Tag Archives: Vestar

Pita Pit

Pita Pit to Open in Gilbert Gateway Towne Center

SRS Real Estate Partners announced Tuesday it has secured another location for Pita Pit at Vestar’s Gilbert Gateway Towne Center located at the SWC of the San Tan Freeway and Power Road in Gilbert. This Target-anchored center includes Michael’s, Ross, Petsmart and Sweet Tomatoes. The 1,500 SF Pita Pit is scheduled to open 1Q 2014.

Gilbert Gateway Towne Center will serve as this franchisee’s second location in the Valley and third in the state. Its first location opened last year at Yuma Palms Regional Center.  Its second location is now open at Centerpoint on Mill, located at the northwest corner of University Drive and Mill Avenue in Tempe, Ariz.  They are currently seeking additional valley locations.

Scott Ellsworth with SRS Real Estate Partners represented Pita Pit on the Phoenix MSA transactions and Brian Woods with Colliers International represented the landlord Vestar, LLC at Gilbert Gateway Towne Center.

Portillos at Tempe Marketplace

Vestar Announces 240,000 SF of New Restaurants, Retailers

Vestar, a leading privately held real estate company in the western United States that acquires and manages retail and entertainment destinations that serve as community focal points, announces a vast amount of new retailers at many of its centers. Noteworthy achievements for Vestar include the signing of new tenants totaling more than 240,000 square feet at its shopping centers in Arizona.
“We are pleased that our leasing professionals have been able to increase value to our client’s assets through new leasing activity at our centers this year,” said Patrick McGinley, vice president of property management for Vestar.
Opening at Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, Arizona is the highly-anticipated Portillo’s. A Chicago-land favorite, the menu includes a variety of favorite food items including Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, sausages, salads and desserts. This unique dining option occupies 8,000 square-feet of space on the intersection of Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive, less than a mile from the new Cubs Spring Training facility opening spring 2014. This is Portillo’s only second Valley location. Other new leasing activity at Tempe Marketplace include Q (5,978 sq. ft.), a trendy apparel, footwear and accessories store which opened in April and Spirit Halloween (10,000 sq. ft.), which opened the end of August.
A coup for Mesa Grand is the May opening of metro Phoenix’s first Conn’s HomePlus (33,948 sq. ft.) location. Conn’s offers appliances, electronics, furniture and mattresses, in addition to product repair and service at this Mesa, Arizona location.
Queen Creek Marketplace in Queen Creek, Arizona, signed three new tenants opening within the next few months including the Smashburger opening in August (2,200 sq. ft.). Joining them in September included Geno’s Giant Slice (1,773 sq. ft.) and Spirit Halloween (30,363 sq. ft.). Earlier in the year, popular vitamin and nutritional supplement store, GNC (1,350 sq. ft.), opened in March.
This summer additional East Valley new tenants included the opening of BabyTown (28,000 sq. ft.), the largest privately owned baby products store, at Crossroads Towne Center. Another large space, Potato Barn (28,428 sq. ft.), a unique home furnishings store, at Gilbert Gateway Towne Center, along with Zig Zag Clothing and Shoes (7,500 sq. ft.) also opened. Las Tiendas Village, located in Chandler, Arizona, added tenant Kid to Kid (3,600 sq. ft.), a high quality children’s resale shop to its roster of tenants.
Earlier this year, Desert Ridge Marketplace opened Nori Sushi (3,269 sq. ft.), an upscale-casual sushi and Asian cuisine restaurant. Additionally, joining the roster this September included AZ Federal Credit Union (1,815 sq. ft.) and McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon (6,500 sq. ft.), serving Irish-American dishes. Torrid (3,000 sq. ft.), featuring collections of trendy plus size clothing, will open this month.
In October, Happy Valley Towne Center will welcome new tenants Orangetheory Fitness (2,854 sq. ft.), featuring energizing group interval fitness workout sessions, and Bedmart (4,000 sq. ft.). Fresh Wasabi (1,380 sq. ft.), a fine Japanese cuisine and sushi bar restaurant, opened in August.
Rounding out the extensive list of signed tenants includes Lake Pleasant Towne Center’s tenant coming this month, Papa Murphy’s (1,515 sq. ft.), take and bake pizza. Also in September, Sundance Towne Center, in Buckeye, Arizona welcomed Connect Wireless (2,064 sq. ft.). Southern Arizona’s Oro Valley Marketplace in Oro Valley added Dollar Express (3,471 sq. ft.), which opened in March.

