Tag Archives: West Valley

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Shea breaks ground on Shea3D community in Estrella

Shea Homes Arizona will break ground in mid-September, on its fifth Shea3D community in the West Valley, anticipated to open this December. Inspire at Estrella will be the sixth Shea Homes community opening this year.

Located in Goodyear, Estrella is a 20,000 acre resort-style, master-planned community set against the Sierra Estrella Mountains. Although it’s a short drive from Phoenix, residents have everything they need with Estrella’s extensive amenities, including a championship 18-hole Golf Club of Estrella, 72 acres of lakes for fishing/boating, 20 miles of hiking/biking paths, Starpointe Residence Club and Water Park, nearby shopping, dining, three onsite schools and more.

Inspire at Estrella has 110 home sites sized at 60×115 featuring four popular plans from Shea’s innovative product line called Shea3D. The plans are named Compel, Indulge, Spark and Excite ranging from 2,472-3,351 square feet with 3-4 bedrooms. With four YourPlans and three lifestyle centric spaces, buyers are able to choose between 12 unique layouts at Estrella. Pricing is still being finalized.

Shea3D is an all-new, patent-pending way of building homes that provides homebuyers with a decision they’ve never had before – the opportunity to choose from a variety of interchangeable lifestyle-driven spaces within each floor plan, also known as “YourPlans™”. Shea3DTM allows customers to choose from three unique main living spaces – Outdoor-centric, Entertainment-centric, or Kitchen-centric, empowering the customer to select the one that best fits their lifestyle.

“Our company values match perfectly with the community of Estrella’s values, and that’s all about creating a flourishing environment for families,” said Ken Peterson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes Arizona. “We couldn’t be more excited to be expanding our West Valley presence. The West Valley is booming in general, and we’re happy to be a part of this growing market.”

These homes are also built for optimum energy efficiency and carry the newly upgraded ENERGY STAR 3.0 rating. They have multiple distinct features from other area builders including the Environments for Living (EFL) designation, which is a two year guarantee that the home heating and cooling won’t exceed a specified energy limit. If the home goes over the guarantee, a refund of the difference is given.

For more information about Inspire at Estrella or Shea Homes’ communities across the Valley, please call 1-866-696-7432 or visit http://www.sheahomes.com/arizona.

Future location of As You Wish at Westgate Entertainment District.

Six new tenants coming to Westgate Entertainment District

Six new businesses will call Westgate Entertainment District home when they open at the booming Glendale center over the next several weeks including As You Wish, Fresh Healthy Café, OPA Life Greek Café, Crave Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches, Proliant and American Basketball Association.

These new additions to Westgate’s tenant mix brings the total number of new retail and office leases signed by owner iStar Financial to 18 since the company acquired Westgate Entertainment District.

As You Wish, a pottery painting place, will open a 2,109 square-foot store next to AMC Theatres in October. As You Wish was one of the first paint-your-own pottery studios in the nation and the first in Arizona. This will be the company’s seventh Valley location.

Three new dining destinations will complement the restaurant mix at Westgate including Fresh Healthy Café, which will open its first Arizona location offering smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices, along with other healthy fare. The restaurant company has restaurants in 10 states, Canada and five international countries. The 1,358 square-foot restaurant will open next to Buffalo Wild Wings this fall. Also opening this fall, OPA Life Greek Café, a Greek restaurant with a full-line coffee bar open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. OPA will open a 2,501 square-foot restaurant with a large patio overlooking Fountain Park in front of AMC, providing an exceptional indoor/outdoor environment. The newly launched brand, established by experienced restaurateurs, will bring the liveliness of Greek culture and combine it with the flavors of the Mediterranean within an affordable dining experience.

Opening in December next to Johnny Rockets, Crave Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches is a new gourmet Belgian waffle restaurant unlike anything in the Valley from the owner of Razzleberriez Frozen Yogurt, which opened its third Valley location at Westgate in 2013. Crave will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and have a variety of savory and sweet waffle combinations including waffle sandwiches, salads, sweet waffle desserts and shakes.

Two notable companies have also recently signed leases for office space at Westgate.

Proliant, a national payroll services company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, opened its first Arizona office in July that will be among eight offices across the country including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami and Raleigh, NC. The American Basketball Association, the largest professional sports league in the U.S. with more than 100 teams, chose Westgate Entertainment District as its headquarters. The ABA has opened a 2,509 square-foot office. Between the two new office tenants, Westgate will add approximately 15 new office jobs.

This summer, Westgate also welcomed Metro PCS to the kiosks surrounding Fountain Park.

Additionally, Just Sports, the Arizona-based sports apparel retailer with a flagship store at Westgate, is expanding to add an additional store on the WaterDance Events Plaza near Jobing.com Arena, catering to the football and hockey game-day crowds.

“We’re pleased with the continuation of our leasing momentum. OPA, Crave and Fresh Healthy Café bring added dimensions to our restaurant lineup, expanding upon what is already the best dining destination in the West Valley. The addition of a full coffee bar, Greek restaurant and a fast-casual smoothie and healthy café, adds to the attractiveness of Westgate for our office tenants, where employees can stay on-site and get virtually any kind of food for breakfast, lunch or dinner,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate. “We targeted As You Wish as a best-in-class, family friendly experiential store that fits perfectly next to AMC and Fountain Park, providing a great destination for families and kids throughout the year.”

“Westgate Entertainment District is the go-to destination in the West Valley for family fun and entertainment and it’s a natural fit for our seventh store,” said Scott Neff, owner of As You Wish. “We’re a locally owned and operated company celebrating 19 years of bringing out people’s ‘inner artist’. We look forward to becoming part of the Glendale community and reaching new customers and families to help them create special memories through pottery painting, glass fusing, clay and canvas painting.”

Dick's Sporting Goods distribution warehouse, Goodyear

Industrial Evolution: West Valley poised for land grab

Dick’s Sporting Goods built a 720KSF distribution center in Goodyear to service its West Coast stores.

A California-based investor erected a 400KSF spec shell in Surprise’s Southwest Railplex business park.

Corporate giants, Macy’s, Amazon, Sub-Zero, Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, Southwest Products and WinCo have landed or expanded their vast West Valley industrial operations within the last two years.

Even more companies are eyeing potential stakes in the burgeoning industrial parks springing up in once sleepy bedroom communities west of Phoenix.

With the recession in their rear-view mirrors, local, national and international companies are revving up manufacturing and distribution operations, and the West Valley is poised to be a big beneficiary of their expansion plans.

Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield

Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield

Available and affordable land, a deep labor pool, business-friendly state and local governments and top-notch transportation corridors contribute to the West Valley’s desirability, said Justin LeMaster, Cushman & Wakefield’s director for industrial properties.

Farsighted developers are already master-planning vast spreads of land, setting up infrastructure and even building large-scale spec structures that can accommodate another industrial giant or get sliced and diced to accommodate several smaller operations.

The developers — along with city and state economic development specialists — want their properties primed to snag the business when the lookers become movers, LeMaster said.

“Smart, creative developers will make the West Valley a successful high-growth market for years to come,” he said.

The numbers confirm the trend.

