The Renaissance of Renaissance Square in Downtown Phoenix

Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on April 19, 2017

Mark Wayne is very bullish on downtown Phoenix and one of its largest office buildings — Renaissance Square.

“Downtown is very much in vogue,” Wayne said.

Wayne is a managing partner with San Diego-based Cypress Office Properties which bought the close to 1 million-square-foot office towers in the heart of downtown Phoenix along with Oaktree Capital Management last year for $151 million.

The two towers are 26 and 28 floors.

Now Wayne and his partners at Cypress and Oaktree are looking to remake Renaissance Square with a multi-phased set of renovations and modernizations. They will total $50 million.

Renaissance Square was built in 1986. It currently has about 350,000 square feet available for lease.

Wayne said that amounts to some of the largest blocks of Class A space in downtown Phoenix.

Wayne said location is key to Renaissance. “The buildings are at main and main of downtown,” he said of the complex at Central Avenue and Adams Street.

The first phase of renovations is getting rolling and slated to run until September.

The estimated cost is $1 million to $3 million with a focus on sprucing up the lobby and common areas.

Renaissance Square has two office towers. One lobby will have more of a technology theme with a live plant wall provided by Plant Solutions, gathering spaces and digital screens.

“We’re trying to appeal to millennials,” Wayne said.

The second lobby will have more wood and warmth with a back-painted glass and vertical wood element.

Wayne wants to modernize and better connect the two office buildings.

RSP Architects Ltd. is handling the design and Wespac Construction the build outs of the Renaissance renovations. Lee & Associates has the leasing assignment.

Wayne said his team will be building out suites to show prospective tenants what space will look like. Other vacant space will be cleared out of current build out to give tenants a blank slate.

Wayne said there will also be renovations made to conference facilities and the fitness club in the lower level. Another phase will include a complete redevelopment of Renaissance’s tennis courts into an events area.

The building has seen some turnover in tenants and more space open up with law firms and other professional services firms downsizing their overall footprints. But Wayne said the renovations and what’s going on in downtown Phoenix with the growth of technology companies, Arizona State University and more restaurants is fortuitous for Renaissance Square’s hoped for rebirth.

“We like our timing,” Wayne said.