Tag Archives: Uber

MetroMile

Metromile car insurance opens office in Tempe

Metromile, a pay-per-mile car insurance company, announced it will open its third office in Tempe. The office is located at 1150 W. Washington St., near the Priest Drive and Washington light rail station.

“We are really excited to be in Tempe,” said Dan Preston, CEO of Metromile. “We looked at a number of cities but were impressed with Tempe’s business and technology community and diverse talent pool. As we expand our offerings to new states and grow aggressively, we are focused on better serving our customers — Tempe is a great place to attract talent that will help us create fiercely loyal customers.”

Metromile launched in 2011 and operates its headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. with more than 70 employees. The company added its second office in Boston earlier this year. The new Arizona office is 15,000 square feet and will add at least another 130 employees with a strong focus on customer service, sales and claims.

Metromile offers revolutionary pay-per-mile car insurance for the modern driver. Metromile uses technology and a data-driven approach to deliver lower premiums by the mile and personalized data to help customers manage their cars more efficiently and cost-effectively. Metromile’s per-mile insurance is currently available in California, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington but is rapidly expanding to other states in 2015. In January, Metromile and Uber announced an innovative partnership to provide variably-priced, pay-per-mile auto insurance for drivers who use Uber’s rideshare platform. Metromile began offering the insurance product to Uber driver partners in California, Illinois, and Washington in February and will add more states in the coming year.

Metromile will host a Hiring Fair on June 3, 2015 in Tempe.

UberPitch

Uber, Lyft get a lift from new Arizona law

Soon after his election, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made a drastic decision to pledge his support to ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft by suspending the ongoing investigation into companies that were operating illegally under current Arizona law.

In addition, the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures announced that it would no longer be enforcing the same rules Arizona cab drivers are legally forced to follow.

Under debate is HB 2135, which outlines specific insurance guidelines separate from those of taxicab companies and ride-sharecompanies. Although this was great news for Uber and Lyft, there were many people up in arms working hard to fight against the bill, chiefly sponsored by Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott.

The bill, which Ducey signed into law April 9, is intended to even the playing field for taxicab companies and ride-share companies.

Despite Fann’s protests, the legislature is considering regulating both ride-sharing companies and taxicab companies and setting fair minimum insurance rules.

The new rules also include vehicle inspections, driver background checks and a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use by drivers.

Arizona State University student Tim McGavock speculates on the bills final outcome.

It makes sense that a Republican such as Ducey, who was previously the CEO of Cold Stone would be advocating for a company that started as nothing and has been built into such a large corporation.

Tempe cab driver Clyde Riley is vocal in his opposition to the original bill.

I am trying to get several drivers together to fight this,Riley said. You cant have a law and only enforce it for half of the people.

Riley said Uber and Lyft have all but destroyed his business and all of the taxi businesses around Tempe. Then-Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill last year.

I dont know why our governor would do this to us, it is clear discrimination when our laws allow for certain companies to skate the rules, but not others,Riley added. To me it is the same thing as allowing only specific groups of people to shoplift. It just isnt right.

Riley said he feels that if Ducey really wants to change the insurance laws for vehicle transportation companies, then the law should apply to all parties. He argues that because they are essentially doing the same job and are fighting for the same customers, the rules should be equal across the board.

If they aren’tt going to let us take the stickers off of our car and do ride-share, then they shouldn’tt be making the exception for these two companies,Riley said.

Uber has boomed across the country in the past several years and now rivals almost all taxicab companies. With more than 160,000 drivers in 250 cities, Uber is no longer a small entrepreneurialcompany. Students everywhere are choosing to call a Lyft or Uber on their downloadable cellphone apps instead of calling for a cab.

I love Uber way more than taking a cab since it is much cheaper.,said ASU student Courtney Langfield. I also like having the convenience of knowing where they are located at all times and when they will arrive. I also like how you have record of who your Uber driver is in case something was to happen. I feel a lot safer in an Uber (ride) than in a cab.

I used to get over 400 calls a week,Riley said, now I am lucky if I get seven.

Riley has had to lay off his fellow driver and can barely afford a rented vehicle. He has been driving in Tempe for 26 years and now is close to being forced out of a job.

The problem with Uber and companies like it [under the original bill] is that they arent legally obligated to pay the same insurance fees that cab companies do, Riley said.

I would love to lower my rates,he said. Ive given quite a few people rides when they didn’tt have money at all. But unfortunately, I need enough money to operate.

UberPitch

Uber opens headquarters in downtown Phoenix

monroe1One of Phoenix’s most recognizable mid-century modern landmarks is undergoing a significant renovation project aimed at embracing the building’s vintage design features with a modern twist of style and technology. With the improvements already underway, the new digs are attracting a  premier set of technology, design and entertainment tenants to Downtown Phoenix in addition the traditional mix of government, legal, financial and administrative uses.

111 West Monroe has signed three high-profile tenants that add to the unique tenant mix, proving the office tower to be one of Downtown Phoenix’s hippest addresses. Uber, Cannon Design and Mornin’ Moonshine were attracted to the building for its distinctive design and renovations to the exterior ground floor, interior lobby, landscaping, signage and valet parking garage.