An impressive 4.5 MSF — nearly 94 percent of the metro area industrial construction started or completed in 2013 — is in the West Valley, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Q4 Industrial Report.

Q4 absorption was 1.96 MSF, and only 15.3 MSF of the West Valley’s 90.7 MSF total industrial inventory was still available at year’s end.

Nevertheless, 4.5 MSF is a significant amount of new inventory for a post-recession market, and, in fact, it boosted Valleywide industrial vacancy rates above 12 percent.

Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle

Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle

Industry experts aren’t worried.

“The new, grown-up, industrial tenants coming to market right now are looking for 300KSF, 400KSF and above,” said Anthony Lydon, Jones Lang LaSalle managing director for Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions.

Less than half of the West Valley’s available space meets that criteria, and a few big employers could snatch that up in a flash, he said.

Like LeMaster, Lydon expects that to happen sooner rather than later.

“Over the next 24 to 36 months, the Valley, and the West Valley in particular, will see significant new job creation,” he said.

So what makes the West Valley suddenly so attractive to the industrial users?

“Economics and location,” said Pat Feeney, CBRE senior vice president for industrial services.

Cost is key
Of the metro area’s three major industrial hubs ­— the airport area, the Tempe/Chandler corridor and the West Valley — the first two are nearly out of developable land, Feeney said. And scarcity makes that land pricey, especially for a large user.

Pat Feeney, CBRE

Pat Feeney, CBRE

A skilled and diverse labor force that moved west when the home builders did is another major factor, he said.

“Nearly 70,000 people live in Goodyear, but only 14,000 or 15,000 work in Goodyear,” Feeney said.

When big employers like Sub-Zero, Amazon and Macy’s held job fairs for their new West Valley digs, they typically attracted eight to 10 qualified applicants for every position, he said.

“They all shared that they were so happy they could pick the cream of the crop,” Feeney said. “It’s a really big draw.”

David Krumwiede, Lincoln Property Company

David Krumwiede, Lincoln Property Company

Staffing a large warehouse is a major economic concern, especially for companies with labor-intensive, e-commerce picking systems, said David Krumwiede, executive vice president for Lincoln Property Company, which owns 6 MSF in its four-state Desert West Region, 2.4 MSF of that in the West Valley, including Goodyear AirPark and 10 Lincoln.

Arizona’s main competition for the big industrial users looking to establish or expand operations in the West is California’s Inland Empire, Krumwiede said.

While the Inland Empire’s construction costs are comparable to Arizona’s, labor costs in Arizona, a right-to-work state, are much lower, he said.

“We are extremely competitive with California’s Inland Empire if a user has more people than trucks,” Krumwiede said.

And big energy consumers, such as companies employing sophisticated e-commerce logistics technology, can save as much as 30 percent to 40 percent in operating costs by locating in Arizona instead of California, Lydon said.

But possibly the biggest economic incentive for many industrial users is Arizona’s much more favorable tax basis, Krumwiede said.

All of the West Valley’s large planned business hubs have designated areas that are Foreign Trade Zone capable, and that’s a big selling point for companies that do significant international business in parts or products, Krumwiede said.

“If a company qualifies, it can see a 72 percent reduction in property taxes,” Feeney said. “It’s a tremendous benefit.”

And a benefit none of the nearby states can offer, he said.

Such issues make Arizona, especially the West Valley, where land is available and affordable, a clear economic winner over California.

Location, location, location
Second only to the West Valley’s attractive economics, is its advantageous location, less than half-a-day’s drive from the southern California ports — a major consideration for retailers and e-commerce leaders like Amazon, as well as manufacturers like Sub-Zero, according to the experts.

Rob Martensen, Colliers International

Rob Martensen, Colliers International

“If you can get out of traffic and get closer to the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, you can make that in six hours,” said Rob Martensen, Colliers International vice president.

That means truck drivers can log a round trip and still stay within federal guidelines regarding length of time on the road, a feat not so easy to accomplish from the East Valley.

And for companies distributing products regionally — Macy’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example — the completion of the Loop 303 will forge the final freeway link that can speed trucks to and around cities and states north and west of Phoenix.

“It will open the gateway,” LeMaster said. “Companies want to be in Phoenix, and the West Valley will be the industrial hub of Phoenix with the (Loop 303/I-10) interchange.”

Overall, the combo of favorable attributes will ensure the West Valley lands on the short list for large and small industrial users for the next decade or so, Krumwiede said.

“The companies that are already out there — Amazon, Target, Costco, PetSmart, Staples, Macy’s — are all household names. It’s a great start. We’ll see more of those,” he said.

“My vision is that a lot of that vacant land will be put into production in the next five to 10 years.”

The Loop 303 interchange is under construction. Photo courtesy of ADOT.

Headed for a boom, the West Valley is ready to go

Clumps of curved freeway fragments balancing on massive pillars of concrete resemble a giant modern art sculpture greeting Interstate 10 travelers through the far West Valley of the Phoenix Metro.

Later this year, those “art” segments will gel into a multi-level interchange linking the I-10 and the Loop 303, and launch the area’s burgeoning commercial development into warp speed.

Kevin Czerwinski, Merit Partners

Kevin Czerwinski, Merit Partners

The new interchange “will be a game changer,” said Kevin Czerwinski, president of Merit Partners, broker for the 1,600-acre, master-planned business park PV303, which straddles the confluence of those roadways and stretches north along the Loop 303 to Camelback Road.

For nearly a decade, the West Valley, loosely defined as everything west of Interstate 17, has been quietly emerging as the metro area’s hotbed for commercial development. It has been fueled by dwindling East Valley land availability and affordability and better transportation access. After completion of the Loop 101, developers quickly gobbled up land along the freeway for homes, shops and businesses. Then they continued the westward expansion.

Now the Loop 303 is offering another close-in frontier and shovel-ready options for new and growing businesses to expand or set down roots in the metro area. The nearly completed semi-circle of highway linking the I-10 and the I-17 will provide a high-speed route to northern states, bypassing metro area traffic congestion — a boon to companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, which recently completed a 720,000 SF distribution center in PV303 to service its Western U.S. stores, Czerwinski said. And to other retailers such as Macy’s, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s and Target, e-commerce giants such as Amazon, and high-end manufacturers such as Sub-Zero and Cookson Doors that ferry lots of merchandise intra- and inter-state.

It’s more than just big-box industrial sites popping up in the West Valley.

John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings

John Graham, Sunbelt Holdings

Acres of farm land or empty desert hide the fact that in the offices of forward-thinking developers and savvy city economic strategists, there are detailed plans for office, light industrial and retail centers, medical complexes and regional malls to be built on that un-shoveled land.

“The West Valley’s day is coming,” said John W. Graham, president of PV303 developer Sunbelt Holdings.

Sunbelt was a big player in the East Valley boom of the 1990s and early 2000s, developing residential communities from McDowell Mountain Ranch in Scottsdale to Power Ranch in Gilbert and mixed-use complexes such as Hayden Ferry Lakeside in Tempe. Graham says the same scenario is playing out west of Phoenix now. Land Advisors CEO Greg Vogel compares Goodyear today to Gilbert of a decade ago.