Bryce Egbert

Bryce Egbert Joins Vestar

Vestar, a privately held real estate company in the western United States that acquires and manages retail and entertainment destinations, announced a new addition to its property management team.

Bryce S. Egbert, Director of Business Development, will be responsible for formalizing and growing the third-party property management services business within Vestar, including leasing, marketing and construction management.

“With Vestar’s continuing commitment into the property management arena, Bryce Egbert brings a strong foundation of expertise and leadership to this new role, and is a great addition to our remarkable property management team.” said Pat McGinley, Vice President of Property Management.

Prior to joining Vestar, he managed the Western U.S. Business Development Group for IPC International Corporation, comprising nearly 200 retail properties in a 19-state territory from Texas to Hawaii. While at IPC, Bryce was responsible for retail sector growth, client relationships, and community partnerships.

Mr. Egbert is a graduate of the University of Arizona with Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Entrepreneurship. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and is involved with several charitable organizations in the Los Angeles and Phoenix area.

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Vestar Installs Electric Vehicle Charging Stations At Tempe Marketplace

 

Vestar recently placed eight electric charging stations at its entertainment and retail lifestyle center Tempe Marketplace.

Through a partnership with ECOtality, eight Blink charging systems including handicapped accessible units, have been placed on both the north and south side of the center.

These installations are part of Vestar’s already well-established GreenStar initiative, the Southwest’s first large-scale commitment to sustainable shopping center techniques.

“This sustainable infrastructure enables our customers the ability to charge their electric vehicles while they are enjoying the many offerings at Tempe Marketplace, including our stores, restaurants, movie theatre and other entertainment options,” says Pat McGinley, Vestar’s Vice President of Property Management.

The Blink Network of charging stations provides EV drivers the freedom to travel as they choose and conveniently charge at Blink commercial locations along the way, including Tempe Marketplace.

ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project, a research initiative to help build America’s future EV infrastructure. The project will study EV infrastructure to support the deployment of EVs in key markets, by collecting and analyzing data from vehicles and chargers. For more information about The EV Project, visit theevproject.com.

 

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Vestar Secures $63.5M Loan For Refinancing of Queen Creek Marketplace

 

Vestar secured a 7-year permanent loan totaling $63.5M for the refinancing of Queen Creek Marketplace, a 686,000 SF power center at the SWC of Ellsworth Loop Rd. and Rittenhouse Rd. in Queen Creek.

The loan was provided by Bank of America in Phoenix.

Developed in 2008, Queen Creek Marketplace is the main shopping destination for the residents of the Queen Creek market area.

The project features a tenant mix of more than 40 national and regional retailers, including Super Target (not a part of the loan), Kohl’s, Ross Dress for Less, Sport Chalet, Bed Bath & Beyond.

Harkins Theatre has plans to develop a 14-screen megaplex at the center which is anticipated to open in late 2014. The asset is 92% occupied.

“The current state of the finance market and our strong position in the marketplace provided us an opportunity to secure long-term fixed rate financing at a historically low interest rate,” said Ed Reading, Vice President of Finance at Vestar.

 

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Famous Chicago Restaurant to Open at Tempe Marketplace

 

With the Chicago Cubs set to open a new Arizona spring training facility just a mile to the east, one of the Windy City’s most famous restaurants has just closed on property at Tempe Marketplace, Arizona’s largest open-air retail center.

Vestar, owner of the 1.3 MSF retail center, announced it sold a 2.38-acre parcel on its SWC to Portillo’s. The Midwest institution plans to open a 7,000 SF eatery this summer.

“We have few restaurant sites at the bustling Tempe Marketplace left and it’s hard to imagine a better fit for one of those spots than Portillo’s,” said David Malin, Vestar’s Director of Acquisitions and Development. “Whether you’re a Chicago native living in the Phoenix metropolitan area, a visitor from the Midwest or just someone who loves great food done right, you’ll feel right at home at Portillo’s.”

