Tag Archives: Velocity retail Group

VelocityRetail_CollinLandis, WEB

Collin Landis joins Velocity Retail Group

Velocity Retail Group, LLC announced Wednesday that Collin Landis has joined the firm as their GIS and Research Analyst. Collin brings 14 years of combined experience utilizing GIS and graphic technology to spatially analyze and visually convey geographic data. For the past eight years Collin managed the GIS, research, marketing and graphic activities for a local commercial real estate firm in Phoenix.


We are excited to have someone of Collin’s caliber join our team at Velocity,” said Greg Coxon, Chief Operating Officer at Velocity. “He has solid experience in the industry and brings a greater level of depth to the research capabilities we provide for our clients,” he added.

Shea Scottsdale Safeway

Safeway sale creates looming cloud over Phoenix retail real estate market

Over the past two years, the Phoenix retail real estate market continues to improve with lowered

vacancy rates and strong absorption. The one area that persists as a cause for concern is the number of vacant big boxes in the market. With the recent announcement of the impending sale of Safeway to one or more of their competitors, this is news that could create further hardship in the Arizona shopping center industry; here is why.

Overall Phoenix retail market 4Q 2013.

Overall Phoenix retail market 4Q 2013.


Currently, there are 308 vacant big boxes in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Over 56% of these boxes are in neighborhood shopping centers.


This amounts to a total of 175 vacant boxes in neighborhood centers. Never before in the history of the Phoenix area have we ever come close to having this amount of vacancies in our neighborhood shopping centers.


When a grocery store becomes vacant in a neighborhood center this obviously creates a harmful effect on the small shop tenants in the shopping center who depend on the traffic driven by the grocery store. A grocery anchored center does not have the same pulling power to draw customers that a power center or regional mall does. Neighborhood centers typically only reach shoppers in a one to three mile radius. These smaller trade areas are the hardest to replace from a re-tenanting perspective if there is not another grocery store that can fill the void.

Vacant big boxes by type of center.

Vacant big boxes by type of center.



With the continued transformation of the grocery industry shifting to regional trade areas and to larger and larger formats often over 100,000 square feet, retailers such as WinCo, Super Wal-Mart and Fry’s Marketplace are not viable candidates for these neighborhood centers. Additionally, many times a grocery store has a restriction against another grocery store going into the same space, limiting the already small pool of potential replacement tenants even further. These types of vacancies also have a very negative effect on the value of this type of shopping center. Many of them have lost 70% to 80% of their value because of a vacant anchor.


When Basha’s filed for bankruptcy in 2009 they left 25 vacant grocery stores in their wake. Today, five years later 13 stores — over half —are still vacant. If Safeway is sold to someone who is currently in our grocery market, I fear that there will be a rash of store closings which will further exacerbate our big box problem – just as we are starting to gain some ground.


Neighborhood shopping centers have been a mainstay for investors as power centers have lost some of their appeal in recent years. Neighborhood centers were considered a safer investment as they had not been affected by the downsizing and consolidations among the power center users (electronic stores and office supply, are examples). Many REITs are looking for a safer product type for their investors and neighborhood centers fit their criteria nicely. A merger of this type will cause the investors to step back and evaluate their options even further.


In the event of a Safeway-Albertson’s merger this could be one of the better outcomes for Arizona, as Albertson’s would have an opportunity to increase their footprint and market share in Phoenix. In this event, don’t be surprised if there is a large block of stores that hit the marketplace, which will impact our improving yet still fragile retail market.


The grocery business in Arizona is very diverse and like all retail, will continue to evolve. There is no doubt that we will have some interesting times on the horizon. Let’s hope that this merger creates a cloud that has a silver lining, and that however this merger shakes out that the stores are able to continue to operate and not add to our big box surplus.

Popeyes, Velocity, WEB

Velocity Retail Group Negotiates First Redesigned Popeye’s for Phoenix

Velocity Retail Group, LLC announces that the first newly redesigned prototype for Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen will be built at the southwest corner of Elliot Road and Priest Drive in Tempe, Ariz. President Dave Cheatham,  Vice President Michael Clark and Associate Nick Ault of Velocity Retail Group represented Popeye’s in the transaction. The landlord TPP JV Maricopa, LLC an entity controlled by Trigate Capital was represented by Clift Johnston of Cassidy Turley BRE.


“The site is the first of many that this new Phoenix franchisee is planning for the Arizona market. While we have existing Popeye’s stores in our market, the Louisiana Kitchen concept it new to the chain and our market,” said Cheatham.


“Arizona is a key expansion market for our franchise company, by working with Velocity Retail we are able to maximize their experience and relationships in the market to execute our expansion plan,” said Amin Dhanini, President of HZ Props AZ, LLC the entity which will control the Arizona stores.


Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. is the world’s second-largest quick-service restaurant chicken concept with 2,225 stores as of the end of last year. Popeye’s distinguishes itself with a unique “New Orleans” style menu that features spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and other seafood, as well as jambalaya, red beans and rice and other regional items. Popeye’s is a highly differentiated brand with a passion for its Louisiana heritage and flavorful authentic food.


The new building will be 2,951 SF and be located on a 23KSF parcel fronting Elliot Road. It is expected to open by the 4Q of this year. “We are pleased to be able to represent Popeye’s as they roll-out this new concept to the Arizona market. Our goal is to strategically locate A+ sites and get their stores up and running as fast as possible,” said Clark.

Greg Coxon

Velocity Retail Group Names Veteran Real Estate Executive Greg Coxon COO


Velocity Retail Group announced that Greg Coxon has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the firm and its affiliated development services company Accelerated Development Services.

Coxon is a seasoned real estate executive who most recently was the President of Brokerage Services for Grubb & Ellis, and then transitioned that role to Executive Vice President and Regional Manager for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank during the recent purchase in 2012.

Prior to that he was the Senior Managing Director at CBRE for the Phoenix office. While with the Phoenix office, Coxon was awarded Manager of the Year, and was the Founding Manager for various specialty practice groups including, Hospitality, Land, Economic Incentives and Property Tax Appeal.

“Greg is a long-time colleague and friend,” said Dave Cheatham, President and Managing Principal. “His capabilities are a perfect match to help our company capitalize on the improving real estate market while enhancing the services we offer across all of our business platforms. We are very pleased to be working together again.”

The newly-created position will provide the companies with additional expertise to manage the day to day operations for brokerage, development and their asset management businesses. Coxon’s focus will be to grow these service platforms and business development programs, and enrich the service offerings to their clients.

“I am delighted to reunite with many Velocity Retail associates with whom who I share a rich history as friends and former business associates, and look forward to exploring new relationships with other professionals in the firm,” Coxon said.

“Any services business is dependent of the quality an ability of it people and their ability to deliver on client needs, solutions and business objectives. The Velocity team is filled with bright and creative professionals who a committed to achieving exactly that.”