First came the houses
As available and affordable East Valley land dried up, a spate of residential building in well-designed West Valley communities such as Vistancia, Estrella and Verrado have attracted home buyers at all price points, Vogel said.

Greg Vogel, Land Advisors

Greg Vogel, Land Advisors

A whopping 35 to 40 percent of Phoenix metro area residents now live in the West Valley, Vogel said. And all those people need places to shop, bank, and find medical care.

“Residential drives everything,” he said.

Now supermarket-anchored shopping centers and big-box power centers are springing up, two regional malls are on the drawing board, and spec office buildings are breaking ground — despite Valleywide office vacancy rates topping 22 percent. The completion of the Loop 303 interchange will accelerate that trend as it eases drive time for those who work in Phoenix but live in the far West Valley — or want to, Vogel said.

Goodyear, which is in the enviable location at the foot of the new interchange, has been proactive pitching its bounty. That includes PV303 and Goodyear AirPark, a 267-acre, shovel-ready business park at Litchfield Road and Highway 85, said Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, the city’s development services director. And Wakefield-Saenz expects Westcor’s long-planned 1.1 MSF Estrella Falls regional mall to start ringing up sales — and sales tax — in 2016.

Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, Goodyear

Sheri Wakefield-Saenz, Goodyear

Wakefield-Saenz predicts that even more executive offices, high-end retail and high-quality manufacturing businesses will clamor for space in Goodyear during the next decade because of the in-place infrastructure and the educated workforce already living there.

Farther north in Surprise, the story is similar. In 2008, Sands Chevrolet built the first dealership in Prasada, a 4-square-mile, mixed-use development straddling the Loop 303. Now car buyers can shop at eight different dealerships at 303 AutoShow. And more are coming, said Jeff Mihelich, Surprise’s assistant city manager in charge of the Community and Economic Development Department. Neighborhood shopping centers are in the ground or on the drawing board as well, and another regional mall is pegged to land in Prasada, although no date has been announced.

Jeff Mihelich, Surprise

Jeff Mihelich, Surprise

But Mihelich doesn’t want to just provide shops and services and ease the daily commute for Surprise residents. He wants to lure more quality office and industrial employers so that residents can live, work and play in their hometown. Five years ago, Surprise reorganized its economic development department and goals to focus on becoming a major employment base, “concentrating on head-of-household jobs — people who will buy homes, go to restaurants,” he said. Major strategies included streamlining approval processes, persuading developers to pre-plan projects and build infrastructure before target tenants showed up, encouraging spec building, and aggressively marketing all those attributes, Mihelich said. That positions Surprise to take advantage of pent-up business expansion plans as the recent recession wanes, he said.

“When companies are expanding, they often have contracts in hand,” he said. Having property ready to build on can mean the difference between landing or losing a major employer, he said.

Optimistm Abounds
That optimism and pre-planning is not just happening in Goodyear and Surprise. Thanks to a wealth of available and affordable land, developers are eyeing West Valley cities from Avondale and Buckeye to Peoria and Glendale as future business hubs.

Justin Miller, Alter Group

Justin Miller, Alter Group

The Alter Group teamed up with property owner John F. Long to take advantage of the area’s growing popularity among home builders and buyers by developing three major business parks to attract employers. Algodon Center is a 1,000-acre mixed-use campus in Avondale and west Phoenix, Aldea Centre is a 150-acre business park at 99th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, and the 229-acre Copperwing Business Park is adjacent to Glendale Airport. All three have infrastructure and zoning in place and the flexibility to accommodate Class-A, back-office and light manufacturing operations, said Justin Miller, Alter Group vice president.

“The West Valley is a big component of our future,” Miller said. “It’s an area that Corporate America can use and expand because of the abundance of land.”

He’s not concerned about high office vacancies in the metro area. The easy commute for all those road-weary West Valley residents and shovel-ready land are compelling draws for big and small employers as they ramp up their businesses, he said. Valley dwellers who haven’t ventured west of the I-17 for years might be surprised to see the explosive growth.

“If people have not been to the West Valley in a while, they should come and take a look at us,” Mihelich said. “It’s truly a robust market. People outside of Arizona are noticing.”

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Washington Federal Promotes Hernandez to Assistant VP

Washington Federal announced Debbie Hernandez has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager. Hernandez has been with Washington Federal for more than 12 years.

In her position, Hernandez is responsible for increasing loan production and client base by growing the business checking and savings accounts and consumer checking and savings accounts. She is also responsible for increasing Washington Federal’s presence in the West Valley. Prior to joining Washington Federal, Hernandez was an insurance agent in Ohio.

“Debbie is a huge asset to our team here at Washington Federal,” said Trevor Bush, senior vice president and manager of Arizona retail banking division. “We are excited to see her continue to expand the presence and reach of Washington Federal.”

Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in business from the Trumbull Business College in Warren, Ohio. She is also involved with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a volunteer for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Hernandez is a Surprise resident.

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Banner Thunderbird celebrates 30th anniversary

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a free community health fair/anniversary celebration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 9 on the hospital’s campus, 5555 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale.

Banner Thunderbird opened in 1983 as a 150-bed-hospital with a single patient tower, eleven Emergency Room beds and six operating rooms. Today, Banner Thunderbird has four patient towers, 561 beds, an acre-size emergency room with 85 beds and 21 operating rooms.

To celebrate three decades of caring for the community, the public is invited to enjoy free food, entertainment and health screenings at a free community health fair/anniversary celebration at the hospital.

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, AZ, specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care and pediatrics including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 24 hospitals in seven states. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/Thunderbird.

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Cancer Center Creates Synergy with Like-Minded Life Savers

Cancer is a scary word.

“The word ‘cancer’ is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast to lung to skin cancer, and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control,” said Dr. Daniel Reed, co-founder of Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC) in Peoria.

While the word itself may be general, those fighting its 100-plus diseases are anything but.

“No two cancer patients are alike – and no two patients’ treatment should be either,” said Dr. Reed, who understands this firsthand as his grandmother fought breast cancer while he was in medical school, inspiring him to go into the field.

Depending on a patient’s needs, he/she may require cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. If being treated with a combination, West Valley patients were often required to go to different cancer centers throughout the Northeast and Southeast Valley – sometimes hours away – for regular care. Unsatisfied with West Valley patients’ access to nearby facilities and support services, Dr. Reed partnered with fellow specialists Drs. Christopher Biggs and Terry Lee in 2008 to launch Arizona Center for Cancer Care in Peoria. Their mission, simply put, was to become the future of cancer treatment in Arizona.

“Our multi-specialty treatment center was designed to give us the ability to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients on this side of town – something never done before in this community,” said Dr. Reed.

Upon launching the facility, the group quickly became the first of its kind to offer West Valley patients Brachytherapy, which is an effective, less-invasive treatment for prostate, breast, lung, esophageal, gynecologic and head/neck cancers, among others. They also became the first to invest in and offer Radiosurgery to the area using a state-of-the-art technology called RapidArc® radiation therapy.