Portillo’s expanded outside the Midwest when it opened its first California location in 2005. Tempe Marketplace is the most notable of Arizona sites yet announced.

 

Vestar - Kerri Schneider

Vestar Hires Kerri Schneider To Help Grow Its Retail Portfolio

Vestar hired Kerri Schneider as Director of Fund Investments.

She will be based in the firm’s Phoenix headquarters and will assist with fund raising efforts, managing investor relationships and helping identify and underwrite acquisition opportunities throughout major metro markets in the West.

“Kerri’s acquisitions, underwriting and asset management experience will help our firm continue its aggressive effort to acquire and reposition quality retail properties” said Rick Kuhle, President of Vestar.  “We firmly believe that our in-house capabilities will allow our investors to realize extremely attractive risk-adjusted returns for the assets we successfully acquire over the next 24 – 48 months.”

Schneider joins Vestar with an impressive background that includes more than 10 years real estate experience. Most recently she served as a Vice President at Lubert-Adler where she was responsible for establishing and maintaining joint venture relationships with third-party operators in addition to acquiring and asset managing a portfolio of west coast retail properties.

In addition, she spent three years as a Senior Associate at Heitman in Chicago creating and managing joint venture platforms across a myriad of property types.

Schneider earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois with an Economics Major.

For more information on Vestar, visit vestar.com.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Scottsdale Scores No. 1 Status

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s Vestar Branch has been chosen from nearly 4,000 chartered clubs as the top branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). The award was recently given to the Vestar Branch at the nonprofit’s national conference held in San Diego earlier this summer.

“This award is a tremendous honor,” says Caitlin Sageng, Vestar branch director. “It is also a direct reflection of how hard our staff works every day to make sure our youth receive the programming they need to reach their full potential.”

The award was given to the Vestar Branch as determined by entries submitted in each of BGCA’s five core program categories: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.

The Vestar Branch’s main programming objectives are to empower youth to better themselves, their club and the community. Some of the different programs that provide varied and unique opportunities for their members include:

Adopt-a-Family: Supports more than 91 kids and parents in need at the organization.
Primal Fitness program: Reinforces members’ fitness knowledge and nutrition levels.
The Keystone Club: This teen group focuses on community service, including volunteering monthly at a local food bank and assisting with homeless shelters.
Power Hour: An academic program that helps youth reach their educational potential and set goals throughout the school year.
Drama Club: Encourages club members’ self-esteem by performing plays like “Alice in Wonderland” during summer programming.
Center for Telepresence: Through this high-tech center, youth can connect, communicate and learn from experts around the world in a variety of fields.

“We feel the best way to make the Vestar Branch successful in our community is by offering quality programs to youth and maintaining a positive connection between members and staff,” Sageng says. “These relationships transcend through all programs and keep members coming back more and most importantly, allow us to have a lasting impact.”

In July 2007, the Vestar Branch opened in the Desert Ridge community, serving more than 8,300 families in and around the northeast Phoenix area. This 27,000-square-foot facility offers all members ages six to 18 a Phoenix Suns-sponsored gymnasium, a state-of-the-art learning center and Thunderbirds Charities Center for Telepresence program, a fun and innovative science education program. Youth ages 13 to 18 also have access to a 6,000-square-foot Lamb Family Teen Center.

In addition to the award, the Vestar Branch also received a $5,000 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the awards program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming.

This is also the second time a Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Branch has been given the honor; the organization’s Virginia G. Piper Branch also received the award in 2009. Named after a longtime supporter of youth services in the Scottsdale area, the Virginia G. Piper Branch opened in Scottsdale Ranch in 1991. Today, the Clubhouse is one of the highest-membership facilities operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. In December 2010, construction began to renovate the Piper Branch, which now offers a full-service Teen Center that opened in May 2011. The organization’s administration offices are also located next door.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Through programs that focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation help increase access and opportunities for people of all ages. Since its founding, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $530 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information, visit metlife.org.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, please visit bgcs.org.

