Tag Archives: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

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