“This very precise form of therapeutic radiation uses beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical incision or opening, allows patients to receive treatment in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the several hours it used to take with older technologies like the cyber knife and gamma knife,” said Dr. Reed.

In 2008 the radiation oncologist and team realized they were ready to expand and partnered with prominent medical oncologist Dr. Devinder Singh and his practice, Arizona Center for Hematology and Oncology, increasing the practice to 10 physicians and the West Valley’s first comprehensive cancer practice. By 2011, when the Peoria center became Arizona’s only freestanding radiation oncology facility to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation, they had also added gynecological cancer treatment to their growing list of patient services, another first for the West Valley.

Over the past year, two major events have happened:
First, it partnered with Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) and Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists (AROS) to expand into the Scottsdale and Southeast Valley markets.
Then, thanks in part to relationships with ABCS and AROS, the group joined together to enter into a long-term relationship with Scottsdale Healthcare, wherein AZCCC is now overseeing the Piper Center’s ENTIRE radiation oncology wing and beyond.

Today, the practice in total now boasts 52 physicians, more than 200 employees and 20 partner offices Valleywide as a result.

“We are a cancer center without walls whose services stretch into every inch of this community, offering the West Valley with the best doctors, best treatment technologies and best research in the country,” says Dr. Reed. “Cancer is a disease of survivors – and we want to keep it that way.”

The Offices at Reems.

Sperry Van Ness Represents the Seller in a 16-Unit Office Condo Portfolio Sale in Surprise

Justin Horwitz, Nicole Ridberg and Neil Sherman of Sperry Van Ness, LLC, in Phoenix represented Pacific Western Bank in the sale of the Offices at Reems, a 16-unit office condo portfolio located at 15515-15571 N. Reems Road in Surprise, Ariz.
The bank-owned shell and built-out condo units sold for $1,350,000 or $56 per square foot and closed on August 27. The portfolio is approximately 24,101 SF.
“The transaction turned out to be a win-win for both the buyer and seller,” said Justin Horwitz. “This sale put the Offices at Reems back on track to being a vibrant and desirable office condo project in the West Valley.”
The buyer, Reems and Greenway, LLC, was represented by Steve Cook of Escee Properties.

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What do golf and surgery have in common?

Imagine sinking chip shots on three of the world’s most famous golf courses while chipping in to help fund a high-tech hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center. How’s it possible you ask?

Sun Health Foundation and Arrowhead Lexus have joined forces to sell drawing tickets for a chance to play in the 2013 Lexus Champions For Charity Golf Tournament, a five-day golf getaway for two, held Dec. 11-15, in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Ticket proceeds will help fund a new hybrid operating suite at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City.

Only 400 drawing tickets are available, with the winner and a friend earning the chance to “play like a pro” on three of Pebble Beach’s hallowed golf courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay.

The winning package includes meals, carts and green fees; an incredible tee prize package; transportation between local airports and the golf resorts and a teaching clinic from a top PGA professional.

Tickets are $150 each or five for $600. Ticket sponsorship packages are also available. The winning ticket will be drawn October 3 at Arrowhead Lexus Peoria. Need not be present to win.  Purchase tickets by calling 623-832-7609 or visit sunhealthfoundation.org.

Hybrid Operating Suite
The $8.2 million project involves transforming a 40-year-old clinical space into a futuristic hybrid operating suite, the first of its kind in the West Valley. Construction will also include refurbishing and constructing two new OR suites. The hybrid will combine the latest surgical, cardiac catheterization and 3-D radiology technologies with real-time patient monitoring, allowing patients to stay in one place.

Interventional cardiologists, electro-physiologists or interventional radiologists and heart and vascular surgeons will work side by side. It will greatly benefit patients requiring minimally invasive valve procedures as well as those needing cardiovascular or vascular treatment. The results will be shorter recovery times, fewer complications, reduced pain and increased quality of life. Expected to be completed in late summer 2014, the project also includes expanding the Same Day Surgery unit. Ultimately, the project will allow Banner Boswell to continue to expand its comprehensive cardiac program to meet the current and future needs of the community.

Westgate Entertainment District

Two New Tenants Coming to Westgate in August

IT’SUGAR and RazzleberrieZ will open their doors this August at Westgate Entertainment District, adding even more family-friendly variety for West Valley patrons to enjoy.

IT’SUGAR, best known nationally as a novelty candy store, offers the world’s largest boxes of Nerds, Sweethearts and Pop Rocks, five pound Gummy Bears as well as candy themed accessories like Tootsie Roll shaped pillows and candy scented lotions. The new store will offer a fully stocked candy bar filled with a variety of favorites like gummy bears, hard shell candies, gumballs and much more. IT’SUGAR will be located in the 2,543 square-foot space next to Margaritaville, across from Yard House in the former Ride Makers location. Opening August 28, this is the first West Valley location for the company with four other Arizona stores in Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix.

“IT’SUGAR is the ultimate mixture of fun and indulgence. A little naughty mixed with a lot of nice.  With a nod toward sweetness and a wink toward irreverence, our goal is to bring out the inner child in all of us,” said Larry DeBerry of IT’SUGAR. “All of us at IT’SUGAR are thrilled to be a part of the outstanding lineup of retail, dining and entertainment offerings at Westgate. This will be our fifth location in the Arizona market, joining the 50+ other IT’SUGAR worldwide locations.”

With two Valley locations, RazzleberrieZ will open its third store at Westgate the first week of August, opening across from Yard House and next to IT’SUGAR. RazzleberrieZ offers the finest line of premium, low calorie, fat-free and dairy-free frozen yogurt, some with no sugar added. Guests can choose from over 70 toppings like fresh cut fruit, healthy granola, trendy mochi, Ghirardelli syrups and more.

“We are pleased to announce these two new leases, which is yet another indication of our positive leasing momentum,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate Entertainment District. “Like our leases with Chipotle in the Mexican fast-casual segment and Buffalo Wild Wings in the sports-bar niche, IT’SUGAR is the recognized market leader for candy stores and another example of the quality of tenants we have successfully targeted and attracted.”

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District, a retailer directory or to see what’s happening today, visit www.westgateaz.com.

Westgate Entertainment District

Glendale CVB Launches a New Blog

The Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering a new tool to attract travelers to Glendale and the West Valley and help people keep up with events and tourism-related activities. The Glendale CVB is now blogging about the best places, deals and events to check out.

The Glendale CVB is launching this new blog to accompany the full lineup of interactive tools designed to help connect the traveler with the various sights and experiences available in Glendale and the surrounding West Valley cities.

“Visitors will still find great information on our full website, but now we are adding a new layer of connectivity that we encourage people to explore and share with others,” said Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “The new tool will also allow us to engage CVB members to tell stories about their hidden gems as guest bloggers.”

Regular posts, featuring pictures and videos will be compiled from staff and guest bloggers. The blog can be accessed through www.visitglendale.com.

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Goodyear backs additional F-35 squadron at Luke

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord was among a number of state-wide officials during the Department of Defense’s announcement of three additional squadrons to the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II fighter jet program at Luke Air Force Base.

Since the DOD’s initial announcement that Luke AFB will be the training center for the F-35s, cities and community groups throughout the West Valley have voiced their support for the military community and Luke’s mission of remaining the premier base for fighter pilot training.