Valley Partnership - Rick Hearn - AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Valley Partnership: Chairman Q & A – Rick Hearn

Rick Hearn joined the Valley Partnership Board of Directors in 2005 and has been an integral part of its leadership team, culminating with the chairmanship in this, the 25th anniversary of the organization. A 25-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, Hearn joined Vestar in 1994 as its director of leasing, overseeing much of the leasing, marketing and broker management of Vestar’s retail portfolio in the Southwest, complementing his duties and capacities as its designated broker. Over the years, Vestar and Valley Partnership have enjoyed a rich heritage. Three of Valley Partnership’s chairmen — Lee Hanley (chairman/CEO), who participated in the original framework and served in 1995; and Pat McGinley (VP of property management), who guided the board in the 2003; and now Rick Hearn — are affiliated with Vestar.

Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR THE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY?

A: One word, “important.” As a Metro Phoenix-based organization advocating for the industry, our focus is precise yet flexible, and extends throughout the entire “Valley of the Sun.” The importance and responsibility of being the only real estate-based organization, not a chapter or division of a regional or national entity, but native to the Valley … “invaluable.” We are sought after and respected for our responsible positions on industry-related issues whether local, regional, statewide or federal.

Q: HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT ADVOCACY DURING THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES?

A: Advocacy is important all of the time. Each economic cycle creates differing challenges for our industry, and, bad policy decisions, regardless of timing, impact subsequent cycles. A balanced advocacy approach minimizes potential negative outcomes, while fostering prosperity for all stakeholders, both public and private.

Q: WHAT ARE VALLEY PARTNERSHIP’S GOALS FOR 2012?

A: Continued application of our founding principles — advocacy, networking, education and community projects. This past October, bolstered by our board retreat, one facilitated by Todd Hornback, a respected non-profit professional; we developed four centric goals for our 2012 focus — board development and leadership, organizational communication, development and enhancement of strategic alliances and organizational fiscal policies.

Q: HOW WILL VALLEY PARTNERSHIP ACHIEVE THESE GOALS?

A: Each element of the organization has specific objectives or goals developed at the retreat. Measurable action items are continually evaluated, whether at the organizational, board, staff or committee level. The organization’s biggest direction and efforts come from the 10 standing committees, comprised of volunteer executives (partners) that execute on those goals and objectives. Our partners are our biggest assets. For the organization to continually evolve, and pursue its mission objectives, we must develop future leadership from these committees, thus fostering partner involvement.

Q: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN 2012?

A: Preparing for the eventual turnaround of our industry and that of the “Valley of the Sun” we all call home, while working with our partners through this still very challenging economic cycle. Valley Partnership’s mission remains constant, continual support for all of our partners and to help their organizations prosper.

Q: AS VALLEY PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY, WHAT LIES AHEAD?

A: The road ahead includes a reflection of our past, a continual focus on the present mission, and a strategic look at how our industry will manage the next two decades of Valley growth, which could include more than two million new Phoenicians.

This reflection has allowed us to touch our past 21 chairs so as to re-engage and respect our heritage, including the “founding” chairman, Ron Haarer Sr. (1987). And, we said a final farewell to a trusted leader and past chair in Gregg Alpert. We’ve catalogued our past accomplishments (municipal and legislative successes) or the more than 25 community projects completed, with more than $3.5M in charitable dollars raised and countless man-hours volunteered.

As to our near-term future, continued organizational governance, growth of new partners and/or new partner firms, adding emerging business sectors to our already diverse business base and strengthening our alliances. And, through our actions always declaring “Valley Partnership is the Valley of the Sun’s premier advocacy group for responsible development.”

For more information on Valley Partnership and Rick Hearn, visit Valley Partnership’s website at valleypartnership.org.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Diamondbacks Foundation - Evening on the Diamond

Evening On The Diamond Raises $1.7 Million For Diamondbacks Foundation

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that its sold-out Evening on the Diamond fundraising event at Chase Field raised a record $1.7 million to benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Overall, the event has raised $8.2 million to be given back to Arizona charities and non-profit organizations since 2007 and has been ranked as one of the largest fundraising events in the Valley.

