Wentworth Property Company (WPC) and Northwood Investors purchased a ±234,446 square foot office project at 1665 W. Alameda Drive. The partners had the vision to see the unique potential in the property and purchased it for $13.83M with plans to spend $20 to $25 million on redeveloping the project. They selected Gensler as the architect, Kennedy Design Build, LLC as the general contractor and Cassidy Turley as the leasing agent.
The Cassidy Turley team of Executive Managing Directors Jeff Wentworth and Mike Beall and Vice Presidents Sean Spellman and Chris Walker represented WPC during the property purchase from FNB Fountainhead, LLC.
“This property was the perfect vehicle for us to come in and reimagine it as an open, creative office environment where we can create an interconnection between indoor and outdoor environments,” said Jim Wentworth, Jr., Principal. “Even the most conservative companies want this type of office space because they understand how the work environment plays a major role in attracting and retaining employees, productivity and synergy within their company.”
The team plans to start the redevelopment of the 1665 Alameda project this year with availability by mid-2015. “There is enormous demand in this submarket for unique office space for large tenants,” said Cassidy Turley’s Jeff Wentworth. “This property gives us the opportunity to deliver innovative, flexible office space perfectly designed to function for tenants from 30,000 to 235,000 square feet. It provides 16 to 20’ ceiling heights, 7/1,000 SF parking and because of the connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces there is the opportunity for functional space not under roof.”
The single-story existing 1665 Alameda building was constructed in 1986 and has been used by multiple tenants until the recent purchase of the property. The challenge was to significantly transform the building image and regain its stature as a viable Class A office environment. WPC and the Gensler design team saw the opportunity to transform the site and building to develop an amenity–rich, creative workplace environment that embraces its freeway location with direct visibility from I-10.
“Renovating existing building assets is an exercise in sustainability allowing us to extend their life and usage.” says Beth Harmon-Vaughan, Managing Principal of Gensler’s local Phoenix office. “The 1665 project is in a great location and provided a strong foundation for impactful design upgrades.”
Specific concept strategies focused on heightening the building image, creating a unified appearance, developing personalized entry elements for tenants, adding shared amenities to the site, enhancing daylighting opportunities, and creating indoor/outdoor connections. The existing U-shaped footprint allowed for a functional courtyard space in-between the building volume to connect the interior with the exterior and create usable year-round spaces. The existing mansard roof and visually low façade will be eliminated and a new façade proposed.
Architectural entry elements create a new frontal projection to the street, a fluid architectural language and significant visual markers for branding and tenant signage. Proposed building materials include integral colored cementitious panels, aluminum composite naturally finished metal panels, steel and glass elements, and textural gabion wall features integrating the new façade with the courtyard concept in a seamless fashion. New building amenities include bocce ball, café dining, fitness center, outdoor shaded seating, water features, and a unique rain garden concept that uses sustainable and indigenous landscape.
“Creating a fresh identity and amenity-rich creative office environment in Tempe will help ensure attraction and retention of top tenants in the market.” says Harmon-Vaughan.
WPC partnered with Northwood Investors and purchased Discovery Business Campus (DBC) in November 2011. DPC is a 136 acre campus with 800,000 square feet of existing office space and up to 1.6 million square feet of additional, entitled Class A office, hotel and retail development in Tempe. WPC is currently developing a 237,000 square foot build-to-suit facility for Shutterfly, Inc. at DBC, slated for completion in April 2015.