“We are very pleased that Luke Air Force Base will now be home to three additional squadrons of F-35 Fighter Jets.” Goodyear Mayor Lord said. “The support of Goodyear and the surrounding West Valley communities played a huge role in this decision and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Luke and our military families.”

“Not only is this decision good for the security of our nation, but it will also have a huge economic impact on Goodyear, the West Valley and the State of Arizona.” Mayor Lord added.

The first three F-35A squadrons are scheduled to begin arriving at Luke AFB next year. Over the next several years, Luke will operate 170 aircraft; 144 will be the F-35A while 26 F-16s will remain for foreign military training.

Goodyear is among 13 Valley and West Valley municipalities partnering in the Luke Forward campaign that generated awareness of the positive impacts the Air Force’s next generation strike fighter will bring to the state. Through that community support involving tens of thousands of citizens participating in public hearings, the DOD recognized the importance of keeping Luke as the hub for fighter pilot training.

Two brand new training facilities are currently being constructed at Luke in preparation of receiving the F-35A fighter jets. An operations building will open later this year, while the 145,000 square-foot academic center is planned to open in mid to late 2014.

“This is great news for the region,” Goodyear City Manager Brian Dalke said of the DOD’s announcement on Thursday. “We value Luke Air Force Base as a neighbor as well as the economic support the military community currently provides to our city. We welcome the expansion of F-35 program with open arms. Not only will the program be beneficial for the local economy, it will strengthen national security.”

Westgate Entertainment District

Terminix Bringing 300 Jobs to Glendale

iStar Financial announced today that Terminix, the world’s largest pest control provider, will open a new customer care center at Westgate Entertainment District in October that will bring as many as 300 jobs to Arizona and help invigorate activity within the office buildings of the Entertainment District.

At 32,800 square feet, the deal is the largest office lease in Westgate’s history. The Memphis, Tenn.-based company is expanding its customer service operations to Arizona and will take over the entire second floor of the east office building beginning October 1.

“With Westgate’s attributes, including over 15 on-site restaurants and abundant parking, we strategically and aggressively targeted large corporate users and are pleased to announce the full-floor lease to Terminix,” said Jeff Teetsel, development manager of Westgate Entertainment District. “This is the largest office lease in Westgate’s history, and is another indication of our positive momentum. With our direct freeway access and ease and efficiency for employees to walk to lunch, we have a uniquely desirable mixed-use environment for office tenants.”

The announcement comes on the heels of strong leasing activity at Westgate Entertainment District in recent months including signed leases from Buffalo Wild Wings and Whiskey Rose Bar & Grill and the recent openings of Chipotle, Gallery Glendale and The Arizona Republic, which relocated its West Valley office earlier this year.

“This lease is a validation of the market’s response to the nearly $1 million in investments iStar has made in upgrades to the property over the past year that includes improving the parking lot and common areas and installing new signage to benefit office tenants,” said Teetsel.

Terminix, a company with revenues exceeding $1.3 billion, is the largest subsidiary of ServiceMaster, one of the world’s largest residential service networks. Terminix services more than 3 million residential and commercial customers in 47 states and 14 countries.

“This new Arizona facility reinforces our commitment to enhancing the Terminix customer experience and providing one-call resolution to any customer questions or concerns,” said Larry Pruitt, president of Terminix.  “Terminix already earns best-in-class service ratings from customers, and this new center will help us take that service to an even higher level.”

Terminix conducted a site selection process throughout the western United States, narrowed the focus to Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, and ultimately selected metro Phoenix and Glendale specifically.

CBRE’s Bryan Taute and Brad Anderson represented the landlord and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Aaron Sommer, of the Atlanta office, and Geoffrey Waldrom and Dan Dobric, of the Phoenix office, represented the tenant.

The City of Glendale Economic Development Department worked to expedite permit processing and coordination to help the tenant meet its expedited occupancy target date. Jeanine Jerkovic in City’s Economic Development department coordinated the City’s efforts, along with Department Director Brian Friedman.

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District, visit www.westgateaz.com.

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital

Banner Health Center preview on June 29

West Valley residents can tour the new Banner Health Center in Goodyear from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29.The Center is designed to support high quality, convenient health care for the entire family.

Attendees will hear remarks by Banner Medical Group CEO Jim Brannon and Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord at 8:30 a.m., followed by a celebration including food, tours, giveaways, children’s activities and information about Banner Health facilities and services. Community members are invited to meet physicians and staff and even make an appointment.

“We want to become part of the fabric of the community by becoming the medical home residents look to for help in keeping their families healthy,” said Jim Brannon, chief executive officer of Banner Medical Group. “This Banner Health Center is designed to provide primary care to the entire family in one space. We want it to be the place you would choose for prevention, wellness, basic and complex medical care and the advice you need to thrive with chronic health conditions.”

At opening on July 10, staff physicians will include family practitioners and pediatricians. Banner Health Centers accept most insurance plans. The Center will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Same-day appointments will also be available. Laboratory and X-ray services are also on-site.

Banner Health Center in Estrella will also be the gateway to the incredibly comprehensive services offered throughout Banner Health system, including Banner Estrella Medical Center and specialty facilities such as Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Concussion Center.

This location at 9780 South Estrella Parkway joins the existing Banner Health Centers offering health care where you want it and how you want it in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Surprise, Verrado and Maricopa, Ariz. as well as South Loveland, Colo. For more information on the Banner Health Center in Estrella, visit www.BannerHealth.com/HealthCenterEstrella.

homes

Shea Homes reports steady sales for Q1

Shea Homes saw its sales hold steady through the first quarter of 2013, with its West Valley communities seeing higher than normal sales. Close to two thirds of the sales for Q1 came from Shea’s West Valley communities in Peoria, Buckeye, and Litchfield Park, which is a turn from the boom of its East Valley communities.

“Our overall traffic is up and sales have remained steady from last year, which was a huge recovery over 2011,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “We have seen hot spots in the West Valley- specifically our luxury homes at Vista Montaña in Peoria, where home prices have averaged $600,000.”

Shea’s two newest product lines, luxury homes and luxury villas, have shown tremendous growth so much so that an additional 23, out of a total of 43 homesites, were opened at Vista Montaña II earlier this year and the luxury villas are being expanded to a new community breaking ground in Verrado later this summer. The new community, called Vallarta at Verrado, will feature 63 homesites with luxury villa floor plans similar to Shea’s Vistancia community; Caletas at Blackstone.

Shea has been active in the East Valley as well, specifically San Tan Valley and Gilbert, where its innovative product SPACES at Evans Ranch has only one inventory home left. Evans Ranch was opened in May 2012 and has sold out ahead of projections. Shea Homes is currently building 9 models at Marbella Vineyards opening late-summer and getting ready to break ground for models at their Bridges communities in Gilbert. With close to 500 lots soon available and showcasing a completely new approach to homebuilding Shea Homes continues to challenge industry standards.

“Our homes at Marbella will be something the Valley has never seen before in homebuilding, it will completely redefine the concept of how the industry has built homes in the past,” said Peterson. “This summer will be an exciting one for us.”

