The transformation and renovation of Renaissance Square turned the aging downtown Phoenix landmark building into a modern, amenity-rich office destination. In a market where office buildings struggle to find tenants, Renaissance Square is bucking the trend, recently attracting a national tenant, Food for the Hungry, to a brand new, 29,000 square foot space with the option to expand to 45,000 SF. The Food for the Hungry deal was led by the Cushman & Wakefield team of Jerry Roberts and Pat Boyle for the owner, Cypress Office Properties LLC and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), and Jami Savage-Gray and Ryan Bartos from JLL represented Food for the Hungry.

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“Food for the Hungry had their choice of any office tower in the Valley but chose Renaissance Square – not only because it maintains their preferred presence in downtown Phoenix but also because of the project itself, which provides great on-site and surrounding amenities to a team that works so hard for communities in dire need across the globe,” said Savage-Gray, Executive Vice President at JLL.

On-site amenities include large conference and training facilities, a game room, a 20,000+ SF state-of-the-art fitness facility, extensive seating and collaboration areas, and WiFi-enabled outdoor plaza seating areas. In addition, Phoenix’s most exciting new restaurant, Wren & Wolf, is located in the lobby of Ren Square providing breakfast, lunch and dinner options for tenants. Wren & Wolf also opened a one-of-kind speakeasy lounge, Trophy Room, in January 2023. Top-tier property management is provided on-site by CBRE.

Renaissance Square is one of the premier office projects in the Valley, totaling 1 million SF. The two towers (Ren I and Ren II) are located at 2 and 40 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. Renaissance Square offers best-in-class amenities and high-end, move-in ready office suites. The average floorplate size is 20,000 SF in both towers. Available move-in-ready spaces range from 2,500 SF to 20,000 SF. The project can also accommodate larger users seeking 50,000 to 100,000 SF, including Building-Top signage.

“We are extremely pleased with the high energy and Class A business environment we have created at Ren Square over the last several years, as demonstrated by our continued leasing success,” said Mark Wayne, co-founder and principal of San Diego-based Cypress Office Properties, LLC. “We continue to be bullish on our business plan as Ren Square delivers the type of space, amenities and location today’s successful companies are seeking, particularly as they work to have their employees return to the office full-time.” 

The two-tower complex has seen renewed leasing activity since undergoing more than $50 million in renovations to the lobbies, elevators, bathrooms, amenity spaces and throughout the entire project. In the past six months, the Cushman & Wakefield leasing team of Roberts and Boyle have executed more than 140,000 square feet of new leases or extended and expanded lease deals.

“Welcoming Food for the Hungry as our newest tenant at Renaissance Square is a big win for all involved,” said Boyle. “It was a complete team effort that required expeditious action from the Landlord, Tenant and brokers. The Landlord was able to secure a lease with a great tenant that was heavily sought after in the market, and Food for the Hungry was able to secure a one-of-a-kind space, within our creative spec suite, ‘The Loft’.” 

Food for the Hungry’s new lease comes on the heels of strong lease expansion and renewal activity at the remodeled Ren Square. During Q4 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023, several new tenants were added, and existing tenants signed renewals or lease expansions. A new tenant, Townsquare Interactive, signed a 12,000 SF lease late in 2022. Townsquare Interactive is the digital marketing division of Townsquare Media, one of the nation’s largest media companies with 357 local radio stations in 74 mid-sized markets and 50,000+ clients nationwide.

Two other companies signed lease expansions, including San Francisco-based Upgrade, Inc., which added 30,000 SF of space, bringing the company’s total footprint at Ren Square to more than 150,000 SF. Law firm DM Cantor took on an additional 9,000 SF spec suite to grow its total presence at Ren Square to 34,000 SF.

Renaissance Square currently has 80,000 square feet of high-end, move-in-ready office suites and Roberts said they hope to have an additional 20,000 SF of move-in-ready space available by Q4. This available, move-in-ready, Class A office space is attractive to potential tenants who want to expand or relocate to downtown Phoenix. Currently, Renaissance Square is 80 percent leased, with much of the remaining space either freshly renovated or scheduled to be renovated.

“The biggest driver of new leasing activity is prebuilt spaces and Renaissance Square has those spaces ready for tenants who are looking for Class A space downtown,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Roberts. “In addition, when Cypress and Oaktree executed the remodel, they really brought the project up to a new development-type standard. Ren Square looks and feels like a brand-new development. The amenity base and environment created with the common areas is truly ‘Best in Class’ for Phoenix, Arizona.”

Food for the Hungry’s deal increases the number of tenants at Renaissance Square with full-floor leases from twelve to thirteen tenants, representing over 67% of NRA. Other tenants occupying one or more full floors include the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Regus/Spaces, Brown & Caldwell, Government Services Administration (GSA), as well as a host of law firms, including Gammage & Burnham, Quarles & Brady, DM Cantor, Jones Skelton Hochuli, Bryan Cave and Alcock & Associates.