This Corridor Has Quickly Become the Hotspot for Retail and Hospitality Development in Phoenix

Article originally posted on CoStar on September 6, 2019

An 80,000-square-foot Medieval Times is the most recent addition to the Talking Stick Entertainment District in the Central Scottsdale submarket. In the distance is a view of the Great Wolf Lodge, hotel and indoor water park, which is nearing completion. (CoStar)

Several new projects in varying stages of development will join the cluster of retail, entertainment and hospitality tenants in Phoenix’s Central Scottsdale submarket. The area surrounding the Talking Stick entertainment corridor within Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community along the Loop 101 has become a mecca for experiential retail in the Phoenix metropolitan area over the past several years.

Central Scottsdale is one of the top Phoenix submarkets for retail construction and net absorption over the past 12 months. Activity in the submarket is being fueled by build-to-suit projects along the Loop 101 with retailers drawn to the area’s successful attraction of major office-users, attractive demographics and freeway access. The lineup of retail and entertainment tenants in the submarket has dramatically grown and includes Scottsdale Autoshow, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Spring Training Facility, Talking Stick Resort and Casino, TopGolf, OdySea in the Desert Aquarium and more.

And the list of these types of tenants in the corridor continues to grow. Construction recently completed on an 80,000-square-foot Medieval Times at Via De Ventura and Loop 101 in Central Scottsdale. Across the street, development is underway at The Block at Pima Center, which consists of roughly 60,000 square feet of space. Several tenants have already committed to space, including Texas Roadhouse and new-to-the-market White Castle. Adjacent to the retail center is a 166-room Hilton hotel, which will finish construction this fall.

Nearby, another long-anticipated hotel and entertainment destination, Great Wolf Lodge, is approaching completion. The resort will have 350 rooms and an indoor water park. Guests at the new hotels will benefit nearby retailers, increasing foot traffic at The Pavilions at Talking Stick and other nearby malls and regional shopping centers. There is still plenty of land to build, and several proposed light industrial and office projects are in the pipeline, such as the future Axon headquarters and The Standard at Pima Center.

To be successful in today’s evolving retail climate, retailers must be agile and adapt to consumer preferences to compete with the fast-growing e-commerce segment. Property owners, lenders and developers are well aware of the competition and have become increasingly selective, showing a strong preference towards “internet-resistant” tenants or “experiential retailers” that typically provide a good or service that is not easily attainable by searching the web.