Traffic Congestion, Ways to Reduce in Phoenix, AZ

Public Identifies Transit Priorities for Southwest Valley

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with West Valley cities and through extensive input from residents, has completed a transit system study that identifies a local transit plan for the Southwest Valley.

MAG has worked in partnership over the past year with the cities of Phoenix, Avondale, Goodyear, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, the town of Buckeye, Maricopa County, and Valley Metro in developing the plan, which is based on the transportation needs and priorities identified by more than 2,000 Southwest Valley residents. Residents prioritized a local transit system that is accessible, affordable, convenient, and connects to regional transit services.

The short-, mid- and long-term strategies in the plan for local transit services will guide communities in implementing new services as additional revenues become available.

A drop-in open house will be held this week to enable residents to see the plan maps and talk to the project team:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Centerra Mirage Elementary School
15151 W. Centerra Dr. South
Goodyear, AZ

The executive summary of the plan will be posted to the project website March 13th at http://www.azmag.gov/Projects/Project.asp?CMSID=4173. The full plan will be posted shortly thereafter. For more information, please contact Jorge Luna, MAG transit planner, atjluna@azmag.gov or by calling (602) 254-6300.

Sun Health

Dignity names new West Valley hospital

Dignity Health announced that “St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center” will be the name of its new West Valley hospital during an official groundbreaking at the planned 35-acre medical campus near the Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.

The $44 million Dignity Health facility is scheduled to open in early 2014 and will provide West Valley residents with a new alternative to receive high quality healthcare services. Dignity Health already operates three hospitals in the Valley including St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, which is home of the Barrow Neurological Institute in central Phoenix, and Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. Dignity Health was previously known as Catholic Healthcare West.

When the new facility opens, the first phase will contain a 60,000 square-foot hospital that will include an emergency room, 24 inpatient beds, two operating rooms and diagnostic services. For the most complex medical cases, patients will benefit from the clinical integration with St. Joseph’s in central Phoenix. Established in 1895, St. Joseph’s today is nationally recognized for its specialty care and its expertise in treating the most complex medical cases.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center was selected as the name of the medical campus because it builds on more than a century of healthcare in the Valley and people recognize St. Joseph’s as a beacon of quality care,” says Linda Hunt, Dignity Health Arizona President and CEO. “We intend to deliver that same excellence to the residents of the West Valley.”

The hospital will initially employ 200 staff and will have the capacity to expand to 200 inpatient beds as demand grows. The 35-acre medical campus will house community physicians and outpatient partners, giving patients one location for their healthcare needs.

“St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center will be a vibrant medical campus right in the heart of the West Valley,” says Gregg Davis, President of St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. “The campus is designed to be a model for the nation’s changing healthcare environment and will change as medicine and the community evolve.”

The campus will serve as a collaborative venture in partnership with physicians in the West Valley to enhance and better manage the delivery of healthcare to patients in the area.

“This is a great project for the City of Glendale as the Loop 101 corridor near Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District is one of the city’s key economic focus areas,” says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “The new hospital will not only expand development west of the freeway, it will also attract other healthcare-related businesses and jobs to the area.”

While this is the first Dignity Health hospital in the West Valley, the organization began to lay the business foundation of its launch several years ago. Today, Dignity Health operates a family practice clinic and an orthopedic clinic in Peoria, imaging centers throughout the area, an outpatient surgery center and a partnership with the Minute Clinics located in the CVS pharmacies in Glendale and Goodyear.

Westgate Entertainment District

Generating Big Business out West

Nearly all retailers and restaurateurs will tell you that the key to having a successful business is largely based on the old adage – location, location, location.

For several national entertainment and restaurant brands with Valley-wide locations, revenue figures indicate that the West Valley now ranks number one in market share, with their top-producing stores at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

The bolstering of year-over-year revenue figures for nearly all of the big-name tenants at Westgate is largely attributed to the support of iStar Financial, who took ownership of Westgate Entertainment District in September of 2011. More than $300,000 in improvements and beautification have been made to Westgate’s common areas over the past year. Additionally, a strong focus has been placed on a better targeted and promoted events schedule, the hiring of Vestar to aggressively market and manage the property and the engagement with tenants to refocus their marketing and promotional efforts.

“By far, my most profitable store in Arizona is at Westgate,” said Rip Riva, owner of Johnny Rockets and JR Burger Grill, who has four other Valley locations of the popular all-American restaurant, including Scottsdale Fashion Square, Shops at Norterra, Arrowhead and Gateway Pavilion in Avondale. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for 40 years and have owned more than 30 different franchise restaurants. There’s now a synergy at Westgate that you can’t find anywhere else. With all of the events taking place, we’re seeing a constant increase in new customers. In the past few months, there is a new feeling, a new look and a new attitude. I’ve been at Westgate since the beginning and I just extended my lease another five years.”

Similarly, AMC Theatres at Westgate, which is the largest AMC in the state featuring 20 screens and an IMAX, is the top revenue producing AMC Theatres in Arizona. Yard House, with three Arizona locations, notes Westgate as its biggest revenue generating restaurant in the state. And, Saddle Ranch Chop House, with one location in Old Town Scottsdale and the other at Westgate, cites Glendale as its top-producing restaurant.

“The West Valley is a big market for us,” said Jeff Hall, owner of Which Wich at Westgate. “Westgate is our cornerstone location and our success there has allowed us to expand to other parts of the state including Tucson and two soon-to-open locations in the East Valley. We’ve seen about a 15 percent increase to our top-line revenue over last year. Between the concerts, on-site and nearby sporting events, movie theatre and very loyal office lunch crowd, there’s a formula there that just works.”

In September, Just Sports expanded their Westgate location, adding an additional 1,000 square feet to the existing 2,000 square feet, making it the company’s flagship location. Their Glendale location is their highest producing store among 18 stores on the West Coast.

Westgate Entertainment District encompasses more than 25 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues including Yard House, The Shout! House, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Johnny Rockets, Which Wich and AMC Theatres. More than 250 events take place a year ranging from live music every Friday and Saturday night at Fountain Park to Bike Nights, Radio Disney Wednesdays, a holiday ice rink and fan experience events.

Westgate is anchored by Jobing.com Arena, home to the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, headlining concerts and major events, and is adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

For more information about Westgate Entertainment District and a retailer directory, visit www.westgatecitycenter.com.

KOOZA Photos 2007 004

Glendale CVB Rising in the West

Game on!

Cities like Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Surprise, and the other 14 cities that make up the West Valley are capitalizing on the rapid expansion of tourism and hospitality amenities — particularly spring training baseball facilities and other sports-related events — to grab a bigger share of the $18 billion that Arizona’s 37 million annual visitors spend.

As tourism in the West Valley continues to grow, the Glendale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) is playing a bigger and more vital role to help drive visitors to West Valley hospitality businesses.

“The region provides the local and out-of-state traveler with an experience like no other,” says Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “We are home to nine Cactus League spring training teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix International Raceway, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, great outdoor festivals, historic districts in each of our cities, performing arts centers and unique shopping venues. And, of course, you can be an astronaut for the day at our Challenger Space Center.”

