TUCSON, Arizona — As we look back over the 782 commercial transactions to-date for Tucson in 2016, with the help of our RED Comps database, the ‘Deal of the Year’ stands out as being the highest retail sale of the “trophy asset” Wilmot Plaza. Purchased in September 2016, by DSW Wilmot Plaza LP, an Arizona-based investment group DESCO Southwest, managing director Michael Sarabia along with partner James Hardman believe strongly in the fundamentals of this recently redeveloped 139,000-square-foot multi-building neighborhood center.
The center has a long history of being a landmark retail center in the central-east corridor of Tucson. The substantial visibility from both Broadway and Wilmot roads, access to this major arterial intersection, and close proximity to Park Mall (General Growth Properties) and the St. Joseph’s Hospital and medical office complex all benefit the center.
Wilmot Plaza sold for $47.3 Million ($340 PSF) from BP Wilmot Plaza (Don Bourn, manager) a Bourn Companies’ destination retail re-development. Bourn had fully redeveloped the center with an all-star tenant line up including: TJ Maxx, Dicks Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack, Payless Shoes and AT&T and sold fully leased.
Bourn had acquired the property in July 2013 for $6.2 million, seeing the potential when it was still 60-70% vacant. Renovations began in 2014, razing the north half of Wilmot Plaza, at the northeast corner, and completely remodeling the buildings that weren’t razed while tenants remained open. Through redevelopment efforts Bourn transformed the 10-acre property into a first-class shopping center.
Built in 1956, the property consists of relatively large buildings grouped along the northern and eastern edges of the site. The Tucson General Plan defines the area as a regional commercial activity center that includes Park Place Mall and several shopping centers along Broadway Blvd, a high-density office and residential node northwest of the intersection and the St. Joseph’s Hospital and medical office complex. The General Plan also encourages redevelopment and expansion of strip commercial development to improve traffic flow, pedestrian circulation and safety, and streetscape quality, providing primary access from arterial streets away from residential uses.
Toufic Abi-Aad (CFO Bourn Companies) handled the disposition for the seller, and Michael Sarabia and James Hardman (DESCO Southwest) represented DSW Wilmot Plaza LP. Tim Storey with Newmark Capital in Phoenix assisted with financing for the acquisition.
The acquisition reflects DESCO’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona marketplace where Michael Sarabia, managing member of DSW Wilmot Plaza LP and DESCO Southwest, has been an active participant for the past 16 years. Sarabia stated at time of sale, “When looking at submarkets we take into consideration several mitigating factors such as household income, growing population, quality of building, tenant mix, term of leases and strategic location of asset. Don Bourn and his team have been able to source high profile sites and develop signature projects in irreplaceable locations, we are pleased to be able to work with them on this acquisition.”
The acquisition is part of DESCO’s continued investment strategy in the Arizona region, a market where they own/manage over 500,000-square-feet of retail and office.
Congratulations to DESCO Southwest and Bourn Companies!
For more information, Sarabia and Hardman should be reached at 520.297.8929 and Abi-Aad can be contacted at 520.323.1005. Storey can be called at 602.374.7854.
To learn more, see RED Comp #4163.