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New CVS opening in downtown Phoenix

[Source: CityScape/CVS Press Release]

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will be joined by officials from CVS/Pharmacy and CityScape developer, RED Development welcoming the opening of the first drug store in downtown Phoenix in more than 30 years at a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the new, 7-day-a-week store and pharmacy for downtown Phoenix workers, residents, tourists, and entertainment visitors.

The Mayor will then take his turn serving customers, before making his own impulse chocolate purchase and heading back to City Hall.

CVS/pharmacy will occupy 13,000 square feet at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street, beneath Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge on CityScape’s western-most block, and adjacent to the redeveloped Patriot’s Square.

WHEN: 9 a.m. on Monday, July 26

WHERE: CVS/pharmacy at CityScape, 50 West Jefferson in downtown Phoenix

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Polsinelli Shughart takes 45,000 SF at downtown Phoenix’s CityScape

[Source: Emily Baker, CoStar Group] — Polsinelli Shughart PC signed a 10-year lease deal for 45,000 square feet at the CityScape building in Phoenix. The law firm is taking occupancy of the 17th and 18th floors in June of 2010. It is the fifth law firm to sign on with CityScape.  This 27-story office tower building is located at 1 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix.  Currently under construction, the building is due to deliver in March 2010.

Jerry Roberts, Corey Hawley, and Jim Fijan of CB Richard Ellis represented the landlord, RED Development.  [Note: To read the full article, visit Polsinelli Shughart takes 45,000 SF at downtown Phoenix’s CityScape.]

Lucky Strike Lanes to bowl into downtown Phoenix


What to expect at Lucky Strike (Photo source: Lucky Strike Lanes)

[Source: MetroMix, Arizona Republic] — The “swanky” bowling destination Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge is moving into downtown Phoenix’s CityScape development, announced RED Development LLC, the company behind the project.  Known for its signature cocktails and celebrity guests, the alley is set to open in the spring of 2010, which is when many of the restaurants, bars, and shops in the $900 million space are scheduled to open.  Eventually, a grocery store, hotel, offices and a pharmacy will open in the mixed-used development, stretching from First Avenue to Second Street and from Washington to Jefferson streets.

The Phoenix location will be 18,000 square feet, with 12 lanes, four of which will be in the Luxe Lanes bar, and it will have a VIP area.  In more than 20 cities, the 5-year-old chain has brought an element of “red-carpet panache” to a traditionally blue-collar pastime, as celebrities in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami have “flocked” to the Lucky Strikes in those cities.  [Note: Read the full article at Lucky Strike Lanes to bowl into downtown Phoenix.]

Suns, Diamondbacks acquire downtown Phoenix garage

[Source: Jan Buchholz, Phoenix Business Journal] — The Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks ball clubs jointly have acquired the Jefferson Street Parking Garage from the city of Phoenix.  A legal entity representing both major league teams is now operating the 1,456-space parking garage at 333 E. Jefferson St.  The Phoenix Business Journal reported in April 2008 that the city council had approved a $20 million lease-purchase agreement with the teams after a year of negotiations.

It took another 15 months to close the deal, but according to the city’s interim Finance Director Jeff DeWitt, the added hold time benefited the city.  “We wanted to hold it as long as possible to receive revenue,” DeWitt said.

The change of ownership officially took place July 31. DeWitt confirmed that the ball clubs paid $20 million for the garage.  The city will need the $20 million to reimburse RED Development Co. for renovating and adding public parking at the site of the CityScape development at Jefferson Street and Central Avenue.  But there are conditions to that payment, according to DeWitt.

RED must meet the terms of its agreement with the city, including receiving a certificate of occupancy from the city certifying that its underground parking area is fully completed.  DeWitt said officials at RED have projected a completion in early 2010.  In the meantime, the city will earn interest on the $20 million, he said.  [Note: Read the full article at Suns, Diamondbacks acquire downtown Phoenix garage.]

Six new restaurants join downtown Phoenix CityScape project

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Six restaurants, two boutiques, and a law firm will join a $900 million project that is under construction in downtown Phoenix.  CityScape is a cluster of businesses that will include an office tower, shops, eateries, a hotel, and 165 condos.  The first parts of the project are expected to open in Spring 2010.  The project is bordered by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street, and Jefferson Street.

Today, developer RED Development LLC, announced that a 27-story CityScape office building had reached a key construction milestone.  The tower has topped out, which means that it has reached its final height of 368 feet.  The developer also revealed the names of several restaurants that will lease space in the project.  They are:

  • An Asian noodle shop, and a Mexican style restaurant by chef Aaron May.  May has had a hand in several Valley establishments, including Sol y Sombra and Autostrada.
  • A breakfast restaurant.  Kyle Shivers, plans to open a second branch of his popular Scottsdale breakfast and lunch spot, The Breakfast Club.
  • Blu Burger Grille, a restaurant that boasts a “unique, high quality burger experience.”  The business has four metro Phoenix locations.
  • Press Coffee, a local coffee, food, and wine shop.
  • Mojo, a yogurt shop.

