YAM Properties Acquires Arizona’s Westgate Entertainment District

In one of the state’s largest retail deals ever, iStar sold the 76-acre mixed-use center in Glendale for $133 million after six years of ownership and a major repositioning.
Westgate Entertainment District
Westgate Entertainment District

YAM Properties, led by Arizona billionaire and GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, has acquired the 76-acre Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Ariz., for $133 million from iStar Inc. The new owner is set to expand the 533,000-square-foot mixed-use center that already has retail, office and residential offerings.

Future projects for the 33 acres of undeveloped land could include a boutique hotel, additional multifamily units, as well as more office and specialty entertainment retail space.

iStar said the transaction marks one of the largest retail real estate deals in Arizona history. For the seller, which picked up the property in 2012 after the center went into foreclosure, the transaction is the culmination of a repositioning that saw iStar execute over 50 retail and office leases totaling more than 260,000 square feet of space. The company also converted two floors of vacant office space into 76 luxury loft-style residential units and added more entertainment options including Dave & Buster’s and Tavern+Bowl. The firm partnered with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers to build the 400,000-square-foot Tanger Outlets Westgate at the site before selling its interest in the outlet center in 2016. 

CBRE retail experts Philip Voorhees, Jimmy Slusher, Kirk Brummer and Sean Heitzler of National Retail Partners-West, along with Jesse Goldsmith, Steve Julius and Bryan Taute with CBRE’s Phoenix office, represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

Arizona assets

iStar already has several investments in Arizona, including two joint ventures with Equus Capital Partners. In October, the company teamed up with Equus to acquire McDowell Mountain Business Park from RAIT Financial Trust, a Class A office complex in Scottsdale for $53.2 million. The two firms partnered in 2015 to purchase Raintree Corporate Center, a 345,000-square-foot Class A office complex in Scottsdale.

YAM Properties, real estate investment and development arm of YAM Worldwide, also owns and manages commercial properties in Arizona, including three developments in Glendale, where city officials cheered the news that Parson was taking over Westgate. Since 2012, the company has acquired more than $630 million in commercial real estate and currently owns and operates more than 2.5 million square feet of retail and office space. YAM Circle, a ground-up development featuring 17,800 square feet of shopping and dining space in North Scottsdale, is slated to open later this year. Assets in the Greater Phoenix area include 101 & Scottsdale, Aqua Caliente, Arrowhead Professional Center, Centerpoint on Mill, Shoppes at Legacy House, Il Palazzo at Arrowhead Ranch and McDowell Mountain Marketplace.

In May 2014, an entity owned by Parsons and YAM Properties acquired Hayden Station, a 107,508-square-foot office and retail property in Tempe, Ariz., for $26.5 million from Holualoa Cos. of Tucson. Located on Mill Avenue and 3rd Street, the property is close to Arizona State University.

Image courtesy of YAM Properties