Pima Center - A 209 Acre Multi-Use Business Park


From the The Business Journal
Native influence - Center developed in collaboration with Indian community
8/25/2006 - By Kerry Duff
Scottsdale, AZ - “Where have you been all my life?”

That’s the question business owners are asking themselves after seeing the variety of commercial space available for lease at the new Pima Center at the Loop 101 and Via de Ventura in Scottsdale.

The 209-acre multiuse business park has 14 completed buildings with close to 1 million square feet of commercial space, including Class A office, suburban office, flex and assembly/distribution.

The next phase, to be developed next year, will include retail and hospitality components. The business park also is equipped with complete state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a variety of telecommunication products and services.

The project isn’t just any old development, however: MainSpring Capital Group, a Phoenix investment and development firm, has been developing the project over the past seven years in collaboration with 200 Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community landowners. Pima Center is the largest third-party lease on Native American land in the U.S.

To honor the Indian community, its culture and traditions, the developers and the landowners worked with Butler design Group to select the colors, textures, and Indian symbolism depicted in each of the Pima Center buildings.

Some of the cultural aspects integrated into the design and aesthetics of the business park include textures of woven baskets, squash blossoms and references to the four directions – the spiritual north, south, east and west.

Standing at one of the entrances to Pima Center is Basket Dancer, a 9-foot-tall steel sculpture of four Indian women dancing in a circle with baskets held over their heads. Jeffrey Fulwilder, a community artist, created the sculpture to represent the harvest season and planting time, which are both very important to the Indian culture.

“Basket Dancer is a tribute to the Indian women of our community and the traditional dances that have been kept alive for generations,” said Fulwilder.

Tenants Signed

Gerry Blomquist, a partner with MainSpring Capital Group, said the project firs the old industry axiom – location, location, location.

“It’s close to Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, the freeway and the airport, plus we have a great mix of buildings,” Blomquist said. “We have something for everybody, and we are delivering a good product for the price. We’re competitive all day long with Scottsdale across the street, but we offer a better value.

MainSpring Capital Group plans to spend about $450 million over the next six to seven years to build-out the entire site. When complete, Pima Center will provide jobs for about 10,000 people, have roughly 50 buildings with 3.5 million square feet of commercial space, 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and three hotels.

“It took seven years to build relationships with the Salt River community and landowners,” Blomquist said. “And because we had the staying power to see it through to the end, it is going to start bearing fruit for us, the community and the tribe.”

At build-out the Salt River community will earn an estimated $9 million to $12 million annually in property and sales taxes.

Construction of Pima Center started in April 2005. A year later, Calex Homes moved into a 15,000-square-foot single-tenant building on the northwest corner of 90th Street and Del Camino.

About a month later, Renaissance Cos., MainSpring Capital Group and Ross Brown Partners, the real estate marketing company for Pima Center, moved into a two-story building on the southwest corner of 90th Street and Pima Center Parkway.

The three companies occupy the entire 17,000 square-foot second floor of the building, while tenant improvements are under way on the first floor.

“We didn’t plan to move our headquarters seven years ago when we started this project,” said Blomquist. “But over the last year or two, we decided this is the place to be, which obviously other companies are thinking as well.”

A Showcase Project

Curtis Brown, principal of Ross Brown Partners and the designated broker for Pima Center, said lease negotiations are ongoing with a number of potential tenants.

“This is a mixed-use business environment that brings together a full menu of facility types prevalent in today’s economy.” Brown said.

Russell Ray, landowner and spokesperson for the 33 members of the Ray family that have interests in 140 of the 209 acres, said his family did not know how long the Pima Center project would take, but they were determined to see it through.

“We had this project in mind whether it happened in our lifetime or not,” he said. “Initially, it was challenging, but the end result is something that benefits the community, landowners, our children and grandchildren and the public at large. Pima Center is a showcase project for this community.”
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