Two clothing stores – Scottsdale-based Designer District and fashion boutique Republic of Couture – will open locations in CityScape, RED officials said.  Law firm Gus Rosenfeld has also joined the project, they added.  Other businesses have already announced plans to open CityScape shops. That includes restaurateur Sam Fox, who plans to create a Beverly Hills-style chop house, grocery store AJ’s Fine Foods, CVS/Pharmacy, Urban Outfitters, and Gold’s Gym.  [Note: Read the full article at Six new restaurants join downtown Phoenix CityScape project]

Retailer H&M rumors swirl in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — H&M, a trendy clothing retailer, could be shopping for a downtown Phoenix location.  On Monday, a Phoenix marketing company called Urban Affair emailed an online survey that asks downtown workers and residents about their shopping habits and their feelings about H& M.  Currently, there are no H&M stores in Arizona, but the firm plans to open a location at Scottsdale Quarter, $270 million development that will open at the end of March.  H&M has not announced an opening date for that store, a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

H&M has a strong following among the budget-conscious, fashionable set because it has low-priced, European-influenced style.  The retailer collaborates on product lines with upscale designers, including Stella McCartney and stars, such as Madonna.

An Urban Affair official downplayed the H&M aspect of Monday’s survey.  No developer asked the firm to do it, added Catrina Knoebl who co-founded Urban Affair.  “We did the survey to gauge support about downtown retail,” Knoebl said.

The survey doesn’t say where a downtown Phoenix H&M could be located.  However, an obvious choice would be the $900 million CityScape development, which is under construction in downtown Phoenix.  Through a spokeswoman, RED Development LLC declined to comment about H&M.  CityScape is bound by First Avenue, Second Street, Washington Street, and Jefferson Street.  The project broke ground in 2007 and crews are building a cluster of shops, offices and restaurants.

H&M has had a long flirtation with the Valley.  Before the Scottsdale Quarter announcement, there was talk about a possible H&M shop at Scottsdale Fashion Square and at Tempe Marketplace.  Neither shopping center has a store.  Generally speaking, H&M may decide to open other locations in the future to serve the Valley, H&M communications specialist Shaneika Haskins.  Haskins wouldn’t talk about the downtown Phoenix buzz. “We don’t comment on rumors,” she said.

Developers scale back $900M CityScape project in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Although a growing number of businesses plan to open in the downtown Phoenix project called CityScape, the worsening economy is forcing developers to scale back other parts of the three-block, $900 million plan.  Construction of more than 1,000 condos in the project, which straddles both sides of Central Avenue and First Street, between Washington and Jefferson streets, has been put on hold.

The downsizing from CityScape’s original plans, which were unveiled in 2007, is another sign that the deepening recession is taking a toll on a constellation of multimillion-dollar projects designed to bring jobs, shoppers, and residents into downtown Phoenix.  Plans for two 500-condominium buildings have been postponed until the housing market recovers.  Construction issues also prompted a developer to eliminate 65 planned apartments.  There are other changes, project officials say:

  • One planned hotel, Twelve, is no longer part of the project.  However, a 34-story tower, the future home of a 250-room Hotel Palomar and 165 condos, is under construction.
  • P.F. Chang’s has pulled out of the project but may open a restaurant later.  It will be replaced by a steakhouse from Fox Restaurant Concepts.
  • Wachovia, the anchor tenant in the project’s 27-story office tower, could withdraw.  Wells Fargo, which already has a downtown Phoenix high-rise, has plans to acquire the bank.
  • The list of tenants now includes a gym and a retail outlet, and developers hope to add a drugstore soon.

“The market is worse than it was three years ago,” said Keith Earnest, a vice president at RED Development, a CityScape developer.  “Hopefully, we are at the bottom…  We have a great location, and we continue to be optimistic.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To read one local blogger’s February 2007 and August 2008 prediction of CityScape’s scaling back, click here.]

Suitors’ fight over Wachovia could affect downtown Phoenix’s CityScape

[Source: Jahna Berry and Russ Wiles, Arizona Republic] — Wachovia Corp.’s dueling suitors could have an impact on a $900 million downtown Phoenix development.  The bank was in talks with Citigroup, which agreed to acquire Wachovia in a deal valued at more than $2 billion.  Wells Fargo & Co. swooped in and announced a more lucrative, $15 billion merger agreement with Wachovia.  That fight could have a ripple effect on the three-block CityScape project rising in downtown Phoenix.  The development includes One East Washington, a 27-story office tower.  Wachovia was supposed to be the anchor tenant in 2010, and planned to lease three floors.

When the Citigroup deal was announced early last week, CityScape’s developers and Wachovia said that nothing has changed — for now.  “It’s too early for us to know how Arizona will be affected, but right now we’re open for business as usual,” said Aimee Worsley, a Wachovia spokeswoman in Los Angeles.  “There are no plans to change the commitment to CityScape, as of today.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix’s CityScape developer lands key funding

[Source: Andrew Johnson, Arizona Republic] — The developer of downtown Phoenix’s CityScape project will draw on $200 million in funds for current and future projects under a new partnership with a Texas investment-management firm.  Red Development LLC will use the money to help pay construction and development expenses, the company announced Friday.

The money comes from a fund managed by CDK Realty Advisors in Dallas.  The firm typically buys stakes in real-estate projects to generate a return for institutional investors.  The company has invested in prior Red projects.  The partnership gives Red access to capital at a time when banks and private lenders are hesitant to finance large-scale construction projects.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Architect selected for downtown Phoenix’s CityScape phase 2

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal] — Davis of Tempe [formerly DFD Cornoyer Hendrick] has been named by RED Development as the architect for Phase 2 of the massive CityScape project now under way in downtown Phoenix.  The mixed-use project encompasses three city blocks between Washington and Jefferson streets and First Avenue and Second Street.  Davis’ responsibilities will include design of the Palomar Hotel by Klimpton, a residential tower, and retail shops at street level.  Construction on Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in early 2009…  Phase 1 of the 2.5 million-square-foot development is started and includes construction of an underground parking garage, retail and office space, and public plazas.  Phase 1 should be completed sometime in 2010.