Retail, Restaurant Industry receives Phoenix Endorsement, including Chicago’s own, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

By Melissa Swader

 

Commercial prices may be up in the valley but it has not deterred any developers or business owners away from leasing commercial space or purchasing land to develop more restaurants and entertainment options. According to US Capital Trends, the market indicates that the Southwest transactions reported in Phoenix in Q1 were $357.8M in deal volume.  I could subsequently follow that report with a series of numbers and statistics from other reporting outlets, but I won’t.  What I will focus on is the barrage of new places that will be providing flavor, fashion and entertainment.

Melissa Swader, SVN | Desert Commercial Advisors
Melissa Swader, SVN | Desert Commercial Advisors

Let’s start with our very own SVN, Desert Commercial advisors Rommie Mojahed and Mary Nollenberger who believed in the potential of a partially constructed development surrounded by dirt, known as the Shoppes at Chandler Heights.  What was once the subject of many complaints from nearby Chandler residents is now one of the greatest Cinderella developments in the valley. It is under new ownership and now being referred to as Chandler Crossings.

 

After closing the sale of the new development for $5.425M, Mojahed and Nollenberger continued to represent the new owner and has brought in new tenants such Basis Schools,  Austin-based tenant Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Dairy Queen, and Blue 32 Sports Grill which is slated to open in August of 2016 totaling $19.6 million in deals between the new  tenants.

 

Phoenix is also feeling the love with valley-based local mattress business Tuft & Needle who has overtly campaigned their “WE BELIEVE IN PHX” on an outside billboard located downtown.  While co-founders, JT Marino and Daehee Park state multiple reasons why they endorse Phoenix, the city’s Community & Economic Development Department stands behind them to help support the economic growth in downtown Phoenix.

 

From Austin, Texas to Phoenix and now the Windy Cindy of deep dish pies, the Chicagoans that now live in Phoenix are probably saying cheese with delight.  The wait is over!  Yes, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is finally here. The Chicago-based family business started in 1971 and the traditions have lived on; taking up restaurant space in Uptown Plaza off Central Avenue and Camelback Road.

 

Malnati’s Director of Marketing, Mindy Kaplan is really excited about the new restaurant opening and is confident that everyone will enjoy the restaurant. “We have had such a great welcome from the community. The people are really excited.”  As they should be and in this case, “Say Cheese” has a completely new meaning because when you walk in, dine-in customers are greeted by an entirely lit up wall that reads just that.

 

“Malnati’s is about family internally as we are about taking care of other families; the ones that come to visit us here,” Kaplan explains further that there are 170 new employees to join their Phoenix team and they hope to open between 8-10 pizzerias in the valley.  If you are looking for fresh deep dish pizza “pie”, then you will have to check it out and judge it yourself. Not only do they use fresh tomatoes, they also use a water-filtration system to produce similar water to what they use in Chicago to make their dough. You will have plenty of space to choose from, the 8,300 combined indoor and patio space can seat families, parties, charity events, and more. Great job, Lou!

 

Driving down Camelback Road has its perks in the retail and fashion industry as well.  The Shops at Town & Country Shopping Center has also been redeveloped over the last year.  The Container Store has opened on the corner of 20th St. & Camelback Rd. taking over previous space from The FedEx Store, Sleep America, and Chili’s.  This 2015 $789 million-dollar revenue-making retailer sits next to the new popular fashion retailer, Forever 21.  While the fashion chain is still under construction, it is just another reason why the Central Phoenix business district is trending.

 

From your bed to your “Bling” and everything in between, commercial real estate is in demand no matter how you look at it.  Wouldn’t you agree?

 

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