Despite this diverse range of attractions, tourism is a relatively new industry in the West Valley. As a result, not every community in the area is equipped to implement independent marketing and promotion initiatives. Glendale CVB organizes and facilitates these initiatives, partnering with more than 100 restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, resorts and hotels, and service organizations.

“We work closely with our hotels — such as the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa, Wigwam Resort, Hilton Garden Inn Avondale and many more — to provide lead generation and conference assistance,” Pino says.

Glendale CVB also serves as a liaison to large-scale entertainment such as Cirque du Soleil, which was held at University of Phoenix Stadium this summer, and mammoth events such as the Super Bowl, which will return to Glendale in 2015.

“When the Super Bowl was last held in Glendale in 2008, the Glendale CVB was not yet in existence,” Pino says. “But now that our bureau is in place for the 2015 game, the region will be in a better position to capture a greater share of visitor spending.”

Economists estimate that hosting a Super Bowl has an economic impact of $300 million-$500 million on the region.

“In addition, realizing that this mega event impacts the entire metro area and several destinations statewide, the Glendale CVB will be working with other tourism and hospitality organizations throughout the Valley to ensure that we provide the greatest fan experience possible, and to host the best Super Bowl possible,” Pino says.

By the end of 2012, Glendale will welcome yet another visitor destination when the Tanger Outlets Westgate is completed. The 328,000-square-foot retail development will feature 85 brand-name outlet stores and is expected to bring an additional 5 million-6 million annual visitors to the area.

With economic growth in the West Valley expected to continue its upward trend for years to come, Pino insists that communities must work together to realize the greatest benefit from an increasing number of visitors.

“It’s important that we all work together and pool our resources to achieve economies of scale,” Pino says. “This is the very reason the Glendale CVB came into existence: to serve as a regional organization to promote and showcase the 14 West Valley cities and to bring tourism business to the area. This regional approach is what will be needed for our hospitality businesses to continue to grow.”

C-47

WESTMARC presenting special award to Luke Forward group

While WESTMARC is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the annual Best of the West Awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel, a special honor will also be a part of the festivities – recognizing the region’s successful efforts to land the new F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base, the region’s most significant economic contributor.

At the anniversary event, WESTMARC will announce three West Valley award winners: Economic Engine Award, Quality of Life Enhancement Award and the Excellence in Innovation Award. The John F. Long Lifetime Achievement and WESTMARC Leadership awards will also be presented at the ceremony.

However, an important part of the evening will be dedicated to presenting a special 20th anniversary award honoring the Luke Forward community engagement campaign that worked diligently for more than three years to build regional and statewide community support and was pivotal in the recent efforts to secure the new F-35 training center at Luke Air Force Base.

A special honor will be given to the group, featuring Luke Forward Co-Chairs Elaine Scruggs and Charley Freericks, to show WESTMARC’s appreciation for the efforts to significantly enhance the image, lifestyle and economic development throughout the region.

“The Luke Forward award was designed as a distinct honor for Luke Forward’s successful efforts to make the F-35 mission at Luke Air Force base a reality,” said Michelle Rider, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “The Best of the West event is a perfect fit to honor this group that has made such a significant impact in the West Valley.”

The Best of the West reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and awards at 7 p.m. Cost to attend for WESTMARC members is $250 per person, $2,000 for a table of 10. For non-members, $275 per person, $2,250 for a table of 10.

The Economic Engine Award will recognize individuals and organizations which have created a significant economic impact in the region. Honorees for the Quality of Life Enhancement Award will recognize educational, community, arts and recreational programs, facilities or leaders enhancing the quality of life in the West Valley. The Excellence in Innovation Award will recognize individuals and organizations demonstrating an innovative concept or fulfilling a need that preserves the region’s assets and resources and create an economic benefit for West Valley residents.

Presenting Sponsor of Best of the West is Cox Communications. Other sponsors include Republic Media, Banner Health, DMB, APS, SCF Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, City of Peoria, City of Phoenix, SRP, Sun  Health, Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo Bank Arizona and Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.

alter group

The Alter Group To Develop 605,700 SF Distribution Building

The Alter Group announced plans to develop a speculative 605,700 SF cross-dock warehouse/distribution center valued at more than $36M at its 162-acre Buckeye Logistics Center at Buckeye Rd. and 67th Ave. in Phoenix, said Michael J. Alter, President of the Chicago-based national commercial real estate development firm.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in October.

According to Patrick E. Gallagher, Senior Vice President, “The Alter Group is presently talking to several capital partners to finalize the underwriting for this bulk distribution building. . There are only a couple of large warehouse/distribution buildings still available in this segment of the market; vacancy rates for spaces above 500,000 SF, particularly in the Southwest submarket where Buckeye is located, are currently in the low single digits.

“The West Valley has become one of the top areas in the southwest part of the United States for the development of large warehouse facilities to store, package and ship consumer goods ordered via the Internet. The southwest Phoenix market recorded 3.7 million SF of net absorption over the last four quarters of 2011.

Absorption was lower in 1Q 2012 but activity is strong. This steadily increasing user demand, combined with a lack of construction, has vacancy rates continuing to fall. With very few larger buildings available, rents are projected to increase by 20% by 2Q 2013 for large blocks of space.”

The new building will feature 32’ clear ceiling height; 112 dock high and four drive-up level doors; as well as parking for 324 cars and 173 trailers.

Buckeye Logistics Center is strategically located 1.2 miles from I-10 via two full interchanges at 67th Ave. and 75th Ave. The site, ideally suited for regional distribution, also has good access to I-10, which is important for receiving and sending shipments to Southern California markets and ports. Buckeye Logistics Center can support up to 3.1 MSF of distribution space. Three distribution buildings totaling 1.7 MSF have already been built at Buckeye Logistics. Phase I and II were awarded the NAIOP Industrial Project of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Current tenants in the earlier phases are Amazon.com, which occupies more than 1 MSF, and Kellogg’s.

For more information about The Alter Group, visit The Alter Group’s website at altergroup.com.

Phoenix is full of fun destinations for a short day trip.

Phoenix Day Trips

Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of Phoenix attractions to plan a great day trip.

  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum
    37615 U.S. Hwy. 60, Superior
    520-689-2811
    Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden, the arboretum is a living museum of thousands of plants from around the world — displayed alongside native Sonoran Desert vegetation.

  • Dolly Steamboat, The
    Apache Junction
    480-827-9144
    At Canyon Lake, 90-minute nature cruises and 2-1/2 hour twilight dinner cruises.

  • Wickenburg
    216 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg
    800-942-5242
    Just 60 miles northwest of Phoenix in the northern reaches of the great Southwest’s Sonoran Desert. Wickenburg is noted for its clean air, good country living, Western hospitality and all-around high quality of life.

  • Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
    16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park
    623-935-WILD (9453)
    Wildlife World Zoo has been an integral part of the West Valley for more than two decades, and with the opening of our new multimillion-dollar aquarium, we just keep getting better and better. The Zoo is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (The aquarium is open to 9 p.m.) That means we are open every day and night of the year — even holidays!
Green News Roundup- Green Wedding, Alternative Fuels

Green News Roundup – Green Weddings, Alternative Fuels & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about green weddings, alternative fuels, green burials and local sustainability-related events taking place throughout the Valley. Happy 4th of July!