“I have spent the majority of my career at larger firms developing leaders and managers, nurturing client relationships, while also coaching real estate professionals and client teams for better results. It will be fun and rewarding to apply those skills and experiences within a more entrepreneurial organization and environment.”

“Having someone with Greg’s experience, integrity, and high level of respect in the industry rounds out our company’s team to amplify our client service level and strengthen offerings to our clients,” said Andy Kroot, Principal with Velocity.

The core group at Velocity Retail was formerly with CBRE until April 2005 and has worked together for many years. Coxon’s expertise in managing multiple offices and platforms is finely honed and was put to the test during the integration of Grubb & Ellis to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Coxon was responsible for the firm’s strategic shift into a practice-group based client servicing model.


Biscuits Café To Take Over Former Baja Fresh Space On University


Biscuits Café has signed a new lease at 414 W. University Dr. in Tempe – the former Baja Fresh space. Biscuits Café leased 2,876 SF and the store is expected to open in 3Q 2013

“We were excited to be able to help Biscuits Cafe expand their presence in Arizona and bring a fresh new breakfast concept to Tempe,” said Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail Group. “Biscuits Café has two other stores currently open in Arizona (Chandler and Glendale) and continues to search for great, high traffic locations.”

Biscuits Café has 11 stores in Oregon and two stores in Washington.

Biscuits Café is a family run business that originated in Oregon. Since 1998, Biscuits Café has been opening locations at a steady pace and looks forward to more grand openings in Arizona.


Will 'Furniture Wars' Be A Hit In Valley With Super Stores On The Way?


While not quite as popular as the television shows including “Storage Wars,” “Parking Wars,” or even “Cupcake Wars,” Phoenix is in for a “war” of its own with the onslaught of heavy-hitting furniture retailers coming to Phoenix.

In the next few months look for grand openings of huge “super stores” that will knock your socks off in terms of size, selection, pricing and speed of delivery.

These new furniture companies that are investing in the Phoenix area are further proof that the local economy is on the rebound and confidence is returning both from the retailer perspective and consumer perspective.

It’s no surprise to anyone that housing sales and furniture sales go hand-in-hand. The recent upswing in the Phoenix area residential market is further proof. Housing prices in the past year alone have risen 22% to a new median housing price of $180,000. New construction is commencing in many communities previously put on “pause” from the recession, and new home permits are on the increase.

This coupled with positive job growth, increased in-migration, and lower unemployment numbers are all helping to fuel the improved economic outlook in Metro Phoenix.

The furniture market in Arizona is very competitive. In fact, there are several operators in the Valley listed in Furniture Today’s Top 100 list. The RoomStore of Phoenix is ranked No. 72 on the Top 100 list, and EBCO, the Phoenix-based La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries licensee is ranked No. 84.

Mattress Firm is ranked No. 6 and had the greatest net sales gain growing its sales three-fold in the past year alone. Mega Furniture has increased its store count to 10 in the past two years with its three newest stores in the Southeast Valley.

“The expansion of furniture retailers has been one of the brighter spots across the country,” said Darren Pitts, executive vice president at Velocity Retail. “With home improvement struggling during the recession, furniture purchases offered an alternative to many cash-strapped consumers.

“High-performing furniture retailers have continued their expansions across the country. Velocity Retail Group specializes in representing home furnishing retailers. We have completed transactions of almost 1.5 MSF in the past few years.”

As far as the new “super stores,” the first grand opening will be Aug. 8 when Living Spaces extends its reach outside of California for the first time with a new store in Scottsdale. It is taking over the 130,000 SF former Great Indoors space at Frank Lloyd Wright and Scottsdale Rd. in the Scottsdale Promenade shopping center.

Living Spaces is based in southern California and this will be its ninth store in the chain. Living Spaces is ranked No. 36 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 list with estimated sales topping $200M in 2012.

The Scottsdale store will feature more than 150 living rooms, more than 70 bedrooms and an assortment of other goods including dining room, youth bedroom, home office furniture and accessories. Also will be an Elements accent gallery that the retailer said will feature one-of-a-kind pieces from around the globe.

A second store will be located on 23 acres at the SEC of 67th Ave. and I-10, which will be a combination warehouse and retail showroom. The warehouse, which is currently open, comprises 315,000 SF, with the store nearly 123,000 SF. The company’s promise of same day delivery necessitates a warehouse component along with their stores.

The chain reports that more than 150 new jobs were created with these two locations. It was reported that the company is negotiating on a parcel in the Southeast Valley across from San Tan Regional Mall at Williams Field Rd. and the Loop 202.

American Furniture Warehouse expects to open its 550,000 SF facility at Power Rd. and the Loop 202 in Gilbert this year. The Englewood, Colo., retailer is building the facility on 73 acres of former farm land. The plans call for a 150,000 SF showroom and a 400,000 SF distribution center.

It was reported that AFW is in negotiations to buy 47 acres of land for a west side location at the SWC of Bethany Home Rd. and Loop 101 in West Phoenix. The site would have a 350,000 SF facility.

American Furniture Warehouse ranks No. 23 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 list with estimated sales topping $323M in 2011.

The furniture industry is poised for growth; the top 100 stores have recorded double-digit growth in the past year, with predictions even rosier for the future. The added competition will keep prices down, and the new stores will bring greater selection.

With more new home construction, continuing positive in-migration and pent-up demand from customers who have reigned in their spending over the past five years all add up to positive news for retailers and customers alike. It’s a great time to be a consumer in Phoenix.

Dave Cheatham of Velocity Retail Group is an authority on retail real estate in the disciplines of brokerage, project leasing, development, consulting and advisory services. He is a senior advisor to merchants, entrepreneurs, investors and senior retail executives throughout the industry.



Metro Phoenix Retail Continues A Slow, Steady Rebound


With the close of 2Q 2013, Velocity Retail’s research has confirmed what we have been speculating: the retail market in Phoenix is on the rebound with several key benchmarks collaborating this:

>> Vacancy is down;

>> Leasing activity is up;

>> Regional areas are showing significant improvement.

Currently, as of 2Q 2013, our research shows that the retail vacancy has dropped to 11.3%. This is nearly a full percentage point improvement from just 6 months ago, (at the end of 2012 the vacancy was 12.2%), and more than 2 percentage points below the highest level, which was two years ago in 3Q 2011 when the vacancy reached 13.7%

Some of the regional areas have improved a little faster than the others. In the Southwest region where the vacancy was 12.4% at the highest point in 4Q 2009, it is now 8.2% — this is an improvement of 4.2% in 31/2 years. Currently, this is the region with the lowest vacancy.