“Last night was a truly unforgettable evening for everyone in attendance and the community will feel the impact of our attendees’ generosity for years to come,” said D-backs’ Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick. “We are humbled by the efforts of so many who made last night such a success and we are grateful that so many people, including our entire team and coaching staff, took the time to be a part of it.”

The theme of the gala was Teaming up for Education, as the University of Phoenix served as the presenting sponsor and the school’s president, Dr. Bill Pepicello, co-chaired the event with his wife, Kris. A portion of the program geared specifically towards education raised $100,000 from the attendees, with the University of Phoenix matching an additional $50,000 for $150,000 total in critical funds. Lee Hanley, chairman and CEO of Vestar, received the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Community Leadership Award for his philanthropic endeavors to assist Arizona charities and the community throughout the Valley.

The event’s live auction raised more than $680,000 and featured a South African Hunting/Photographic Safari, a James Bond Experience in London, a vacation in the Bahamas aboard a luxurious 145-foot yacht, a Hawaiian vacation at Kapalua, a five-day hunting expedition with Kirk Gibson, an Eddie Matney prepared personal dinner with D-backs legends and more than a dozen current players, as well as VIP trips to Napa Valley, the Oregon Coast and New York, where the winning bidder will get to dine with members of the Trump family and take in the live finale of “The Apprentice.”

More than 700 people were in attendance and enjoyed dinner on the infield of Chase Field followed by a live performance by Grammy-Award winner Natalie Cole, who performed an hour-long set that included the famous video duet on dbTV with her late father, Nat King Cole.

Last night, D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall announced the official passing of the $30 million mark in combined charitable giving between the D-backs and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Those organizations gave back more than $4 million in 2011 and later this week, will dedicate the 32nd field in the community, Justin Upton Field at University Park.

For more information on the Diamondbacks Foundation, visit their website at arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com/ari/community/foundation.jsp.

Vestar

Vestar Property Manager At Christown Spectrum Mall

Vestar, a prominent leader in commercial management, was selected as property manager at Christown Spectrum Mall in Phoenix.

“In today’s challenging retail market, owners understand that an experienced property manager is necessary for the success of a center,” says Pat McGinley, Vestar Vice President of Property Management.

Christown Spectrum Mall, formerly known as Phoenix Spectrum Mall, is a 1.14 MSF shopping center that caters to a diverse demographic. The change in management is not the only recent change; the exterior has been redesigned and developed to improve the overall environment of the property, according to Vestar officials.

Christown was Arizona’s first air-conditioned, enclosed mall and today it houses popular stores such as Walmart Supercenter, Walgreens, Ross Dress for Less, Costco Wholesale, Claire’s Boutique, and Dollar Tree. The mall also features other smaller specialty retail stores.

While Vestar continues to manage its various properties, it has begun examining and evaluating plans for Christown to specifically help increase mall traffic and tenant sales, Vestar says.

To increase the synergy from all of the tenants, the company plans to use its years of experience and the lessons it has learned to creatively think about every area of potential improvement.

The mall features seven anchor stores. Officials say in the current economic climate, having successful anchor stores is vital to the survival of a mall. In the past decade, several anchor stores began to close and put Christown in a difficult position. However, with the new redesign and change in management of the mall, the future will continue to look positive, officials predict.

A challenge that Vestar faces with Christown is the disparity of traffic throughout the different sections of the mall.

“We want to find new ways to drive traffic from one portion of the mall to another and create an environment where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” McGinley says.” One of Vestar’s core values includes innovation, which to Vestar, means, “tak(ing) lessons of today to create the projects of tomorrow” and the “innovation comes from (their) constant search for better results.”

Vestar is in the “process of evaluating each aspect of their operation to determine how best to improve the leasing, management and marketing functions,” McGinley says. He adds that tenants have been very responsive to the change in management and with the changes that Vestar is planning on making.

Founded in 1977, Vestar operates properties in Arizona, southern California, and now Nevada. Vestar oversees more than 45 properties which include Tempe Market Place, Desert Ridge Market Place, and Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Arizona.

