After years of following the Phoenix market and its strengthening fundamentals, Texas-based CapRidge makes its first buy in the market.
By Kelsi Maree Borland | September 18, 2018 at 04:00 AM
Austin, Texas-based CapRidge has been eyeing the Phoenix market and its strengthening fundamentals for years, and has finally made the plunge. The firm acquired Scottsdale Forum, a three-story 213,000-sqaure-foot institutional-quality office project in Metro Phoenix, as its first acquisition in the market. Phoenix, in general, has fallen on investor radar in recent years as the market has fully recovered after suffering tremendously in the last recession.
“CapRidge was drawn to the exceptional real estate fundamentals that Phoenix offers,” Chris Toci, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, tells GlobeSt.com. “The market is positioned as a leading job growth generator, creating 61,300 jobs in the previous 12 months; it has exceptional population growth as evidenced by over 115,000 residents locating to the area; it has outstanding barriers to entry as evidenced by far less supply deliveries in this cycle compared to the previous two Phoenix real estate cycles; and it is seeing migration from California and other “gateway” states that are drawn to the pro-business environment and the extreme affordability.”
CapRidge was looking for an asset that met specific criteria as its foray into the market. Toci says the criteria included an exceptional location, a diverse tenant mix, functional floorplates and the to drive additional leasing activity. Scottsdale Forum met all of these needs. “CapRidge has been analyzing the Phoenix market for the past two to three years in an effort to understand the city’s dynamics. They underwrote numerous of our listings, but ultimately determined that Scottsdale Forum had all of these elements,” he says, adding that it also offered “the ability to expand upon the substantial improvements that Clarion Partners had already made, including creation of fresh amenity space and continued conversion to open/creative office space.”
Of course, CapRidge was not alone. Toci and his team, which included Chad Littell, Jerry Noble, Greg Mayer and Patrick Schrimsher of Cushman & Wakefield, saw tremendous activity on the asset, thanks to growing investor interest in the market. “We had exceptional interest in this asset, due to its Scottsdale Road address, its proximity to the under construction $2.0 billion Ritz Carlton resort hotel, and the presence of a Paradise Valley base of decision makers,” says Toci. “We are continuing to see additional foreign capital invest in Phoenix, particularly Japanese, Korean, and Middle Eastern investors. Additionally, smaller “unicorn” ($1.0 Billion+) family offices have picked up the investing pace for Phoenix real estate. We see more of the same continuing.”
This will likely be the first of many more acquisitions for CapRidge, which is looking to increase its exposure to the Phoenix market. “CapRidge is motivated to increase its exposure to Metropolitan Phoenix real estate by future acquisitions,” adds Toci. “They will likely want to achieve a critical mass through the acquisition of multiple assets.”
CapRidge purchased the asset from Clarion Partners for $40.8 million.