The Southeast region, which is significantly affected by a glut of 129 vacant big box spaces, continues to show improvement. Vacancy in 3Q 2011 was the highest for this area at 14.8%. Currently the vacancy rate has improved 2 percentage points to 12.8%. This area recorded leasing activity of more than 525,000 SF in the past 6 months.

What do all these numbers really mean? It means that nearly 1M net square feet of retail space was leased in just 6 months. It means that all six of our regions have improved; some more than others. It also means that retailer confidence is returning both from national and local tenants, and landlords are finalizing deals which improve the vacancy within their shopping centers and the bottom line.

We are projecting that by the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014 vacancy in Phoenix should be in the single digits for the first time since the end of 2008 when the vacancy was 9.8%.

Dave Cheatham is president of Velocity Retail Group. He is an authority on retail real estate in the disciplines of brokerage, project leasing, development, consulting and advisory services. He is a senior advisor to merchants, entrepreneurs, investors and senior retail executives throughout the industry.

Foothills Park Plaza

Velocity Retail Group June Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed nine transactions in June. A summary of each transaction:

>> Velocity Retail’s Larry Miller and Jim Edwards represented the Landlord, Pacific West Land in a 10-year transaction for Urgent Cares of America Holdings, LLC (dba, Fast Med) at Corona del Sol shopping center at the SEC of Ray and Rural roads in Chandler. The tenant will be occupying 5,000 SF of space. Terry Martin-Denning of NAI Horizon and Patrick Wathen, of Equity, Inc. represented the tenant. The store is expected to open in August.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault and Michael Clark represented the Landlord of Bell Tower Plaza, LLC at the NWC of Bell Rd. and 63rd Ave. in Glendale in a, 8,100 SF, 5-year transaction for Pawn 1st. Additionally, Arizona Iron Furniture is expanding their existing store in the same shopping center. This tenant signed a 3-year additional lease term for 3,125 SF. Jackson, Ault, and Clark also represented the tenant in this transaction. Both stores are expected to open in July.

>> Togo’s is opening its second store in Metro Phoenix with a 5-year, 1,190 SF store at Warner Ranch, 9920 S. Rural Rd. Tempe. Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail represented the Tenant. Joe Doucett of GDCRE represented the Landlord, Sy Warner Ranch, LLC. The store is expected to open in 3Q 2013.

>> Michael Clark, John Jackson and Nick Ault of Velocity represented West Valley Properties in negotiating a new 7,476 SF lease for Full Circle Gym at Cobblestone Village at the SWC of Warner Rd. and McClintock Dr. in Tempe. Patricia Wodrich of Preserve Property Management represented the tenant. The new store is expected to open in August.

>> Velocity Retail’s Darren Pitts and Dave Cheatham and Nate Ballard of Wadsworth Development Group represented the seller, Wadsworth Accelerated Ventures – Logan, LLC in an 10,851 SF sale of a 100% leased building at 1145 N. Main St., Logan, Utah. Mattress Firm recently leased the building from the ownership group. Jon White was the Buyer, who paid $2.25M for the asset which closed June 5. The buyer was represented by Ryan Reeves and Trevor Kyle of Newmark Merrell in Utah.

>> Early Learning Language & Arts leased a 5,012 SF space at Foothills Park Plaza shopping center at the SWC of Chandler Blvd. and Desert Foothills Parkway in Phoenix. The landlord, Pacific West Land, was represented by Velocity Retail’s John Jackson, Nick Ault and Michael Clark. This is the first location for E.L.L.A. center in Ahwatukee, the new store is opening this month. In the same shopping center, the listing team also finalized a 5-year 1,800 SF foot transaction for Perfect Pear Nature’s Bistro. The new restaurant will be opening in August.

>> Mattress Firm leased a 3,497 SF building from Madison Development at 6965 N. Glenwood St. in Garden City, Idaho. Both parties were represented by Chad Moore and Jeff Harrison of Mountain West Retail in Utah, and Darren Pitts, Michael Clark, and Nick Ault of Velocity Retail.


RECon 2013 Recap: How's Your Exchange Coming Along?


More than 33,000 shopping center owners, developers, brokers, consultants, etc. descended upon the International Council of Shopping Centers 2013 RECon convention in Las Vegas last month, and we thought it would be timely to give a mid-year assessment about retail investment activity in the very hectic NNN 1031 (triple net lease) sector.

As the stock market closes at record levels above 15,000 and investors grow nervous about the prospects of a market correction, real estate continues to be an attractive investment alternative. NNN leased investments are a very popular vehicle for this capital. Historically there has been plenty of this type of product available and it provides investors with relative safety and increasing rental yields over the long-term.

We foresee interest rates remaining relatively low for the near term as the Federal Government wrestles with historic debt levels. This will push more private capital out of the banks and into real estate as investors seek higher yields.

Below are some key questions that many clients ask us to evaluate on a regular basis:

>> Is The Asset a Single Purpose Building?

In the push to find a suitable 1031 property, many investors give little thought to the long-term suitability of the building for re-tenanting purposes. For example, a new Bridgestone Firestone NNN investment is a building that is very specifically designed to accommodate an automotive business operation. Hydraulic lifts and multiple bay doors make for a very difficult renovation if the building ever needs recycled. On the flip-side, remember all of those Blockbuster Video buildings? They were perfect for new tenants like Chipotle, Verizon, Vitamin Shoppe, Five Guys Burgers and Mattress Firm. In general, the more vanilla shell or generic the building, the more safety when it comes to reuse down the road.

>> What is the Best Product Type?

Ground-leases. Single-tenant assets. Multi-tenant buildings. Which of these has the best outlook for a long-term investor? The answer is that it depends. Investors with less sophistication are going to be much more comfortable owning a long-term ground lease where in the event of a tenant default, the investor stands to inherit a building from the transaction. Single-tenant and multi-tenant deals allow some tax advantages relating to depreciation that are favorable for certain investors. While multi-tenant buildings probably require a more sophisticated investor to manage, they provide more safety in that they are not dependent on an income stream from a single user. If Supercuts closes in a 3-tenant building, there’s a strong likelihood of re-tenanting the building in short-order with the right leasing advisors.

>> How Creditworthy is the Tenant?

Remember when a NNN investment with the United States Postal Service was one of the safest investments around? The financial tumult of late 2008 and early 2009 surely taught us that what can be a credit tenant today could very likely not be a credit tenant in the future. Just ask some landlords that got caught owning a Washington Mutual NNN investment only to have the lease terminated in the government-arranged takeover of Washington Mutual by JP Morgan Chase. Some investors ended up with a vacant bank building with a drive-through with no rental income and a long-term loan to service. Washington Mutual was seen as bulletproof and was the darling of 1031′s earlier in the decade. There are only a handful of A-rated retailers in the United States. The speed at which technology and hand-held devices is changing the retail landscape will surely change the creditworthiness of a tenant.