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.


Green Wedding
This couple took eco-conscious to the next level by making their wedding a low-impact environmentally friendly affair.

Couple Recycles 400,000 Cans to Pay for Wedding
Green weddings certainly are in style! This couple took their dedication to the environment a step further when they used only proceeds from their recycled cans to pay for their wedding! The couple managed to recycle more than 400,000 cans and raise approximately $4,000 to pay for their specialy day. Local food, home-brewed alcohol and flowers grown specifically for the wedding make this wedding a truly low-impact, eco-friendly affair.

Green Homes that Float
From New Orleans to Dubai, from houseboats to Boeing planes turned into homes, these eight cool, and green homes float above the rest. All of these homes are eco-friendly and sustainable. Each has its own reason for floating, some are houseboats, some are meant to survive another massive hurricane in the Louisiana. These homes show that design and be functional, green and interesting.

Hurricane Alex Spreads Oil, Has Officials Pondering New Oil-Skimmer
As Hurricane Alex pushes oil to new places, disturbs more wildlife and discolors more beaches, officials may be considering a new option to remove the oil that is marring the gulf. Using an oil tanker that has now been converted into a skimmer, could be turning problem-causer into problem-solution.

Into the Green and Beyond
Some people are very dedicated to leading a sustainable lifestyle. They recycle, are conscientious of the environment and are dedicated to making our world a better place. Can this same dedication extend to the end of a person’s life? The New York Times Green Blog explores this issue and discovers an eco-friendly way to limit impact on the planet even at the end of a life: a green funeral. Traditional caskets wreak havoc on the environment, every year, 30 million board feet of hardwood, 104,000 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete is buried in cemeteries across the nation.  A greener option is cremation and burial in a biodegradable urn, caskets made from renewable materials and burials in fields and forests. Though these types of burials are rare in the U.S. right now, there are options for those interested.

Casa Grande Hosts Alternative Fuels Workshop
The Renewable Fuels Association’s Alternative Fuels Workshop is coming to Casa Grande, Ariz.  If you are interested in learning more about fuels from Biodiesel to ethanol to Propane to vegetable oil, this workshop is right for you.  The Alternative Fuels Workshop will answer your questions about how to use renewable and alternative fuels to power your business and your life.  Visit www.altfuelsalliance.org if you would like to attend the July 23 conference.

Green Companies Flock to West Valley
With its proximity to California, freeways, available industrial space and nearness to other manufacturers, the West Valley has become a haven for green businesses.  Recently, Linamar Corp., announced plans to open a facility, which will initially employ 52 people, in Glendale.  Linamar Corp., is only one of several solar companies and suppliers to open and operate a facility in Glendale.  This Phoenix Business Journal article details the West Valley’s solar expansion.

It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

A Threat By The Cubs To Leave Arizona Has Cactus League Sites Scrambling

Update:
It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa. Team officials recently notified a group from Naples, Fla., attempting to lure the Cubs to the Grapefruit League that they plan to continue to negotiate exclusively with the city of Mesa. Mesa, meanwhile, reportedly is looking at four sites for the new facility: Recker Road and the Loop 202; the Riverview area; a downtown site; and near the Gaylord resort, planned for the GM Proving Grounds site. According to published reports, the Riverview area appears to be the leading contender for the facility.Spring training baseball in Arizona, a cash cow for Valley communities, is in need of another source of revenue to build new stadiums and refurbish existing facilities. The estimated 1.47 million fans who attended games played by the 15 teams that trained in Arizona this year contributed more than $300 million to the state’s economy, according to Cactus League Association estimates.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that owners of the Chicago Cubs, the biggest draw in the Cactus League, have threatened to move their spring home from Mesa to Naples, Fla., if they don’t get a new stadium and training facility.

Adding to the financial dilemma is that funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which among other things supports spring training baseball, has virtually dried up, due in some measure to the economic downturn. The agency receives most of its money from tourism-related taxes on hotels and car rentals.

A legislative proposal to add a surcharge to all Cactus League tickets to help pay for a new Cubs stadium was as welcome as a blazing fastball from Randy Johnson in his prime. Efforts to push House Bill 2736, sponsored by House Majority Leader John McComish, basically struck out.

“We need to find ways to not only keep the Cubs in Maricopa County, but use those creative funding mechanisms to preserve and expand other spring training facilities in the entire West Valley,” says Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Keeping the Cubs is important, as well as making sure a funding mechanism for the Cubs can be applied, as necessary, in the West Valley.”

Stepping to the plate, Peoria officials proposed a possible solution — the creation of special bonding districts. John Schell, intergovernmental affairs director for Peoria, explains his city’s interest.

“Without much discussion with the other teams or other affected entities, they (key legislators) added a surcharge to tickets and rental cars,” he says. “The ticket surcharge got us more involved because of the adverse impact it would have to our revenue-sharing agreement with the two teams that train in Peoria, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. It was not feasible for us.”

The Peoria agreement, not unlike those of other Valley cities that host spring training teams, including Goodyear and Surprise, provides that if the state or some other entity puts a surcharge on tickets, Peoria would have to make up the difference.

“That would have cost us close to $300,000 a year to build a stadium in Mesa — with no ownership,” Schell says. “Imagine how the taxpayers in Peoria would have felt about that. So we were drawn into the discussion to try to identify some sort of funding solution.”

Schell notes correctly that the Arizona Legislature doesn’t have much of an appetite for new taxation, especially in the current economy. He and Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp met with other host cities throughout the Valley and representatives of Major League Baseball to discuss options.

“It’s not a complete solution and it doesn’t involve any public funds,” Schell says. “We worked closely with the bond counsel for Major League Baseball and came up with a concept we called the revenue allocation authority.”

It was too late to be introduced at the Legislature this year, but Schell says there likely will be discussions on the topic even before lawmakers reconvene next January. It calls for the establishment of a district to issue bonds to pay for improvements or new construction of spring training facilities. Each district would have to be approved by voters living in the district and would not have taxing authority, Schell says.

“It’s a very strong tool,” Schell says. “It would use increment financing. It would capture the growth in the district. It would not become a general obligation of the city, and it won’t affect property taxes. People won’t feel the impact. It’s a unique way of financing.”

Schell says Major League Baseball, which helped prepare the proposal, is supportive.

Baseball insiders say they don’t think the Cubs will follow through with their threat and move to Florida. Although relocating to an Indian reservation, which is what the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will do next spring, is an option, the Cubs have not expressed an outward interest in going that route. Others say if a deal with Mesa falls through, other Valley cities will make their pitch for the popular Chicago team.

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett bluntly says the ticket surcharge proposal was a disaster and that he is adamantly opposed to such a scheme. On the possibility of the Cubs leaving Arizona, Barrett says he hopes they remain.

“They ought to talk to the tribes,” he says. “But, if they do leave, the world will continue to turn and the Cactus League will not disappear. The 14 other teams will survive.”

www.cactusleague.com | www.peoriaaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010