduled to open in 4Q 2013. The 184,000 SF facility will be a replacement hospital campus for the San Carlos Apache Tribe. It will consist of five buildings on a 50-acre site. The buildings include an ambulatory hospital, behavioral health building, dentistry building, public health building and EMS building.

At the Gila River Indian Community, an upscale premium outlet mall is the latest addition the tribe’s portfolio. The project is expected to break ground in 1Q 2012. It will eventually reach 360,000 SF and feature 90 designer name-brand outlets stores. Plans call for the mall to cover 45 acres.

“The conception for this came quite a few years ago,” says Alia Maisonet, director of communications and public affairs for the tribe. “Then the recession hit and slowed down plans.”

But the tribe recently received word from Simon Premium Outlets that it wanted to move forward. The mall will be next to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino on land previously designated for economic development. The project is expected to generate at least $2.6M in sales taxes.

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For more information about Salt River Devco, Ak-Chin and others mentioned in this story, visit the following links:

www.ak-chin.nsn.us
www.leoadaly.com
www.gilariver.org
www.saltriverdevco.com
www.sancarlosapache.com
www.srpmic-nsn.gov

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AZRE Magazine September/October 2011

 

RED Awards 2011

Best Hospitality Project 2011: Large

Large Project: Talking Stick Resort

Best Hospitality Large Project: Talking Stick Resort

Developer: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Contractor: Chanen Construction Co.
Architect: FFKR Architects
Size: 1.5M SF
Location: 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
Completed: April 2010

The newest resort in Scottsdale, the $440M Talking Stick Resort, rises on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community at the Loop 101 and Indian Bend Rd. The project includes 497 guest rooms and suites, a 15,000 SF casino, more than 100,000 SF of conference space, 10 restaurants, lounges, a spa, and a 750-seat entertainment venue. The project features a design theme in harmony with the environment, as well as the history and culture of he SRP-MIC. The interior design includes themes from the basketry and pottery for which the tribes are renowned. The project utilized Native American-owned contractors and sub-contractors. The development and construction, as well as the ongoing operations provide a significant economic benefit to the Salt River Nation.

RED Awards Banner

Best Hospitality Project 2011: Small

Small Project: The Phoenician Ballroom Expansion

Best Hospitality Small Project: Phoenician Ballroom

Developer: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Contractor: Perini Building Co.
Architect: Cadiz Design Studio
Broker: Bridgit, Inc.
Size: 50,000 SF
Location: 6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
Completed: October 2010

It took a team to work through a number of significant challenges to deliver the $40M, 49,000 SF Camelback Ballroom complex on time and within budget. Among the most daunting was maintaining the Five Diamond resort’s reputation while construction was taking place. To add to the complexity of the project, the freestanding structure physically connects to the Phoenician’s existing meeting space. Highlights of the ballroom include 15,000 SF of space divisible into seven separate rooms, a 4,000 SF full kitchen with loading dock, 7,200 SF of pre-function area, and a 7,000 SF lobby and registration area. The ballroom is one of just four luxury properties in the U.S. that can accommodate up to 800 people. At the peak of construction, more than 200 crafts people from 56 firms worked on the project, 95% of which were Arizona based.

Sky Ute Casino - AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Arizona's Indian Tribes Expand Reservation Services

Indian Country construction boasts a variety of projects as Arizona’s Indian tribes expand reservation services

In September 1970, the Gila River Indian Reservation finished the first phase of construction of a $1M career center at Sacaton. It’s taken some time, but since then, much has been built on Indian reservations in Arizona — and the momentum continues.

Casinos, healthcare facilities, government offices and schools have sprung from tribal lands in the past 40 years, and continue to do so. But while casinos remain the largest projects on the reservation, the mix of projects continues to expand.

Take, for instance, the $100M spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies being constructed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, set to open in February 2011. Take note of Scottsdale Pavilions, SRP-MIC’s retail center on Indian Bend Road across the Loop 101. There’s the tribe’s recently opened Talking Stick Resort encompassing a 240,000 SF casino in a 15-story tower that houses almost 500 rooms. And the SRP-MIC’s Scottsdale business park, the Chaparral Business Center.

Projects such as these signal a growing trend among Indian tribes in Arizona of diversifying business development. And it sends a message that construction is still happening on the reservation, despite economic hardships worldwide.

“There are still opportunities there,” compared to the rest of the construction industry, says Matt Richards, project executive for Arviso/Okland Construction JV, which is 51% Navajo owned.

For Indian tribes nationally, “most construction work seems to be still centered around casinos,” Richards says. “What we’re working on, though, is hospitals, schools and government buildings. We’ve done hospitality projects, as well.

“One of the recent trends in our industry for tribal projects has been the multipurpose judicial complexes,” Richards says. “We are fortunate enough to be working with the Navajo Nation on two upcoming judicial complexes, one in Tuba City and another in Crownpoint, N.M. There have been multiple similar projects throughout the region, including the Pueblo of Isleta, the Pascua Yaqui, Colorado River Indian Tribe, and others.

Much of this work has been the result of an ARRA-funded (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) program for the Department of Justice, which allocated money for the construction of tribal jails.”

Kimberly Silentman-Kanuho, coordinator for American Indian Initiatives at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction, sees a broad mixture of projects happening.

“There is so much going on out there,” Silentman-Kanuho says. “There’s transportation — highways, roads and bridges. There’s also community and cultural centers, and health facilities. It’s not just gaming and hospitality-type development; there’s a wide variety of development going on out there.”

However, with the biggest, most expensive projects being casinos, other types of projects don’t get noticed as much.

“I don’t think those types get highlighted like the gaming effort,” Silentman-Kanuho says. “It’s across the board. The Diné College (in Tsaile on the Navajo Reservation) is getting a new library. (Northern Arizona University) is getting a new cultural center.”

Transportation projects are springing up as well, according to Silentman-Kanuho, many funded from ARRA. Those funds have allowed the tribes to finally begin projects that have been on the back burner for years, she says. Recovery.gov reports that at least $55M in Department of Interior grants have been awarded to Arizona tribes so far, not counting many other grant opportunities for tribes.

Convention space and entertainment venues are other directions tribes may be moving toward. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s $120M hotel expansion of Casino Del Sol near Tucson will include a 50,000 SF conference center. The 10-story hotel also has 215 rooms, three restaurants, a lobby lounge, pool, day club, spa and fitness center, a 1,120-space parking garage, and support facilities. In addition, the Casino Del Sol houses a 4,500-seat outdoor concert and entertainment venue.

AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Talking Stick Resort, March-April 2009

Hospitality: Talking Stick Resort


TALKING STICK RESORT

Developer: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community 
Contractor: Chanen Construction
Architect: FFKR Architects
Size: 1 MSF
Location: 9700 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale

The $107M development will include a 3-story building dedicated to outpatient services. The center will treat inpatients on two floors inside Banner Gateway Medical Center, which was built in 2007. Construction on the cancer center began December 2009, with completion scheduled for fall 2011.

 AZRE March-April 2009
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, AZRE January/February 2011

Public: SRP-MIC Tribal Government Complex


SRP-MIC TRIBAL GOVERNMENT COMPLEX

Developer: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Contractor: Chuska Sahara Haselden
Architect: Smith Group
Size: 131,000 SF
Location: Osborn & Longmore roads, Scottsdale

The SRP-MIC Tribal Government Complex will include office space for various tribal government functions, a cafeteria and a Community Council Chamber with conference rooms. Construction is scheduled to finish April 2009.

AZRE January/February 2009