>> Why are the NNN 1031 markets so competitive today?

Certainly the NNN 1031 market has changed very significantly over the past cycle. What used to be a buyers’ market full of affluent families, doctors, dentists and lawyers is now full of private-capital buyers, institutional investors and publicly-traded REIT’s. Large buyers like Cole Capital, American Realty Capital, NNN REIT, STORE Capital and others have raised enormous amounts of capital in order to allow investors to place funds in commercial real estate without the risk of taking title to the properties themselves. This model has created the ability for an investor to stay much more liquid than purchasing a McDonald’s where the capital is parked for decades. Look for this trend to continue as Wall Street continues to deploy capital into these markets and the markets become more efficient.

>> Why is 1031 Exchange product so scarce?

A significantly increased buyer pool has created a shortage of NNN 1031 product nationally. A colleague of mine is currently working on more than 20 different 1031 requirements with clients where they have been unable to find a suitable replacement property. This has caused buyers to increase their offering prices, pushing capitalization rates to near all-time lows. Plentiful inexpensive long-term debt has further fueled this phenomenon. As this trend continues, look for investors to pursue slightly more risk to achieve higher yields.

Darren Pitts is a widely recognized and respected expert in the retail real estate industry. With more than 18 years of experience as an award-winning, elite performer and Senior Vice President at both CBRE and Staubach Retail, he has streamlined his multi-market knowledge across the West, primarily focusing on big-box clients like Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, JC Penney, Lifetime Fitness, and others. He was involved in over 15 investment transactions in 2012 with a total consideration in excess of $75M. Pitts was instrumental in leading and executing a 60 store rollout of CVS as well as implementing an expansion program of more than 30 branches with JP Morgan Chase. He is particularly known for his ability to identify invisible real estate and accelerate a client’s speed to market.


Home of a new Pet Club in Gilbert.

Velocity Retail Group May Transactions



Velocity Retail Group completed seven transactions in May totaling nearly 100,000 SF. A summary of each transaction follows:

>> Velocity Retail’s Dave Cheatham, Andy Kroot and Darren Pitts represented the Landlord, De Rito Pavilions, 139, LLC in a 10-year transaction for Conn’s Appliances, Inc. at the Pavilions at Talking Stick shopping center at the NWC of Indian Bend Rd. and the Loop 101 in Scottsdale. The tenant will be occupying 36,200 SF of space in the former Best Buy. Todd Folger of CBRE represented the tenant.

>> Pet Club signed a 10-year lease to open in a former Ace Hardware store south of the SWC of Chandler Heights and Power Rd. in Gilbert. The 20,086 SF store will open in the fall. The landlord, Ulrich Horst Hamfler of the 2002 Hamfler Family Trust, was represented by Michael Clark, Nick Ault and John Jackson of Velocity Retail, and the tenant was represented by Greg Saltz of Phoenix Commercial Advisors.

>> Michael Clark and John Jackson of Velocity Retail represented the landlord, Wadsworth Velocity Ventures – Kingman, LLC in a new 10-year transaction with Sears Hometown. The new 7,680 SF store will be opening this summer in the newly redeveloped Kingman Frontier Plaza shopping center is at the SEC of I-40 and Stockton Hill Rd. in Kingman. The store is relocating from their existing freestanding location nearby.

>> Velocity Retail’s Jim Edwards and Larry Miller represented the Landlord, Carioca Company in negotiating a 10-year lease for Creating Magic Salon in a shopping center  east of the SEC of Indian School Rd. and 32nd St. in Phoenix. The 1,800 SF store is expected to open in August. The tenant was represented by Chad Merwin of Commercial Properties, Inc.

>> Swap and Save Market is opening a new 13,750 SF store at 3522 W. Peoria Rd. in Phoenix. Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail represented the landlord, Pacific 35th & Peoria, LLC. The tenant will be joining 99 Cent Only and Goodwill of Central Arizona in the shopping center. The store is expected to open in 3Q 2013.

>> Michael Clark, John Jackson and Nick Ault of Velocity represented Pacific West Development in negotiating a new 1,100 SF lease for State Farm Insurance at Peoria Crossings at the NWC of Northern and 91st avenues in Peoria. Brian O’Connor of Tri West Real Estate represented the tenant in the transaction. State Farm is relocating from an existing store and is expected to open in their new location this summer.

>> Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona is opening a 4,560 SF workforce development location at Southgate Mall at 3140 S. 4th Ave. in Yuma. The tenant is represented by Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail. The landlord is Southgate Mall, LLC.


Raintree Northsight in Scottsdale.

Velocity Retail Group April Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed transactions in April totaling nearly 130,000 SF. A summary of each transaction follows:

>> Goodwill of Central Arizona is expanding its existing store and training center into a 35,882 SF facility at 6750 W. Peoria Ave. in Peoria. The current store and training center were previously in separate suites within the shopping center and will now be housed in the same storefront. The training center is increasing in size from 2,700 SF to more than  7,000 SF. Goodwill is represented by Andy Kroot of Velocity. The Landlord is First Chino Hills Properties, LLC, an entity formed by Ethan Christopher, LLC, Aric Browne is its representative.

>> John Jackson, Michael Clark, and Nick Ault represented the landlord, LP Realty, Inc., in a 4,800 SF transaction to Windy City Café at Northsight Crossing at the NEC of Northsight Blvd., and Raintree in Scottsdale. The tenant signed a 5-year lease and is expected to open in May of this year.

>> Velocity’s Chip Thor and Dave Cheatham negotiated a 3,830 SF lease on behalf of Four Peaks Brewing Company at Sonora Village at the SEC of Frank Lloyd Wright and Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale. This is an existing location for the tenant with a newly extended lease term.

>> Judi Butterworth of Velocity Retail leased a 7,575 SF space to Naber’s Music Bar & Eats, and entity of 1 D and D, LLC. The restaurant will be located at 825 N. 54th St. (Ray/54th) in Chandler. The local operators are offering new comfort food for lunch and dinner and a late-night menu. The western-themed venue will have live music, feature local and regional beer and wine and plan to open in August of this year. Pavilions Holdings, LLC is the landlord, they were represented by Paul Serafin from De Rito Partners.

>> Velocity’s Andy Kroot represented Goodwill of Central Arizona in a new 12-year, 29,919 SF location at 1625 W. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix. The landlord is AT Park Lee AZ, LLC.

>> Mattress Firm signed a 10-year lease at the SWC of 22nd and Harrison in Tucson. Mattress Firm was represented by Darren Pitts, Michael Clark, and Dave Cheatham of Velocity Retail. The landlord is an entity formed by Bourn Advisory Services of Tucson, whose representative was Alan Tanner. The 3,800 SF store is expected to open in December.

