This year at the 12th annual Real Estate and Development (RED) Awards, AZRE recognized the top commercial real estate projects completed in 2016 along with the companies and people who made each one possible.

Each year, AZRE receives hundreds of project nominations to be considered for a RED Award. Ultimately, three finalists projects are selected for each category based on votes held by a selection committee earlier in the year.

View photos from the event:

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Photos by Mike Mertes, AZRE

On Thursday, March 16, AZRE presented this year’s RED Awards to a winner in each of the 11 project categories as well as awards for the best architect, contractor and developer of the year. Here’s a look and recap of the festivities for this year’s RED Awards.


Grand Canyon University Masterplan


GCU completed eight projects in 2016 including new STEM classrooms and labs, student dorms, apartments, a soccer stadium and student services center. Each building has abstracted references to the school’s Christian and educational values, while integrating informal learning and social spaces within the buildings and throughout campus, which has doubled in size since 2014 to more than 250 acres.

  • DEVELOPER: Grand Canyon University
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Pono Construction
  • ARCHITECT: suoLL Architects
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Bell Steel; Central Supply Mechanical; Hilty’s Electrical Contracting; Marlin Mechanical; Suntec Concrete
  • SIZE: 250-acres
  • LOCATION: 3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
  • COMPLETION DATE: Fall 2016


Yuma Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Expansion


Over 500 plans were used during the $115 million project, which was the city’s largest in recent history. The project involves a 147,000 SF Emergency Department expansion, spread over two levels with two upper shell floors, totaling 100,000 SF to accommodate future medical, surgical and/or ICU beds. The project also includes two new heliports, a three-level parking structure and a central plant expansion.

  • DEVELOPER: Yuma Regional Medical Center
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: McCarthy Building Companies
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Delta Diversified; E&K Companies; Progressive Roofing; Schuff Steel; TDIndustries
  • SIZE: 147,000 SF
  • LOCATION: 2400 S. Avenue A, Yuma
  • COMPLETION DATE: October 2016




The adaptive reuse project transformed the shuttered Lexington Hotel into a remarkable boutique hotel, aiding in the revitalization of Downtown Phoenix’s urban landscape. FOUND:RE supports local artists with a rotating display schedule throughout its lobby, rooms, pool area and adjacent restaurant. The hotel’s distinctively designed rooms match the industrial character of the building with floating wide flange bed frames, custom millwork and bathrooms.

  • DEVELOPER: Habitat Metro
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Sletten Companies
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: EF Charles; Gen3; Resolute Performance Contracting; Swisher HVAC; Tibbetts Glass & Aluminum
  • SIZE: 86,645 SF
  • LOCATION: 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
  • COMPLETION DATE: October 2016


REI Distribution Center

rei-dist-center-2The first distribution center ever awarded both a LEED Platinum certification and Net Zero Energy rating. The project’s 2.2-megawatt solar system covers 280,000 square feet with 6,700 panels and produces more power than it consumes. It also utilizes the first true omni-channel automated fulfillment system, delivering products to customers and retail stores up to eight times faster than average.

  • DEVELOPER: Merit Partners
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Renaissance Companies
  • ARCHITECT: Butler Design Group
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Allen & Pinckard Industrial Contractors; Comfort Systems; Milam Glass; RJM Construction; Suntec Concrete
  • BROKERAGE: CBRE (Pat Feeney)
  • SIZE: 440,000 SF
  • LOCATION: 3825 S. 36th St., Phoenix
  • COMPLETION DATE: July 2016


Discovery Business Campus – Building 94


Originally built in 1981 as labs and offices for Motorola, the building was transformed into a sophisticated, hi-tech, modern Class A office accented by architectural frames, courtyards, profiled metal panels and a rich contrasting palette of colors. It’s currently occupied by DiTech Financial.

  • DEVELOPER: Wentworth Property Company
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Jokake Construction
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Adobe Drywall; DP Electric; Gen3; J.J. Sprague of Arizona; Sun Tech Glass
  • BROKERAGE: CBRE (Pat Feeney, Chuck Nixon); JLL (Mark Gustin, Karsten Peterson, Dave Seeger)
  • SIZE: 171,000 SF
  • LOCATION: 2100 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe
  • COMPLETION DATE: October 2016




Appropriately named Escape, the ultra-urban, resort-style, luxury apartment community offers an escape from the mundane with luxurious amenities and convenient access to premium retail and dining options as well as downtown office space and sports facilities. Aesthetically, it’s unique design exudes a modern flair with electric splashes of color at every turn. Its amenity tower includes an elevated, outdoor lounge with views of Pinnacle Peak and Camelback Mountain as well as a premium fitness facility.

  • DEVELOPER: P.B. Bell
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MT Builders Companies
  • ARCHITECT: Studio 15 Architecture
  • SIZE: 248,824 SF
  • LOCATION: 4700 N. 16th St., Phoenix
  • COMPLETION DATE: April 2016


Matson Money


Imported Italian tile, two three-ton sections of the Berlin Wall, Statue of David replica and handpicked bricks from Chicago are a few of the design features strategically incorporated throughout the office. Matching the office’s high-end décor is state-of-the-art technology used in its TV studio, screening room, commercial kitchen and learning space.

