Bob Parsons, the billionaire GoDaddy founder and one of Arizona’s biggest philanthropists, is the new owner of Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District, the West Valley’s sports and entertainment destination, buying the property for $133 million
Scottsdale-based YAM Properties, which was founded by Parsons, closed on a deal Tuesday to buy the property at 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. in Glendale, from iStar, which took control of the development in 2012.
“The potential at Westgate is huge,” Parsons said. “Westgate currently offers visitors a wide variety of entertainment options, but we’re looking to develop features that will entice even more visitors and residents to this unique and vibrant Valley location.”
The 76-acre Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale includes 533,000 square feet of retail, office and residential space that was redeveloped by iStar Inc, a real estate investment trust headquartered in New York.
Westgate is anchored by a 20-screen AMC Theatres multiplex, Dave & Buster’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Yard House restaurants. It also has more than 159,000 square feet of Class A office space.
“We are thrilled about the Westgate acquisition by Arizona’s own Bob Parsons,” said Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps. “We see tremendous benefit to having local Arizona ownership and are excited to provide the signature level of service needed to help bring YAM Properties’ visionary development plan to fruition.”
The transaction includes 33 acres of undeveloped land and is one of Arizona’s largest retail real estate deals and marks the turnaround of Westgate.
Parson’s YAM Properties said a boutique hotel and more housing, office and specialty entertainment are under consideration in a five-year plan, which aligns with the Super Bowl in 2023 at the adjacent University of Phoenix Stadium.
The transaction is the culmination of iStar’s long-term vision to transform a struggling retail center in the Phoenix metropolitan area surrounded by 70-plus acres of undeveloped land and empty parking lots into one of the most successful mixed-use entertainment destinations in the Southwest region.
Since 2012, iStar has executed over 50 retail and office leases totaling in excess of 260,000 square feet, converted two floors of vacant office space into 76 luxury loft-style residential units, and brought to the district multiple new entertainment options including Dave & Busters and Tavern+Bowl. Additionally, iStar partnered with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. to build the successful 400,000 square foot Tanger Outlets Westgate, in which iStar subsequently sold its interest in 2016.
“Westgate’s revitalization required iStar’s full suite of real estate expertise and problem-solving capabilities,” said David Sotolov, iStar Executive Vice President. “With nearly $500 million of additional investments in the Southwest, we remain active lenders, investors and partners to the most sophisticated real estate investors in the region.
“Westgate’s sale marks the end of a highly successful business plan that would not have been possible without the work of our Phoenix-based partners, Teetsel Properties and Vestar. We are thrilled to now turn over this fantastic asset to the visionary Bob Parsons and his team at YAM, while we continue to expand our core real estate finance and investment businesses.”
YAM Properties is the Scottsdale-based real estate investment and development group of businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons. Including the Westgate purchase, YAM Properties owns and manages more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial properties in Arizona. Their portfolio includes three other developments in north Glendale.
“Mr. Parsons’ undeniable track record of success in business and investment strategy speaks for itself. The fact that he is willing to make such a significant investment is a clear indicator that Westgate will continue to be an economic driver for our community.” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “The Westgate development began as a catalyst project to create a unique destination in the West Valley and it has been transformed into an exciting sports and entertainment district with amenities for all ages.”