Phoenix’s Popular Uptown Plaza Shopping Center Sells for $51.65M

Article originally posted on AZ Central on January 4, 2019

Uptown Plaza, with its wide expanse of parking, has

Phoenix’s hopping Uptown Plaza shopping center has sold for $51.65 million.

The center, home to restaurant Flower Child and retailer West Elm, was
built in 1955 by Del Webb on nine acres at the northeast corner of Camelback Road and Central Avenue. It was revamped a few years ago by Vintage Partners.

Phoenix-based Levine Investments, led by Bill Levine, paid cash for the center, which is anchored by AJ’s Fine Foods, according to public real-estate records filed Friday.

A spokeswoman for Levine said the company doesn’t comment on its properties.

A Miami limited-liability company called Uptown Plaza Associates sold the shopping center, which it had owned for several decades.

In 2017, Uptown Phoenix’s Camelback Road and Central Avenue area was voted the hottest intersection in the Valley, thanks partly to light rail.

Real-estate and planning experts named the intersection the most popular one in the Valley in an Urban Land Institute competition.

The last time the group did the ranking, before light rail started running, the uptown area didn’t make the top 10 list. Businesses were closing in the area. Its main shopping center was looking run-down, and neighborhoods around it weren’t drawing nearly as many homebuyers or renovations as they do now.

“Camelback and Central has old buildings with great design, diversity and very supportive neighbors,” said Craig DeMarco, restaurateur and a founder of Upward Projects. “It’s the only intersection in the entire Valley with four historic neighborhoods surrounding it.”

DeMarco’s group has opened five restaurants, including a Postino, Windsor and Federal Pizza, around Camelback and Central over the past decade.

Levine, who co-founded outside advertising firm Outdoor Systems with Arturo Moreno, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Arizona real estate. He ranked as one of the state’s billionaires on the annual Forbes magazine  list in previous years.

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