>> Velocity’s Judi Butterworth represented Audio Express in a new 4,417 SF location at Chandler Village. The landlord, BAMA Chandler, LLC was represented by Adrienne Bryant at De Rito Partners. The tenants signed a 5-year lease and plan to open in August of this year. Audio Express’s parent company is Freight Sales, Inc. which has 43 stores in 8 states with 10 under the Audio Express banner throughout Arizona.

>> Velocity’s Jim Edwards and Larry Miller leased a 2,100 SF location to Flair Gifts and Boutique at Tatum Plaza located at the SEC of Tatum Blvd. and Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix. The tenant is relocating from their current location at Tuscany Village, and signed a 5-year lease with plans to open in June of this year. CBRE’s John Rehling and Aaron Retts represented the landlord in this transaction. The tenant is the original Lotions & Potions owner with a location still operating on Mill Avenue in Tempe.

>> Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail represented Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop/Everything Bagel in a new 1,800 SF location at 4017 N. Scottsdale Road in Old Town Scottsdale. The store opened April 30, 2013. This is Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop’s sixth location in the Valley with many more in the works for 2013/2014.

>> Andy Kroot leased a 24,492 SF location at 455 E. Warner in Chandler to Gold Medal Gymnastics. The new facility is a relocation of an existing site allowing Gold Medal to expand their programs and services. The company was founded in 2004 by former Olympic gold medalist, Amanda Borden-Cochran and her husband, Brad Cochran. CBRE’s Mike parker and Evan Koplan represented the Landlord, Aviv Realty ADA in the transaction. The location is expected to open in November.

>> Jim Edwards and Larry Miller of Velocity leased a 1,245 SF store to Polished & Pamper Mani-Pedi Spa at Dobson Baseline Plaza located south of the SEC of Baseline and Dobson in Mesa. Edwards and Miller represented the landlord, Tang Enterprises in the five-year transaction. The store is expected to open in July.



Velocity Retail Group Announces New Location For Gold Medal Gymnastics


Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail Group announced that Gold Medal Gymnastics has signed a new lease at Warner Commerce Park, SEC of Warner Rd. and Delaware St. (455 E. Warner Rd.) in Chandler for approximately 24,492 SF.

“We were excited to be able to assist Brad and Amanda Cochran in relocating their gym into a larger, newer building that will have great synergy with surrounding tenants,” Kroot said.

Evan Koplan and Mike Parker of CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the landlord, Dalfen America Corp. of Westmount, Quebec, Canada, and negotiated the 7-year lease.

“Our brand new facility is going to give us the space and amenities to build and improve our programs and services that our customers have come accustomed too. We are excited to be able to continue to offer quality gymnastics and children’s athletic programs to the families of the East Valley.” said Amanda Borden-Cochran, founder and 1996 Olympic Gold medalist. “As the program has flourished, so have the facilities.

In 2004 Gold Medal Gymnastics opened its first location in Tempe. After a few years in operation it outgrew the space and saw the opportunity to expand the program in the Valley. In 2008 Gold Medal Gymnastics opened a second location in Chandler.

>> Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Arrives in Old Town Scottsdale

Kroot also announced Cappriotti’s Sandwich Shop/Everything Bagel is opening a new restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale at 4017 N. Scottsdale Rd.

“We are excited to be able to help Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop/Everything Bagel expand their presence and product offering in the greater Phoenix area and in this premiere Scottsdale location,” Kroot said.


Velocity Retail's 1Q 2013 Market Report: Signs Of Improvement


With the recent release of Velocity Retail’s Research Solutions Team’s 1Q 2013 retail quarterly numbers, Velocity Retail is excited to report positive improvements to the retail vacancy rate and leasing activity.

“We are excited to report that the Phoenix area has recorded six straight quarters of improvement both in vacancy and leasing activity,” said Dave Cheatham, Managing Principal at Velocity Retail. “The Phoenix market is clearly on its way to continued health at a gradual and steady pace.”

For more than three years, since the end of 2008, the vacancy rate steadily increased to 13.54% which was the peak. Now for six consecutive quarters the vacancy rate has declined in Phoenix. The vacancy at the end of the 1st quarter of 2013 is 11.48%, which is over two percentage points less than it was at its peak.

The first quarter numbers also show that of the six sub-regions in Phoenix that one third are back to a healthier single-digit vacancy, with one third close behind. The North sub-region has the lowest vacancy, ending the first quarter at 8.8%, with the Southwest area not far behind at 8.9%. The Northwest area is next with 10% vacancy, followed by the Northeast at 10.2%.

These four areas are leading the market in having the lowest vacancy. The two areas with the highest vacancy are the Southeast region which is at 13% and the Central region has the highest vacancy in the Phoenix area of 13.3%.

The company prepares quarterly updates with details that provide market intelligence and high-level analysis. Velocity tracks details on the entire retail market base of 175 MSF in buildings larger than 10,000 SF.

Accelerated Development Services Opens First 99 Cent Only Store in Kingman

99 Cent Only will kick off the new tenant lineup at Kingman Crossing in Kingman with a 17,136 SF store. They company has signed the first lease in the 82,000 SF center with negotiations winding down on the rest of the remaining occupancy.

The property, which is being jointly developed by Accelerated Development Services and Wadsworth Development, is undergoing a complete redevelopment and update.

The property, on the SEC  of Interstate 40 and Stockton Hill Rd., is ground zero for this regional town. When the project is complete, it will have new store fronts, new paving, a huge freeway sign, new landscaping and a fresh new look.


Lee Lee Oriental Supermart at the SWC of Cactus and 75th Ave.

Velocity Retail Group March Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed 8 transactions in March totaling nearly 200,000 SF. A summary of each transaction follows:

>> 99 Cent Only Stores finalized a 10-year, 17,138 SF lease at Kingman Crossing at the SEC of Interstate 40 and Stockton Hill Road in Kingman. Michael Clark of Velocity Retail represented the landlord, Accelerated Development / Wadsworth Development Group in the transaction. Jim Mitchell of Retail Advisors Southwest represented the tenant. The new store is expected to open in 1Q 2014 and is part of Accelerated and Wadsworth redevelopment of the entire shopping center.

>> Velocity Retail’s Andy Kroot represented Goodwill of Central Arizona in a new 28,260 SF store just north of the SWC of Thunderbird and 7th St. The landlord is 7Bird Property Partners and was represented by Barry Light of Light Retail.

>> Velocity Retail’s Michael Clark and John Jackson sold a former Albertson’s store to LEAD Charter Schools. They represented the owner, ACC Retail Associates, which is a partnership between Scanlan Kemper Bard Companies and Praedium Group. The 59,549 SF store is at the SEC of Ray and Cooper in Chandler and sold for $1.35M. The buyer was represented by Joan Krueger of RE/Max Commercial. The school will be converting the space into a charter school which is expected to open for the Fall 2014 school year. The building is part of a disposition assignment that Velocity is been marketing which included six total stores.

