ASU SkySong development in Scottsdale announces $5 million retail component










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May 1, 2014, 2:45pm MST Kristena Hansen Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal

The startup companies and residents at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, will soon have access to new locally-owned eateries and retail shops.

Plaza Cos., master developer of SkySong, rolled out plans this week for a 10,500-square-foot freestanding retail building within the growing mixed-use project, It’s now on the hunt for tenants.

The estimated $5 million retail structure will be situated on the western edge of SkySong, which spans 42 acres at the southeast corner of Scottsdale and McDowell roads in Scottsdale.

Construction should start sometime this fall and wrap up by spring of next year, accommodating between three and five tenants.

“We kept hearing from people that they wanted more restaurant and retail options to be a part of the future of SkySong, and this will help us accomplish that goal,”Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Cos., said in the statement. “We have a wonderful café on site and have had smaller retail presences in the past, but this will truly bring back strong, established retail to this property and provide some great services for the area.”

The retail component will the latest addition to SkySong, which launched a decade ago, slowed during the recession and then kicked into growth mode again more than a year ago.

Plaza recently completed a $44 million, 325-unit apartment project there, while SkySong’s two existing office buildings — which total 300,000 square feet — will be joined by a third$32 million office structure this summer. A fourth and final office building is also set to break ground by year-end.

So far, SkySong’s two existing office buildings house more than 1,000 employees and 50 companies — many of them small startups. At full build-out, SkySong will have 1.2 million square feet, including a hotel and conference center.

“It is a high-profile and active intersection, which we believe will make it extremely attractive to unique and local restaurants and stores,” said Ed Beeh, a broker with SRS Real Estate Partners who is handling SkySong’s retail leasing.

SkySong has also recently experienced some changes in its ownership structure.

The city of Scottsdale leases most of the land to the ASU Foundation, which, up until last year, subleased each parcel on which the buildings rest to the three joint-venture owners: ASU Foundation, Plaza and USAA Real Estate Co.

In August, USAA sold its stake in the two SkySong office buildings to Tucson-based Holualoa Cos. for almost $70 million.

Kristena Hansen covers residential and commercial real estate.







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