For more about Christown Spectrum Mall, visit christownspectrum.com; or, for more information about Vestar, visit vestar.com.

Valley Partnership Advocates and Allies, AZRE May/June 2011

Valley Partnership: Advocates And Allies

As Arizona emerges from a grueling global recession, business and civic leaders are focusing on creating jobs and jump-starting our economy. Valley Partnership, as the state’s only grass-roots organization devoted to promoting responsible development, is poised to play an important role in that process.

“Our goal is to help stimulate the local economy by our actions,” says this year’s board chair Mindy Korth, an executive vice president and capital markets broker at CB Richard Ellis.

With its extensive ties throughout the development community, as well as into municipal and state offices, Korth says Valley Partnership is in a unique position to help get the economy moving again.

To say the past two years have been challenging for the commercial real estate industry would be an understatement.

Speculative construction in the office, industrial and retail sectors just about ground to a halt, with most construction occurring on build-to-suit projects or others already in the pipeline.

And as the Valley begins to see an uptick in business activity and employment, it is more crucial than ever that the principles of responsible development and job creation come to the forefront — something Valley Partnership has been promoting for 24 years.

As in the past, the linchpin of Valley Partnership’s efforts will be its advocacy, Korth says. Historically, the organization has been remarkably successful in rallying its partners — either against measures that would impose onerous restrictions on development, or on behalf of measures that would promote good growth.

“That’s an ongoing effort,” says Richard Hubbard, president and CEO of Valley Partnership. “We’ve always advocated against over-burdensome regulations at the local and state level.”

This year, Hubbard says Valley Partnership also will emphasize partner-to-partner relationships, as well as those between private and public entities.

Standing Apart

Valley Partnership’s more than 500 partners include representatives from all tiers of commercial real estate — from developers to attorneys to general contractors and engineers. Two important characteristics set it apart from other organizations: its relationships with public sector and government representatives and its emphasis on local stakeholders advocating on behalf of local issues.

“We are specific to the Valley,” says Rick Hearn, director of leasing for Vestar, one of Valley Partnership’s original corporate partners. Hearn has served on the board of directors for six years, and in that time has witnessed the organization’s partners tackle thorny local issues.

“We advocate on behalf of this industry better than anyone else,” he says, adding, “Not one of the national organizations comes close to touching the value proposition of what we do. We work at so many levels and have so many relationships.”

Not only does Valley Partnership share information and expertise with municipal and state leaders, it also has ties to federal officials and even someone at Luke Air Force Base.

City, state and federal partners can dip into Valley Partnership’s brain trust and glean important information on many pressing issues, Korth says.

For example, a municipality that is re-examining its city plan can garner feedback from Valley Partnership. The organization’s task forces dig deeper into issues, then forwards recommendations to a committee before the organization arrives at a public stance.

Some of the measures its committees are examining include:

  • The Maricopa Association of Government’s efforts to design a dark-sky ordinance to reduce excessive light, while also addressing safety issues for tenants and customers.
  • Maricopa County drainage permits and other building permit issues.
  • Incorporating Green Building Codes within Valley cities’ building codes.
  • Proposed city general plans.

Valley Partnership Value Proposition

Another important initiative this year is to make partners more aware of the value that Valley Partnership adds to their efforts. Korth says the communications committee is working hard to articulate back to all partners on what is being accomplished.

“We need to let them know that there is no one else like us here and if we did go away there’d be a gaping hole,” she says.

While membership did drop some during the recession, it is starting to tick back up, Hubbard says. As it does, Valley Partnership also is setting goals for its other key functions: education, networking and public service.

Hubbard said the organization surveyed its members to see what issues they would like to see addressed at educational events and Friday breakfast meetings, a staple for many partners.

Respondents said they would like to hear from industry leaders in the community and those involved in important development issues.

Signs are evident, Hubbard says, that their message is resonating with people in the commercial real estate community. More than 50 people attended the first January meeting of the committee that oversees city and county issues, a big jump from the usual six to eight attendees.

Partners recognize that advocacy on behalf of responsible development reaps dividends for everyone. Korth says: “If you go alone, you may go faster, but if you go together, you go farther.”

AZRE Magazine May/June 2011