>> In a separate transaction on behalf of ACC Retail Associates, Michael Clark and Darren Pitts sold the 60,080 SF, 100% occupied Lee Lee Oriental Supermart at the SWC of Cactus and 75th Ave. to Arizona Partners, whose representative was their principal, Bob Rusing. The purchase price was $2M.

>> Ron Ault and Judi Butterworth of Velocity Retail negotiated a sale of Starbuck’s Plaza on behalf of First Financial Collateral. The 4,569 SF multi-tenant pad building is at 4605 E. Chandler Blvd. in Phoenix. The building sold for $1.176M ($257.38 psf) and was 66% occupied by Starbuck’s and Jersey Mike’s Sub’s. Chip Diamond of Diamond Properties represented the buyer Sereno 501, LLC.

>> John Jackson and Michael Clark of Velocity represented the Landlord, AEGON USA Realty Advisors at Greenway Crossings at the NEC of Greenway and Loop 303 in Surprise. They finalized a 5-year, 2,116 SF lease with T.E.A.M. 4 Kids, LLC. The tenant is a medical and educational business that works with children of disabilities providing physical, occupational and speech therapy. Randy Kicklighter of Greenstreet Commercial represented the Tenant in the transaction. The tenant is planning on opening in June of this year.

>> Something in the Water leased 989 SF at Greenway Crossings at the NEC of Greenway and Loop 303 in Surprise. The Landlord, AEGON USA Realty Advisors and the tenant were represented by John Jackson and Michael Clark of Velocity. The tenant will be operating a store selling aquariums, fish and accessories. They are expected to open in May of this year.

>> Velocity Retail’s John Jackson and Michael Clark represented the landlord of Campus Village West at the NWC of Thunderbird Rd. and 49th Ave. in Glendale in a 5-year, 1,200 SF transaction with Nail City. The new store is expected to open in May of this year.



Velocity Retail Group's Andy Kroot Negotiates Deal to Bring Goodwill Store to Fountain Hills


Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail Group announced that Goodwill of Central Arizona is set to open a new retail store in Fountain Hills. The store is at 13757 N. Fountain Hills Blvd.

“We’re relocating the existing store into a newer and larger space,” said Jackie Halleen, vice president of retail operations. “Fountain Hills is a growing area and we’re proud to be opening a new store for our shoppers. They will be able to find great deals on name brand clothes, furniture, home goods, toys and more.”

Kroot represented Goodwill.

“We are happy to be able to help Goodwill expand their presence in Arizona and visibly see the positive impact each store makes within the community,” Kroot said, “We look forward to opening more successful Goodwill stores in the Phoenix market.”

The grand opening is set for April 12.


Lindsay and Warner location.

Velocity's Andy Kroot Completes Pair of Deals For Goodwill Stores


Velocity Retail Group’s Andy Kroot announced that Goodwill of Central Arizona signed two new leases in February.

Goodwill leased the 25,740 SF former Whole Foods building at the NEC of Lindsay and Warner in Gilbert. The store is expected to open in 2Q 2013. Goodwill also completed a 14,400 SF, 10-year lease is San Luis. That store is expected to open in 3Q 2013.

“We are honored to be able to help Goodwill of Central Arizona expand their presence in Arizona while positively impacting the community with each new store,” Kroot said. “Goodwill now has well over 60 stores in the area with many more planned for 2013/2014; we are continuing to search for great, high traffic locations.”

With 65 years of serving central Arizona’s communities, Goodwill of Central Arizona is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit agencies in Arizona. In 2012, it served more than 42,000 youth and adults on their quest toward self-sufficiency and secured more than 15,563 employment opportunities.

In another transaction, Kroot announced that Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop/Everything Bagel will be moving into the former Schlotsky’s Deli in Old Town Scottsdale at the SEC of Scottsdale and Indian School roads.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has five other stores in Metro Phoenix.


Bell Tower Plaza

Velocity Retail Group February Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed six transactions in February ranging in size from 3,850 SF to 25,740 SF. A summary of each transaction follows:

>> Goodwill of Central Arizona leased the 25,740 SF former Whole Foods building at the NEC of Lindsay and Warner in Gilbert. The sublessor, Whole Foods Market, Inc. was represented by Adam Madison at Cushman Wakefield. Goodwill was represented by Andy Kroot of Velocity. The store is expected to open in the 2Q of this year.

>> Velocity Retail’s Darren Pitts and Mountain West Retail’s Chad Moore and Jeff Harrison represented Mattress Firm in a 10-year, 5,234 SF store in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The store is located in the former TGIF restaurant building at 2625 S. 25th East in Ammon, Idaho. The store is expected to open in May of this year.

>> Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail completed a 14,400 SF, 10-year lease to Goodwill of Central Arizona in San Luis. The building is at 301 Piceno Dr. The owner of the shopping center is JO-AZ, LLC. The store is expected to open in 3Q 2013. This brings the total of Goodwill stores to more than 60 in Arizona.

>> Mattress Firm leased a 3,850 SF building at 7871 N. Oracle Rd. in Oro Valley in the Entrada del Oro Shopping Center. The tenant was represented by Darren Pitts of Velocity Retail. The landlord, Wright-Pantano, LLC was represented by Terry Dahlstrom of Volk Company. The store is expected to open in May of this year and will be the 12th store in the market.

>> Velocity Retail’s John Jackson, Nick Ault and Michael Clark represented the landlord of Bell Tower Plaza at the NWC of Bell Rd. and 63rd Ave. in Glendale in a 5-year, 8,108 SF transaction with Pawn 1st. The new store is expected to open in August of this year.

>> Mattress Firm finalized a 12-year lease for a 4,000 SF retail space at the NWC of Kino and Interstate 10 in Tucson in The Bridges shopping center. The Landlord, Tucson Retail, LLC is out of Boise, Idaho and was represented by Land Advisors Organization’s Randy Titzck and Chad Russell. Darren Pitts of Velocity represented the tenant in the transaction. The store is expected to open in 1Q 2014.



Velocity Retail Finalizes BBB Fashion in Desert Sky Festival Shopping Center


Velocity Retail Group announces that BBB Fashion has leased 14,128 SF at the Desert Sky Festival shopping center at SEC Thomas Rd. and 75th Ave. in Phoenix.

Judi Butterworth of Velocity Retail and Paul Serafin of De Rito Partners represented the Landlord Westfest, LLC.

Larry Miller and James Edwards also of Velocity represented the tenant. The tenant recently opened for business and is holding their grand opening.



Velocity Retail Negotiates for Old Navy in Tucson Shopping Center; Brings Baby Town to Gilbert


Velocity Retail Group announces that Old Navy leased 15,039 SF at the Tucson Spectrum shopping center at the SWC of Irvington and Interstate 19 in Tucson.

