USA Place, LLC, has been selected to develop a new 330-room Omni Hotel and 30,000-square-foot conference center on a 10.5-acre site located at the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive, subject to Tempe City Council and Arizona Board of Regents final approval of development agreements. In addition to the hotel and conference center, USA Place will include a new national headquarters and training center for USA Basketball, a 4,500-seat event center, 500 luxury apartments, 160,000 square feet of retail and up to 200,000 square feet of office space, including the new home for Arizona Interscholastic Association events.
The principals of USA Place, LLC, include Susan Eastridge, CEO of Concord Eastridge; Michael Hallmark, principal of Future Cities; and Robert Harris, CEO of Harris Sports & Entertainment.
At a Board meeting on July 25, USA Basketball’s Board of Directors approved the move to Tempe and USA Place as the home of its new national headquarters and training center.
The location, described by the developers as one of the most important urban sites in the Southwest, is adjacent to ASU’s main campus and Tempe’s Mill Avenue District, a short walk to light rail stations and minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The mixed-use plan created by Future Cities emphasizes walkable urban neighborhoods with four- and five-story residential units above retail shops, restaurants and services. Parking is designed to be primarily below grade and in
one parking structure at the corner of 10th Street and Myrtle.
The full-service Omni Hotel will be Tempe’s first four-diamond hotel. With 58 distinctive luxury hotels and resorts across North America, Omni Hotels & Resorts is recognized as a market leader for group and transient business as well as with leisure travelers. The adjacent 30,000-square-foot conference center will feature a grand ballroom capable of seating 1,000 for dining, a junior ballroom and meeting space.
The site’s other major anchor will be USA Basketball, which will relocate their national headquarters and training center to USA Place in the fall of 2015. Currently based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball serves as the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the U.S. They are officially recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as being solely responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, including the Olympics and World Championships.
Led by Chairman Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball’s programming for men and women includes U16 (16 years old and under), U17, U18, U19 and the national teams. USA Basketball also features national teams for 3×3 competitions, and a youth development program which provides kids, parents and coaches with instructional and educational resources. USA teams are the reigning men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics and currently rank No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including men, women, boys and girls.
A new multi-court event center, with seating up to 4,500, will serve as the training site for USA Basketball primarily in the summer months and for regional youth and adult recreational and competitive athletics programming the rest of the year. A third USA Place development partner, former Phoenix Suns V.P. Robert Harris, will manage the facility and create original programming for the center including tournaments, camps, leagues and clinics.
“This is an exciting and an incredible opportunity that offers nothing but positives for USA Basketball,” said Colangelo. “USA Place will offer USA Basketball an excellent site for the development of its office headquarters, a training center and event center that will provide the organization with a first-class site for hosting junior level events and will allow USA Basketball to continue to evolve.”
“The new USA Basketball headquarters and training center will be first-class, state of art facilities, something I know we will be very proud of.”
In addition to USA Basketball, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will also host programming at the event center, which will include post season state high school tournaments for boys and girls basketball, volleyball, wrestling, badminton and spiritline. High schools will also have an opportunity to participate in regular season “Games-of-the-Week” there. AIA is the primary governing body for high school athletics in Arizona.
AIA’s Chuck Schmidt believes the move will create more opportunity for AIA programs.
“We’re very excited to have a permanent home where we can host our events. Being able to share a home court with USA Basketball will be a remarkable experience for our kids,” he said.
Omni executives recognize the Tempe site and development concept as important to Omni’s brand.
“USA Place is our first property development in the Valley, which is important to our brand development strategy as well as for our guests,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. “The complex presents Tempe with great synergistic opportunities, and we are committed to ensuring that the Omni Tempe Hotel, and our team, is engaged Tempe community, Greater Phoenix region and state.”
The site is located next to ASU’s Tempe campus on land owned by ASU. USA Place, LLC, is entering into a long-term ground lease with a base term of 99 years. ASU and the City of Tempe have formed a partnership to support the creation of the conference center and as a result, the conference center will revert to public ownership after twenty years.
Construction of the project is planned to begin by year-end with the hotel, conference center, event center and first phase of residential, retail and office scheduled to open during the second half of 2015.