Rialto Capital, a national real estate investment and asset management company, in a joint venture with Ironline Partners, a Phoenix-based commercial real estate group (principals, Tim O’Neil and Robert Karber), are delivering a best in class, amenity rich property with 5 star customer service, at competitive pricing. The new ownership acquired the 50-year-old office tower in April 2014, admiring the property’s core urban location and functional configuration, which is ideal for both large corporations and small, entrepreneurial businesses.

Uber, a $40 billion company, will use this location as their Arizona operations office. A social juggernaut, Uber has become a household name by delivering on-demand car service at the touch of a button. The company demonstrated monstrous growth in 2014 and is constantly offering new employment opportunities in Arizona that continue to have a positive impact on the local economy.

Cannon Design, an international design firm, offers a range of services from architecture and engineering, to product design, graphics and interior design. With an award-winning creative work culture, the company utilizes the most advanced virtual technologies to fully integrate Cannon designers from all of their offices into a single unified firm without walls.

Mornin’ Moonshine is a boutique “grab and go” coffee concept created by DJ Fernandes, a local architect and restaurateur whose other projects include hotspots Vovomeena and Tuck Shop.  As one of the pioneers of small batch and cold brew coffee in Phoenix, Mornin’ Moonshine will fuel Downtown Phoenix with specialty craft java. .

111 W. Monroe’s exciting new tenants were drawn to the architecturally-unique building by its premier downtown location, proximity to light rail, bike sharing, valet visitor parking, and responsive local ownership. Uber and Cannon Design have already opened for business in the building. Mornin’ Moonshine will be open by Valentine’s Day.

“We are thrilled with the business community finding its way to 111 W. Monroe,” said Tim O’Neil of Ironline Partners. “The restoration is designed to raise the bar for architecturally significant properties in Downtown Phoenix, offering a destination for people who demand both institutional grade facilities and a local, boutique experience.”

Charles Miscio and Danny Plapp at Colliers International (602.222.5071) have the office leasing assignment and are welcoming  smaller niche businesses by providing small, entrepreneurial, flexible ‘spec suite’ options while ensuring larger businesses’ needs are met through responsive ownership and custom interior space improvements.  Some of  the most desirable space at 111 W. Monroe remains available, as the penthouse boasts 27,000 square feet available with naming rights and spectacular city views. Although filling quickly, the building also has available ground floor retail space.  Courtney Auther and Brian Kocour at Cushman & Wakefield (602.229.5967) have the retail leasing assignment.

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.

SkySong hosts part of Innovation Summit

SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center will host one of the largest events in its history on Tuesday night as more than 900 people dine under the project’s iconic shade structure as part of ASU’s Education Innovation Summit.

The dinner at SkySong will feature two prominent speakers:

• “Above the Crowd with Bill Gurley,” a venture capital investor who was responsible for the launch of companies such as Amazon, OpenTable and Uber

• “Play It Smart, A Conversation About Making a Difference” with Former 49er & Super Bowl champ Ronnie Lott

More than 6,000 people visit SkySong every month for special events and to experience the project’s vibrancy and focus on innovation and technology. However, this dinner will be one of the largest events ever hosted at SkySong and the first time a large dinner has been hosted under the shade structure.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m., and is preceded by a reception and several other activities at SkySong related to the conference.

Sharon Harper, President & CEO of Plaza Companies, said the event is truly a showcase of how SkySong is having an extraordinary influence in the Valley’s business environment.

“This is an example of how SkySong can showcase the synergy of technology and innovation it provides through a major event celebrating those principles,” Harper said. “SkySong is a true destination for entrepreneurship and advanced thinking when it comes to business, and we are proud to be able to host this exceptional event for the ASU Education Innovation Summit attendees.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of the project in partnership with the Arizona State University Foundation and the City of Scottsdale.

Along with the vibrant activity by the more than 1,000 employees and 50 companies on the SkySong property, work continues on pre-leasing SkySong III and SkySong IV, the next two office towers to be built at the project. The two buildings would include approximately 300,000 square feet of new development, and combined with SkySong I and II and the apartments, would bring the total square footage of development at SkySong to more than 900,000 square feet.

SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is a home to a global business community that links technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education to position ASU and Greater Phoenix as global leaders of the knowledge economy.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

•    Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
•    Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
•    Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
•    Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong enjoy a special relationship with Arizona State University, which has more than 70,000 students at four metropolitan Phoenix campuses. Its campus in Tempe is the single largest campus in the U.S., and is located less than three miles from SkySong. More than 16,000 students are pursuing degrees in engineering, science and mathematics fields, and ASU made $343 million in research expenditures in FY10, placing it among the top 20 research universities that do not have a medical school.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, ASU provides tenants with direct access to relevant research, educational opportunities and cultural events on its campuses. Through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contract for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit www.skysongcenter.com or www.facebook.com/skysongcenter.