Darren Pitts and Dave Cheatham of Velocity Retail represented Old Navy in the transaction. The current shopping center owner is Developers Diversified Realty, which purchased the center during the final stages of the Old Navy transaction from Barclay Creswin Tucson Spectrum, LP of Phoenix.

The new store opened in November of 2012 and was one of a handful of new stores that Old Navy completed in the calendar year.

“Like many national retailers, new store growth has been on pause during the last several years of the recession,” Pitts said. “This store was originally reviewed in 2006 and then tabled until recently. The fact that Old Navy chose Tucson as one of their new store locations nationally for 2012 is extremely positive,” he added. This is the fourth store for Old Navy in the Tucson market, and the 18th store in Arizona.

In another transaction, Velocity’s Judi Butterworth negotiated a 28,000 SF lease with Baby Town, LLC for the Crossroads Towne Center at the SEC of the Loop 202 and Gilbert Road in Gilbert.

This will be Baby Town’s first store. Five years ago, the owners, Ocean and Tracy Zhang, sold costumes from their garage online. Now their ecommerce business employs 10 year-round and 60 seasonal employees.

They saw a strong market demand for offline baby products where customers could see, touch, and test the products. They decided to open a new baby store to offer a large one-stop shopping destination for the East Valley.

Butterworth utilized Velocity Retail’s analysis of big boxes throughout the Phoenix area and completed a thorough study of various trade areas in the Phoenix metropolitan area in order to determine the best location for Baby Town.

“The tenant was analyzing Phoenix vs. Austin Texas and Phoenix won,” she said. “After they were able to see the quality of the real estate, the future growth potential in Gilbert and favorable family demographics it was just a matter of negotiating the best terms for the tenant.”

Baby Town specializes in children up to age 3. It has several departments including maternity, baby gear, furniture, clothing, toys, diapers, formula, gifts, and accessories. Their large baby play area will allow parents to test-drive new toys with their babies, and provides a social outlet to meet other new parents.


Campus Village West, Thunderbird and 49th Ave. in Glendale.

Velocity Retail Group January Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed 8 transactions in January totaling more than 250,000 SF. A summary of each transaction follows (including one in Utah):

>> Judi Butterworth represented the tenant in a 5-year, 30,000 SF deal at the NEC of Germann/Gilbert in the Crossroads Towne Center shopping center. The tenant is Baby Town, a new concept to the Phoenix retail scene. This will be its first location. Western Retail Advisors represented Vestar Development Company in the transaction. The store is expected to open in May 2013.

>> Michael Clark and John Jackson represented the seller of a 4.87-acre parcel at the NWC of Coldwater Springs and Avondale Rd. in Avondale. The buyer, Moreland Properties was represented by Haugen Commercial, George Haugen. The buyer is a speculator intends to hold the parcel for future resale.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault, and Michael Clark represented the landlord at Crossroads Plaza at the NWC of Peoria and 67th Ave. in a 5-year 1,200 SF smoke shop. The tenant’s trade name will be 59th Avenue Smoke Shop, Inc. and is expected to open in February.

>> Mattress Firm finalized a 5-year lease for a 6,539 SF retail space at 4035 Riverdale Rd. in Riverdale, Utah. The shopping center is called Riverdale Shopping Center and has R.C. Willey, Best Buy, JC Penney, Lowe’s, TJ Maxx, and Ulta as co-tenants. Darren Pitts of Velocity and Chad Moore of Mountain West Retail represented the tenant in the transaction. The Landlord, Riverdale II S. C., an entity controlled by The Boyer Company, was represented by Coldwell Banker, BRG. The store is expected to open in April of this year and will be the 16th location for this tenant in Utah.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault, and Michael Clark represented the landlord of Bell Tower Plaza at the NEC of Bell Rd. and 63rd Ave. in a 5-year 1,040 SF restaurant by the name of Sushi Catcher. The tenant is expected to open in February.

>> Andy Kroot represented Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona in a 1,601 SF donation center at Fulton Ranch Towne Center at the SEC of Ocotillo and Arizona avenues in Chandler. The landlord of the shopping center is RED Development of Ocotillo, LLC. The tenant is expected to open in March.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault, and Michael Clark represented the Vector Commercial Properties, the owners of Campus Village West at the NWC of Thunderbird and 49th Ave. in Glendale in a new 5-year lease of 750 SF for Mystic Tobacco. The tenant recently held its grand opening.

>> John Jackson, Nick Ault, and Michael Clark represented the owner of Greenway Crossing at the NEC of Loop 303 and Greenway Rd. in Surprise in a 5-year 1,589 SF lease transaction for Mr. Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs. The tenant was represented by SR Commercial’s Tyson Switzenberg. The tenant opened in January.


Greenway/Loop 303

Velocity Retail Group's December Transactions


Velocity Retail Group completed 11 transactions during the month of December totaling 300,000 SF. A summary of each:

>> SKB Companies sold a 62,610 SF former Albertson’s grocery store for $1M at the SEC of Main and Dobson in Mesa to Ultimate Consignment. Michael Clark and John Jackson of Velocity Retail represented SKB in the transaction. The buyer was represented by Zak Kotter of LevRose Real Estate.

>> Madison Development Group sold a 5,057 SF fully-lease Mattress Firm building to American Realty Capital. The building is in Bountiful, Utah. Madison recently purchased the land and constructed the building for the Tenant. The seller was represented by Darren Pitts of Velocity Retail and Chad Moore and Jeff Harrison of Mountain West Retail of Utah. The buyer was represented by Jonathan Moseley of 360 RE in Houston.

>> Winco Advisors purchased two retail buildings in December both brokered by Andy Kroot of Velocity Retail. The first transaction, was a 14,691 SF shopping center at the SEC of Greenfield and McKellips Roads in Mesa. The center was built in 2008 and includes regional and national tenants such as Starbuck’s, Chase Bank, T-Mobile, NextCare, H & R Block, Jamba Juice and Café Mix. The 100% leased property was listed by Michael Hackett and Ryan Schubert of Cassidy Turley.

In a second transaction, Andy Kroot represented Winco Advisors, which purchased a 5,000 SF, 100% leased commercial building in the Lake Air Mall shopping center in   Waco, Texas.

>> Woodlands Village Shopping Center in Flagstaff, at 2600 Woodlands Village Blvd., sold to CCA Acquisitions Company. The 91,910 SF center, owned by PDC Community Centers was co-listed by Velocity Retail’s Darren Pitts and Ron Ault, and Mountain West Retail’s Ben Brown. Brown also represented the buyer in the $17.26M transaction which closed in December.

