Commercial Real Estate

ViaWest Group Expands Hool Coury Law Long-Term Lease at Biltmore Financial Center

Hool Coury Law, a Phoenix law firm that helps entrepreneurs launch start-ups, has expanded its offices to nearly 5,000 square feet at the Biltmore Financial Center, adding new space adjacent to its existing offices for meetings with its client entrepreneurs and to facilitate meetings with investors and clients.


Hool Coury Law assists entrepreneurs and investors in launching companies, deploying capital, rapidly scaling and planning an exit. The law firm formed the Biltmore Angel Fund,

hosts the Arizona Collegiate Venture Competition and participates in Phoenix Startup Week.


The law firm, with five lawyers and two paralegals, has been located at Biltmore Financial Center, 2398 E. Camelback Road, for eight years.


“The Biltmore Financial Center has been our law firm’s home for many years now,” said Michael D. Hool, managing partner of Hool Coury Law. “The location provides close access to angel investors and other financial leaders, and this new space provides us more room to do what we have always done–helping launch, fund and grow ventures. In addition, we like ViaWest Group’s vision for fostering business opportunities between tenants.”


In July, ViaWest Group purchased the Biltmore Financial Center, three Class A office buildings totaling approximately 635,000 square feet at the northwest corner of 24th Street and Camelback in Phoenix, for $163.1 million (or $257 per square foot). At the time, the transaction was the largest multi-tenant office sale in the Phoenix area since 2007 and third largest sale ever in the metropolitan area, according to CoStar’s records.


“Hool Coury Law is an example of an increasing entrepreneurial culture at the Biltmore Financial Center where distinguished legal and financial institutions cohabitate with today’s creative class,” said Steven Schwarz, a Founding Partner of ViaWest Group.


With the improvements being announced soon at the property, ViaWest expects this to be the first of many entrepreneurial and institutional firms staking a position at the property to benefit from the unique, collaborative setting that will be fostered through both management and layout.


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Commercial Real Estate

ViaWest Group Expands Retail With New Hire of Heather Personne

ViaWest Group is pleased to announce the formation of ViaWest Retail and appointment of Heather Personne, as President, to lead this new business.    ViaWest continues to expand its strong team by adding recognized industry leaders with proven track records in specific property types to supplement its growing real estate investment, asset management and development capabilities.  ViaWest Retail has a mandate to capitalize on the rapidly evolving retail landscape through value-add acquisitions and build-to-suit developments.

Heather P

Heather Personne, previously of Evergreen Development Company, has a track record of success in retail acquisitions, leasing, fee-for-service programs and build-to-suit development.  Her development experience includes neighborhood shopping centers, as well as negotiation for regional and national retail tenants.  During her 20-year tenure with Evergreen, Heather developed and managed nearly 100 properties, totaling 2.5 million square feet of retail, as well as land development, comprising over $650 million in value.


Heather graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French from the University of Arizona Honors College.  She is heavily involved in the leadership of the Arizona chapter of Urban Land Institute as Membership Chair and founding board member of the ULI Arizona Women’s Leadership Initiative.  She also sits on the national ULI Commercial Retail Product Council.


As the real estate marketplace evolves, and technology continues to impact how businesses and consumers interface with and utilize real estate, ViaWest is embracing this change by recruiting domain experts across property types.  By adding this retail capability, ViaWest can continue to identify and capitalize on attractive real estate investment and development opportunities across the Southwestern region.


“We are excited to bring someone with Heather’s background and experience into our team and are looking forward to the additional insight and prospective growth she will add,” states Gary Linhart, Founding Member of ViaWest Group.  “ViaWest has set a strong pace to expand with an emphasis on hiring the right people with the right talents to ensure we are not only broadening our portfolio, but also complementing our existing team and adding a level of quality that only comes from motivated, knowledgeable and experienced people.”

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Commercial Real EstateDealsRecent Deals

ViaWest Group Expands Operations with TWR Company

ViaWest Group is pleased to announce the
expansion of their company through an affiliation with TWR Company, which is operated by
Tom Richards. ViaWest has been one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in
the Valley over the last few years with over $200MM of acquisitions. TWR Company is a
boutique, commercial real estate, investment company headquartered in Phoenix with 14 years of
experience in retail property development and value-add acquisitions. TWR Company
specializes in build-to-suits and redevelopment for retail product and has a complementary skill
set with ViaWest in ground-up development, in redevelopment/repositioning of existing
properties, and with a flexible and adaptable structure that maximizes returns and reduces costs
to its clients.

Tom Richards

Tom Richards has extensive knowledge in REO’s, short sales, foreclosures, loan pools,
and value-add real estate. Most recently Mr. Richards was a broker for two years at Voit Real
Estate Services’ Phoenix office, with a focus on investment sales in the retail, office and
industrial markets. He received his Bachelors of Science in Real Estate from Arizona State

The strategic affiliation of ViaWest Group and TWR comes on the heels of a strategic
affiliation between ViaWest Group and Aspire Real Estate Investments earlier this year. Aspire
was recently formed by Branden Lombardi and Zach Sakas and focuses on residential land
investment and development.

ViaWest has been a leader in the office and industrial sectors and active in the multifamily
sector. By adding depth in retail property and residential land investment and
development, ViaWest becomes the only company headquartered in Phoenix that is a leader
within these various product types.

ViaWest was able to maintain profitability during the recession by forming ancillary
businesses including an investment fund focused on the preferred shares of the REITs. By
stabilizing its legacy portfolio of office and industrial properties to over 95 percent occupancy,
ViaWest was then able to focus on the purchase of distressed properties with significant vacancy.

“We excel at stabilizing troubled properties by combining our entrepreneurial energy with
institutional quality management, and Tom’s multi-dimensional skill-set and combination of
institutional real estate and retail development experience is a perfect fit,” added Steven
Schwarz, Principal of ViaWest Group.

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