  • DEVELOPER: 1st Premier Properties
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Wespac Construction
  • ARCHITECT: Evolution Design
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Adobe Drywall; Desert Ridge Glass; Fine Line Cabinetry; ReSource Arizona; Wilson Electric
  • BROKERAGE: Cresa (Brandon Clarke, Scott Maxwell); Cushman & Wakefield (Sean Spellman, Jeff Wentworth)
  • SIZE: 47,482 SF
  • LOCATION: 18940 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
  • COMPLETION DATE: October 2016


Marina Heights (Buildings 300, 400, 450)


Building 300 consists of office space on eight floors and 19,640 square feet of first-floor retail, occupied by Starbucks and Mountainside Fitness. Building 400, the tallest tower, has 16 floors of office space and a Matt’s Big Breakfast at the bottom. Building 450 boasts a uniquely designed lobby, color palette and architectural design with a first floor restaurant and HonorHealth Clinic.

  • DEVELOPERS: Ryan Companies;
  • Sunbelt Holdings
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Ryan Companies
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Barrett-Homes Contractors; E&K Companies; Suntec Concrete; Walters & Wolf; Wilson Electric
  • BROKERAGE: JLL (John Pierson)
  • SIZE: Building 300 – 389,610 SF; Building 400 – 625,795 SF; Building 450 – 301,626 SF
  • LOCATION: 300, 400, 450 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
  • COMPLETION DATE: June 2016


OdySea Aquarium


OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Southwest, spanning 200,000 square feet. The two-story facility holds more than two-million gallons of water, which is filtered through more than 300 pumps and 42,000 lineal feet of piping. The aquarium’s concrete tanks are combined with 5,455 square feet of acrylic viewing windows for visitors to enjoy the facility’s 50 exhibits and more than 30,000 animals.

  • DEVELOPER: OdySea in the Desert
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: McCarthy Building Companies
  • ARCHITECT: Deutsch Architecture Group
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: K&F Electric; McCarthy Concrete; Schuff Steel
  • SIZE: 200,000 SF
  • LOCATION: 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
  • COMPLETION DATE: August 2016




Aside from escalators that remain in the building, it’s hard to tell Comcast was once filled with mall shoppers. In less than eight months, crews transformed five former movie theaters into an open office and the old Galleria Mall into a single-tenant call center. Comcast’s new flagship call center and training facility in Tucson is the company’s largest in the Western U.S.

  • DEVELOPER: Tanager Property Management
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Jokake Construction
  • ARCHITECT: Acquilano Leslie
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Adobe Drywall; Central Alarm; Comfort Systems USA; Kazal Fire Protection; Wilson Electric
  • BROKERAGE: JLL (Keith Lammersen, Jason Moore)
  • SIZE: 160,018 SF
  • LOCATION: 4690 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson
  • COMPLETION DATE: March 2016


Town & Country


The redevelopment of the historic shopping center that opened in 1960 included a refreshed look and new buildings for The Container Store, Hop Doddy, Orvis and Forever 21. Each building was designed with limestone, steel, glass, aluminum panels and composite wood to give the shopping center an updated look while blending the buildings in with the old.

  • DEVELOPERS: Camelback RE Development; RED Development
  • GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Chasse Building Team
  • ARCHITECTS: Reigle & Associates; Suite 6 Architecture
  • SUBCONTRACTORS: Demers Glass; Desert Structures; Huff & Sons Construction; Kortman Electric; Southwest Earthworks
  • BROKERAGE: CBRE (LeDonna Spongberg)
  • SIZE: 54,246 SF
  • LOCATION: 4949 N. 20th St., Phoenix

Architect of the Year: DAVIS

DAVIS, the architecture, interiors and urban design firm specializing in commercial and residential mixed-use projects worked as the architect on three of this year’s RED Award winners: FOUND:RE for hospitality, Discover Business Campus-Building 94 for infill and Marina Heights for office. At FOUND:RE, in Downtown Phoenix, it brought an existing dilapidated structure to current code while adding aesthetic flair, interest and amenities to create a destination. At Discovery Business Campus-Building 94, DAVIS completely re-position and re-imagine a dated, single-story office building into a fresh and modern work environment that facilitates the aspirational needs of high-tech Millennial workers. Lastly at Marina Heights, each tower has its own signature identity within the overall cohesive campus fabric, yet shares a common architectural DNA of materiality and design aesthetic. Since being founded in 1991, DAVIS has designed 75 million square feet with a market value of $20 billion.

Contractor of the Year: Jokake Construction

Known for its experience with ground-up construction, renovations and building tenant improvements for all phases of a project, Jokake Construction worked on three of this year’s RED Award finalist projects: Discover Business Campus-Building 94, JDA Software regional headquarters and Comcast. Each requiring close coordination and communication to meet the project’s expectations and timeline. Whether it’s an adaptive re-use job of an old mall or labs once used as testing grounds for the local police and fire department for critical drills or a regional headquarters, this employee-owned construction company has worked as a full-service commercial general contractor for more than 30 years in the Valley, and continues to delivery state-of-the art projects on time and on budget.

Developer of the Year: Ryan Companies U.S., Inc.

Driving along the Loop 202 in Tempe, you’ve surely noticed the transform of 20-acres along Tempe Town Lake into Marina Heights, a 2-million-square-foot mixed-use development and home to State Farm. State Farm tasked Ryan Companies — in partnership with Sunbelt Holdings — with creating an exceptional, memorable, enjoyable work environment to attract and retain thousands of the highest caliber employees. The state-of-the-art architecture, office interiors, employee amenities, on-site retail food opportunities, public outdoor plaza and park areas are key contributors to the project’s success. Furthermore, each tower has its own signature identity within the overall cohesive campus fabric, yet shares a common architectural DNA of materiality and design aesthetic. Logging more than 3.7 million total safe hours to date without a safety incident at Marina Heights, this year’s developer of the year award goes to Ryan Companies – a third generation, family-owned national developer, designer, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate management firm.

Find out which projects were named finalists at this year’s RED Awards here, and view a map of each project and finalist this year below:

Map compiled by Jesse A. Millard