>> Zeeks Pizza & Wings signed a 2,400 SF, 5-year lease at the SEC of Warner Rd. and 48th St. in Ahwatukee, which will open in the spring of 2013. The Landlord was represented by Velocity Retail Group’s Michael Clark and Nick Ault. The tenant was represented by Joel Gunning of West USA Realty.

>> Raising Cane’s signed a 20-year, 3,552 SF build-to-suit deal at Gateway Crossing at the SWC of McDowell and 99th Avenue in Phoenix. The Landlord was represented by Michael Clark and John Jackson of Velocity Retail, and the tenant was represented by Mark Bramlett of Cassidy Turley BRE. The store is slated to open in the summer of 2013.

>> Krispy Kreme signed a 5-year deal at Plaza del Sol shopping center at Indian School and 33rd Ave. in Phoenix. The 1,769 SF store will open in 2Q 2013 and is the fifth location for the franchise group in the Phoenix area. Andy Kroot represented the tenant, and Kimco is the Landlord.

>> Wadsworth Development and Accelerated Development sold a fully-leased 12,000 SF building occupied by Mattress Firm. The building is at Hwy. 89 at the entrance to Flagstaff Mall to Aspen Properties. The NNN deal was listed by Darren Pitts and Ron Ault of Velocity Retail, the buyer was represented by Tom Knaub of Colliers International.

>> Velocity Retail’s John Jackson and Michael Clark represented the landlord of the NEC of Greenway/Loop 303 in Surprise on a 14-year lease transaction with West Valley Dental Group has opened a 3,306 SF Peoria Family Dentistry office.

>> Wadsworth Development and Accelerated Development purchased a 75,795 SF parcel at the SWC of Germann and Gilbert in Chandler. The parcel was sold by Exxon Mobil Foundation and is one of the last remaining parcels at the popular intersection. The buyer was represented by Dave Cheatham of Velocity Retail and the Seller was represented by Mindy Korth of CBRE. The buyers plan to build retail shops on the parcel in 2013.


Velocity Retail Group

Velocity Retail Group Reports First Retail Absorption Since Recession

Phoenix Metropolitan retail recorded positive net absorption for the third straight quarter as recorded in statistics just released by Velocity Retail Group through June 30, 2012.  This is the first positive absorption recorded since before the “Great Recession” in November of 2008. After 12 consecutive quarters of negative absorption, the last three quarters of positive absorption signal a healing that has begun and shows that we are well on our way to a solid recovery.

Dave Cheatham, managing principal of Velocity Retail Group commented on this positive trend, saying, “Since late 2011 we have been seeing an up-tick in retailer activity.  National tenants are exploring their expansion opportunities, value oriented retailers have been taking advantage of the big box spaces that have been vacant, and local and regional tenants are opening new stores.

“Landlords are figuring out how to structure deals with quality tenants, and fill those empty spaces,” said Cheatham. “Whether it’s a combination of free rent, additional build-out monies, or favorable rent structures for the first few years, they’re getting it done.”

Michael Clark, vice president at Velocity, states, “There is over 1.2 million square feet of net absorption through the second quarter of 2012.  The Phoenix retail market has not seen annual positive absorption since 2008. The overall vacancy rate for Metropolitan Phoenix has been showing consistent improvement in the past year with a recorded decline of over one percentage point in the past year.  This is extremely good news.”

Velocity Retail reports second quarter of 2012 ended with a vacancy rate of 12.2%.  Just one year ago, in the second quarter of 2011, the vacancy rate was 13.4% which is an improvement of 1.2% in this twelve month period.

Velocity Retail Group sees a favorable outlook for the Commercial Retail market for 2012.  With improved tenant activity from national and local retailers, and some of the obsolete retail spaces being absorbed by non-retail uses (such as schools, medical facilities or call centers), the vacancy rate should continue improve and by mid-2013 be between 9.9% and 10.5%.

For more information on Velocity Retail Group, visit their website at www.velocityretail.com.


2011 RED Awards Winners & Honorable Mentions

On Feb. 22, AZRE hosted the 6th Annual, 2011 RED Awards reception at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix to recognize the most notable commercial real estate projects of 2010 and the construction teams involved. AZRE held an open call for nominations and more than 100 architects, contractors, developers and brokerage firms participated in the process. All the winning projects and brokers are featured on the following pages.

View pictures from the 2011 RED Awards.
View the 2011 RED Awards candid shots as well.

2011 winners can order Awards, Plaques & Reprints

The project categories include:

  • Office
  • Industrial
  • Medical
  • Mixed-Use
  • Most Challenging
  • Hospitality
  • Multi-Family
  • Retail
  • Sustainable
  • Redevelopment
  • Public
  • Education
  • Tenant Improvement

  • Developer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • General Contractor of the Year
  • Broker/Broker Team of the Year

Congratulations to all the 2011 RED Awards Winners

Best Hospitality Project, Small:


The Phoenician Ballroom Expansion

Best Hospitality Project, Large:


Talking Stick Resort

Best Industrial Project:


Keller Electrical

Honorable Mention:

Power-One (Phase I & II)

Best Medical Project:


Diamond Children’s Medical Center at UMC

Honorable Mention:

Ryan House at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Best Mixed-Use Project:



Honorable Mention:

Gila River Indian Community, District One Service Center

Most Challenging Project:


Soleri Bridge & Plaza

Honorable Mention:

Maricopa County Security Building

Best Office Project:


Chandler City Hall

Honorable Mention:

Mercy Medical Commons

Best Multi-Family Project:


Vi at Silverstone

Honorable Mention:

Sagewood, Phase 1

Brokerage Team: Leasing


Tom Adelson, Kevin Calihan

Jim Fijan, Jerry Roberts

CB Richard Ellis

Brokerage Team: Sales


Tyler Anderson, Sean Cunningham

CB Richard Ellis

General Contractor of the Year:


Sundt Construction

Best Retail Project:


Mountain Ranch Marketplace

Honorable Mention:

Scottsdale Pavilions – Theater/Food Court Renovation

Most Sustainable Project:


White Tank Branch Library & Nature Center

Honorable Mention:

CREST Specialty School

Best Redevelopment Project:


Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

West Terminal Expansion Phase I

Honorable Mention:

Cowley Companies Warehouse Office

Best Public Project:


Musical Instrument Museum

Honorable Mention:

Randall McDaniel Sports Complex

Best Education Project:


Sedona-Oak Creek

Red Rock High School

Performing Arts Center

Honorable Mention:

Mesa Community College Red Mountain Campus

Best Tenant Improvement Project:


Lumberyard Tap Room

Honorable Mention:

Polsinelli Shughart

Special Merit:


Schuff Perini Climber

Broker – Leasing:


Andy Kroot

Velocity Retail Group

Broker – Sales:


Eric J. Wichterman

Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial

Developer of the Year:


RED Development

Architect of the Year:


RSP Architects

Presented by:

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Sponsored by:

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